Have you ever wondered why some people seem to not only survive but thrive during challenging times while others seem to drown in despair? These same people stick to their goals and keep pushing forward despite setbacks and failures. They see every challenge or setback as a lesson. This outlook has a dramatic impact on their ability to stick to their goals and to perform to the best of their abilities.
The TWO Key Ingredients to Becoming Unstoppable and Overcoming Obstacles that Are Holding You Back
I believe that it all comes down to two things: (1) having well-anchored why (2) having a growth mindset.
Having a Well-Anchored, Why?
“He who has a why to live can bear almost any how” – Friedrich Nietzsche.
According to Simon Sinek, author of the book Find Your Why, then why is the purpose, cause, or belief that drives every one of us. Our why is that compelling reason that gives us the grit to keep going even when things are hard. When we have clarity about why we live an inspired life aligned with our purpose, and nothing can hold us back. We become resourceful and do our best to figure things out in our quest for self-fulfillment.
As a women’s empowerment coach, my why is: to help busy mothers reclaim their health and their sanity via non-negotiable self-care habits so that they can become unstoppable in all areas of their lives. This is what keeps me going, no matter the setbacks and the challenges.
Having a strong why statement (a sentence that clearly expresses your unique contribution and the impact you want to make in the world) will help you unleash the commitment to your long-term and short-term goals. Your why will give you the drive and the fearless determination to keep pushing through any obstacle.
Having a Growth Mindset
Mindset is a belief that orients the way that we handle situations. In her book Mindset, Stanford University researcher and author Carole Dweck differentiates between a Fixed Mindset and a Growth Mindset. In a fixed mindset, people believe that their abilities and capabilities are set in stone.
On the flip side, people who have a growth mindset believe that their abilities and intelligence can be developed through hard work, dedication, and perseverance. People approach challenging situations in a positive way with an “I love a challenge” or “I’m looking forward to learning from this” mentality.
This view creates a love for long-life learning, resilience, and grit, which are key qualities if you want to succeed in any aspect of your life. In fact, according to Carole Dweck, a growth mindset is a characteristic of most successful people, and teaching a growth mindset is key to productivity and motivation.
Why is a growth mindset such a big deal? It allows us to unleash our full potential. Whether it’s building a new skill, learning a new language, or breaking a bad habit, having a growth mindset will give you the belief that anything – any major goal – is possible no matter the obstacles.
And how can we develop a growth mindset?
There are different strategies for developing a growth mindset. These are the three that are key when it comes to developing the grit and the commitment to stick with your goals:
- View growth as a process. There is a saying that goes: “It’s all about the journey, not the destination.” It is not the end result that counts, but the person who you become in the process. Embrace the journey—with all of its setbacks and challenges.
- View mistakes, failures, and setbacks in a positive light. Yes! Failing and making mistakes is a great way to learn and grow. Forgive yourself for your mistakes and failures, and move on. Don’t dwell on them. Turn them into opportunities for learning and growing. The same thing applies to setbacks and challenges. Accept that you may not be able to control some of your situations, but you are in control of how you perceive your situation and how you respond to it. By changing your approach and learning from your mistake, failure, and setback, you’ll learn valuable lessons about perseverance and your capabilities.
- Continually seek challenges in order to learn and grow from them. This means finding opportunities in your daily life that allow you to go out of your comfort zone. Doing things that scare you and challenge you on a regular basis is a great way to expand your identity. In other words, get comfortable getting uncomfortable because every time that you conquer your fears, you are building self-confidence, self-esteem, courage, and grit. For example, as a marathon runner, I do this with sports – continuously. By running longer or faster or by doing a more intense strength training workout, I continually push my limits and grow my mindset at the same time.
When it comes to our goals, having a growth mindset gives us the fearlessness and the confidence to first set challenging goals and also stay on the path to accomplishing those goals despite the setbacks that come along the way.
This confidence and fearlessness allow us to keep pushing through even when we think we are not progressing on a goal or when we think that a goal is too overwhelming, and we want to give up. Instead of giving up, we keep at it despite the fear of failure, disappointment, or overwhelm.
Developing a love for the process – and not only the destination – will ensure that we will regularly evaluate our progress on a goal and readjust if necessary. It will also give you the incentive to seek advice and help from other people when you think you are not progressing to the best of your abilities.
I believe that in these unprecedented times, and any time for that matter, adopting a growth mindset and having a compelling why are key to not only weathering storms with confidence but to giving you the grit and the determination to stick to your short-term and long term goals.