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Personal growth: How to prepare ourselves and embrace it

One thing we know for certain is that we can't solve today's challenges with yesterday's wisdom. We need to choose a growth mindset.
Image: Supplied
Image: Supplied
What I have seen in my coaching practice is that if we don’t stretch ourselves, we are often nudged by some external event to be stretched to grow.

But what does this mean? How do you embrace a growth mindset?

Reframe and look at “failure” in a different light


This requires us to look for the lesson in any interaction. Instead of saying “I have failed” you say, “I’m not there yet, and I have learned this lesson in this process”. Acknowledge what you have achieved even if it is just saying “I’m still working toward achieving this”.

To build a growth mindset we need to be agile. This implies we need to be nimble and fluid in the challenges we face. We adapt to change by experimenting and seeing what is working and what needs tweaking. It is a continuous cycle of trying something, assessing the impact, and adjusting where needed and repeating.

As women, we can be unnecessarily cruel with ourselves. We often are lenient with other people, yet, we expect “to be perfect” ourselves. This can be a big blind spot, putting needless pressure on ourselves. This awareness is vital when building new capabilities... a good starting point is to have grace and kindness towards yourself and not from a place of judgement and “I need to be better”.


Focus on your strengths and build on them instead of focusing on weaknesses. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying we should ignore our weaknesses; I want to emphasize that we get a better yield when we build on our natural talents.

How well do you know yourself?


It can be helpful to complete an assessment to understand yourself better and why you react in certain ways; there are many options available. A simple exercise is to track what daily activities you love - those where you get lost in time are a good indication of your natural talents.

Having a thinking partner, either a sister, good friend or coach, can support you with this journey. If we want to grow, we need to have an end goal in mind. Be specific on what you want to achieve, by when are you planning to achieve this and how are you going to measure success?

Consider what is the first step and remain in action. When building new habits, a tip is to allow yourself “it is fine to skip a day”. It is also good to use the days that didn’t go so well as data points and insights of what needs adjustment.

Dream big of who you want to be, what you want to achieve and then have the drive and discipline to make this a reality. Baby steps and you will be amazed what you can achieve. We are what we repeatedly do.

About Anja van Beek

Anja van Beek is an independent leadership consultant, talent strategist and coach.

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