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5th Dec 2017

From feeling like a failure to developing a growth mindset: 2017 in review

Sinead Sharkey

It’s that time of the week again and we’ve another fantastic blog from Sinead Sharkey of Generation Women, this week she shares with us how to stand out in your career.

December can be a time when we go into reflective mode. The year is ending, a new year close to beginning, and you might be starting to ponder. Have I achieved what I set out to when I started 2017 with dreams and resolutions. 

If you haven’t, it can be tempting to think ‘I need to change everything’, or ‘this year was awful’, ‘let’s move on and forget it happened’.

Stinking Thinking

That’s an emotional response that limits your thinking, and prevents you from seeing the good and the great. It’s stinking thinking and will keep you stuck. It stops you from seeing all the growth you have achieved, because it’s difficult to go an entire year without growing!  It prevents you from appreciating what you have in your life to build on, to grow from, to achieve with. 

Here’s a better set of questions to ask yourself that will put your mindset in a different place.

What am I proud of doing and achieving in 2017?

What did I learn about myself and others in 2017?

What am I grateful for in 2017?

Keep going on those lists until you’ve got at the very least 20 items on each. When you get stuck, ask yourself what else? If you need to, put them down and come back to them. Once you get going, you’ll be amazed how much there is.  

But my brain’s stuck!

There’s a chance you may get stuck on the bad stuff and not feel able to move past it. Or maybe you feel that your brain can’t help but go to the things that were particularly tough, or that you wished you’d done. So, acknowledge those thoughts…’I know that [x] happened and was really hard for me’ or ‘I’m disappointed that I didn’t do [y]’ ‘BUT what did I do that I’m proud of inspite or because of those things’. 

The challenging parts of our life are often what encourage the most growth and development of strength, they build our resilience. Asking yourself:

What did I learn from the experience?  

How did I grow?

How can I use this experience to be stronger for the future?

You may not have achieved what we set out to this year, but you will have achieved way more than you realise. If you think you have nothing to be grateful for, a great reality check can be thinking about people in much worse situations. Switch on the news and you’ll find multiple examples.

Mindset for Career And Personal Success

These questions are important in cultivating a powerful mindset.  Carol Dweck identified a growth mindset as integral to success.  Have you ever wondered why some people seem to be able to bounce back from the biggest challenges, while you’re crying in the corner.

If you can be more content with what you have, if you can own your strengths and accomplishments, and if you can see how you’ve grown and what you’ve learned, you will just get stronger, happier, and even better!  Who doesn’t want that? 

Let’s give your inner critic a good kick up the backside, and give your inner cheerleader a voice instead. Imagine the possibilities in 2018 if they have the control!

Sinead is the Founder of Generation Women, and is a Career and Leadership Coach. She has almost 20 years’ experience of developing leaders in global corporates. Her passion for helping women excel in their careers has resulted in her clients landing the jobs they want, being head hunted, and stepping up into leadership with confidence.

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