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The only constant in life is change….

Change can be scary, tiring, and frustrating. But it can also be exciting and invigorating, broaden our knowledge, and force us to face and overcome our fears. Ultimately, change leads us grow in our personal and professional lives.

Often times, our New Year’s Resolutions are focused on our personal goals: exercise more often, eat more healthy foods,read more, eat out less and save more money, etc. but how about making a New Years resolution that is focused on embracing change in your professional life?

Change involves stretching ourselves and taking on new challenges. As we take on these new challenges and stretch ourselves, we grow.

In her book “MindSet”, author Carol Dweck challenges people to embrace change and growth by having what she calls a “growth mindset” as opposed to a “fixed mindset.”

She advises that ”how we interpret challenges, setbacks, and criticism is our choice. We can interpret them in a fixed mindset as signs that our talents or abilities are lacking. Or we can interpret them in a growth mindset as signs that we need to ramp up our strategies and effort, stretch ourselves, and expand our abilities."

So as we face challenges, setbacks, and criticism, listen to the fixed mindset voice (if you have one!) and talk back to it with a growth mindset:

"As you approach a challenge:

THE FIXED-MINDSET says “Are you sure you can do it? Maybe you don’t have the talent.”

THE GROWTH-MINDSET answers, “I’m not sure I can do it now, but I think I can learn to with time and effort.”

FIXED MINDSET: “What if you fail—you’ll be a failure”

GROWTH MINDSET: “Most successful people had failures along the way.”

FIXED MINDSET: “If you don’t try, you can protect yourself and keep your dignity.”

GROWTH MINDSET: “If I don’t try, I automatically fail. Where’s the dignity in that?”

As you hit a setback:

FIXED MINDSET: “This would have been a snap if you really had talent.”

GROWTH MINDSET: “That is so wrong. Basketball wasn’t easy for Michael Jordan and science wasn’t easy for Thomas Edison. They had a passion and put in tons of effort.”

As you face criticism:

FIXED MINDSET: “It’s not my fault. It was something or someone else’s fault.”

GROWTH MINDSET: “If I don’t take responsibility, I can’t fix it. Let me listen—however painful it is– and learn whatever I can.”"

Which voice do you hear? Which voice will you head?

She urges all of us to “Take on challenges wholeheartedly, learn from your setbacks and try again, and hear the criticism and act on it .”

All of this change and growth does require a good deal of effort, which leads me to my last thought. Enjoy the gift you been given of some well deserved time off and come back towork in the new year reinvigorated and ready to take on new challenges!

Sharon Shoff

Vice President, Predevelopment Services

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