I Can’t Do That…YET – Having a Growth Mindset

Leadership, Professional Development

Have you ever thought back to your first day on a job and how new and uncomfortable things felt? Occasionally, I find myself picturing years back to my very first day in the business development world. Fresh out of college, I had never had a “real job” before, and I was, in my mind, just pretending to be an adult. I sat through my first week of training thinking often about how I did not have the skills to do this job. Sure, I had a college degree, but that didn’t teach me business development, or how to succeed in a career.

I started a very serious internal dialogue, “What am I going to do? I can’t just quit, I’m an adult now with real bills and real worries!”

I, of course, decided to stick it out and here I am years later looking back at how silly I was thinking that I couldn’t do it. Of course, I couldn’t do it…. yet. I needed to learn, gain experience, and give it time!

Growth versus Fixed

This is the principle of having a Growth Mindset versus a Fixed Mindset. When we have a fixed mindset, we view our skills and other attributes as unchanging and finite. The skills we have are all they will ever be. When we adopt a growth mindset, we are taking on the perspective that our skills can be changed and improved over time by putting in the time and effort.

What if we could put ourselves in the shoes of our future selves every time we felt like we didn’t have the skills to do something? It would remind us to take on a growth mindset and realize that just because we can’t do something right now, doesn’t mean we won’t ever be able to do it. Our skills are not static. When we face obstacles and failure, we turn these into opportunities for learning and growth.

Add Yet!

Whether you are entering a new role in your job, changing careers altogether, or just learning a new skill in your personal life, each time you come across an obstacle and think “I can’t do that” just add one little word to the end of that sentence to shift yourself into a growth mindset, “I can’t do that…yet.”

You may not be equipped right at that moment to tackle the obstacle you face and that’s okay, have the mindset that you can grow to be able to do it in the future. Accept that you can’t do it yet and start planning what steps you can take to learn and gain the skills necessary overtime to overcome that obstacle. Before you know it, you will be looking back on a time you were not able to accomplish something you are now quite good at!