Are you feeling disengaged at work? Are you thinking about a career change? Before you do that, try shifting your mindset. It could be more powerful than you think.
Your mindset is your attitude, beliefs, and perceptions about yourself, others, and the world around you. You can think of it as a lens or filter that you use to see the world. It’s a powerful tool that has a significant impact on your emotions, behavior, and performance.
Think about it this way – just like glasses, if you have poor vision and your glasses have the wrong prescription, your world looks blurry. But as soon as you get new lenses with the correct prescription, your world becomes clearer. The world around you hasn’t changed – only the lenses you use to see it have changed. Your mindset works the same way.
In this blog post, I’ll explore three mindset shifts —1) focusing on purpose, 2) adopting a growth mindset, and 3) embracing horizontal relationships, and concrete steps to make the changes. By making these three mindset shifts, you can transform yourself into an unstoppable self-learning machine, making your work more interesting, fulfilling, and your life more exciting. Interested? Keep reading!
1st Mindset Shift: Focus on Purpose
Do you often find yourself disengaged at work, wondering what’s in it for you? It’s time to shift your mindset and focus on purpose.
Understanding how your work contributes to your company’s mission and goals, and recognizing the impact you have on the organization and its stakeholders, can help you feel more engaged in your work.
But to truly feel fulfilled, you need to align your work with your personal mission and goals.
Here are some steps to align your work with your personal mission and goals.
1️⃣ Get familiar with your company’s mission statement.
Most companies have a mission statement that outlines their purpose, values, and goals. Take some time to read and understand your company’s mission statement.
2️⃣ Craft your own personal mission statement.
If you don’t have one, don’t worry. Check out my previous blog post on how to create a personal mission statement.
3️⃣ Compare and identify alignment and misalignment.
Compare your company’s mission statement with your personal mission statement. Do you see any common words, phrases, or actions in those two statements?
If they are very similar, great! Your company’s mission and goals are likely aligned with your own.
But if there are big misalignments, don’t panic. Identify the areas of misalignment and start exploring opportunities to bring them into alignment.
4️⃣ Explore opportunities to align your work with your purpose.
Can you find projects or tasks within your current role that align with your values and goals? Are there new opportunities within the same organization that better align with your purpose? Actively seek out these opportunities and take on projects that resonate with your values and goals.
5️⃣ Let your manager and colleagues know your values.
Don’t be afraid to communicate with your manager and colleagues about your values and goals, and how you’re working to align them with the company’s. This can help build support and understanding for your efforts, and may even lead to new opportunities for growth and development.
6️⃣ Cultivate an “autotelic” personality
Cultivating an “autotelic” personality, as outlined in Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s book, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, is ultimately the key to increasing engagement at work.
This involves setting personal goals at work, regardless of your job description. For example, if you’re a customer service representative, you can set your goal to turn a customer’s negative experience into a positive one, turning that frown upside down and sending them home with a smile. 😠 ➡ 😊
By setting a personal goal and focusing on it, you can improve your skills by incorporating feedback and continuously refining your approach. Developing an autotelic personality can help you find meaning and fulfillment in your work, and ultimately increase your engagement and productivity.
Once you’ve started focusing on your purpose, it’s time to embrace the second mindset shift: a Growth mindset.
2nd Mindset Shift: Adopt a Growth Mindset
As I mentioned in my previous blog post, “Growth Mindset Can Help You to Take the First Step,” psychologist Carol Dweck introduced the concept of a growth mindset.
A growth mindset means believing that you can learn and develop new skills and abilities with effort and practice, in contrast to a fixed mindset that views abilities and talents as unchanging. Dweck’s research suggests that embracing a growth mindset can lead to a more fulfilling life.
By adopting a growth mindset, you can overcome obstacles and setbacks and feel more motivated and empowered in your work. So, how can you adopt a growth mindset?
Here are some steps to adopt a growth mindset:
1️⃣ Start with awareness.
Recognize when you’re thinking with a fixed mindset and try to shift your perspective to a growth mindset. Pay attention to your thoughts and beliefs about your abilities and talents, and challenge them when they limit your growth.
2️⃣ Embrace challenges.
Take on challenging tasks or projects, even if you’re not sure you can complete them. Look for opportunities to stretch yourself and learn new skills. When you go out of your comfort zone, you’ll notice that your comfort zone expands with you.
3️⃣ Learn from mistakes.
Reflect on what you can learn from mistakes and how you can improve in the future. Treat mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow, rather than as failures.
4️⃣ Focus on the process, not just the outcome.
Celebrate progress, no matter how small, and focus on the skills and knowledge you’re developing. Don’t get too attached to the outcome or end result, but instead, enjoy the process of learning and growing. Don’t hesitate to praise yourself for a job well done!” 👍
5️⃣ Seek out feedback and opportunities for growth.
Ask for feedback from colleagues or managers and look for opportunities to learn and develop new skills. Be open to constructive criticism and use it to improve your work. Don’t let your ego get in the way!
3rd Mindset Shift: Vertical Relationship with Others to Horizontal One
The third mindset shift involves letting go of the idea of vertical relationships with others and embracing horizontal ones instead.
In a vertical relationship, people are often ranked based on their position, status, or achievements, which can lead to competition and feelings of inadequacy.
In contrast, a horizontal relationship removes hierarchy and competition, with everyone on a flat surface, moving forward at their own pace to become the best version of themselves.
When you make this mindset shift, you’ll no longer feel the pressure to climb the corporate ladder or reach some metaphorical mountaintop of success.
By adopting a horizontal mindset, you can see others as allies rather than rivals, and this can give you a sense of peace and allow you to focus on your personal growth.
Here are some actionable steps to help you embrace a horizontal mindset:
1️⃣ Practice empathy and understanding towards others.
2️⃣ Focus on self-improvement rather than comparing yourself to others.
3️⃣ Seek out collaborative opportunities at work.
4️⃣ Celebrate the success of others without feeling threatened or diminished.
By implementing these three mindset shifts—focusing on purpose, adopting a growth mindset, and embracing horizontal relationships—you can transform your work life into a more fulfilling and enjoyable experience. Remember, a fulfilling work life not only benefits you but also positively impacts those around you and the organization you work for.
Take Action Now!
To start making these mindset shifts, set aside some time to evaluate your current mindset:
✅ Begin by reviewing your personal mission statement and your employer’s mission statement. Do they align?
✅ If not, think about what steps you can take to make them more aligned.
✅ Identify specific projects or tasks that will challenge you and help you grow at work.
✅ Develop an autotelic personality and set a personal goal that aligns with your purpose, then actively work towards it.
Remember, the journey to a more fulfilling and engaging work life is ongoing. Continue striving to improve your mindset and take consistent action towards your goals.
With persistence and dedication, you can transform your work into an opportunity for growth and personal development.
Keep moving forward and embracing these mindset shifts to create a work life that’s truly meaningful and rewarding.