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  • Kate Arbit

All This Growth Mindset Talk...Why is it so Important?


Over the past year I've been reading and listening to podcasts on the "Growth Mindset".  This is not a new concept, rather one that has evolved into something positive, much more important and highly coveted these days.  In layman's terms, it's self-motivation, simple as that.  If we dig deeper, which no doubt all of us are doing these days, what we find is a quagmire of unknowns as we look for something or anything that motivates us during these trying times. We're left asking the question what, in fact, can motivate us when there is so much sadness and negativity in our nation and in the world?Self-motivation becomes a seemingly out-of-reach panacea when we find ourselves with one leg in the rabbit hole.  Everyone has their own answer to this quandary over how we find our growth mindset in all the constriction, but my answer is TIME.  


This is the time to spend with your loved ones, practice self-reflection and introspection. This is the time to ask yourself "WHAT DO I WANT?" and "HOW DO I GET WHAT I WANT?"  The key word here is want, because want is a desire and not a need.  Want comes from the heart and is not something that MUST be DONE. 


What I've realized during the pandemic is what I want professionally is completely attainable.  The questions that shape that attainment are how do I get it and what do I do?  I carried a lot of fear about finances, going back to school and being able to pivot careers in this stage of my life just didn't seem an option for me. Then I listened to a podcast that changed the way I thought, my mindset - and before I knew it, an entirely new path unrolled itself in front of me.  Just like that. No blood, sweat, tears...no fear, anxiety - financial or otherwise. All I had to do was add the word YET to the end of every sentence that caused me to pause due to fear, and everything shifted.  For example:

  1. I haven't taken any courses, yet.

  2. I don't know if I can do this, yet.

  3. I don't know how to do this, yet.    

What I realized was that the Growth Mindset is not a competition. It's self love and self improvement and without sounding too much like Stuart Smalley, the fictional character performed by comedian Al Franken in the 90s era of SNL, and dog gone it, people like me and I'm worth it!  It's being able to grow through reflection, experience and learning that makes a mindset a positive one.  It's the "I can" attitude through action that makes you feel fulfilled, confident and positive because it's something you want to do, not NEED to or SHOULD do.  It's a desire that comes from within empowering you to grow personally and professionally.  It's taking the time to STOP, get to know yourself, figure out what makes you happy and knowing that you can achieve it with time.  You don't have it YET, but you will... 

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