The Power of Yet

I’ve been researching a growth mindset for kids lately.  This is a bit proactive on my part as I believe my son will be facing many challenges in the next 6-9 months as we continue to navigate a pandemic environment.  The more I read, the more I kept thinking “this stuff applies to me just as much as him!”  Now, I’ve studied growth mindset before.  Especially for professional purposes as I lead through major changes at work.  Growth mindset has a significant impact in a transformational environment. 

What my recent refresher on growth mindset really provided was the idea that growth mindset is a daily practice, and that my brain can grow and stretch even in the smallest ways. 

What is Growth Mindset?

A growth mindset is the belief that our basic abilities can be developed and improved through dedication and hard work.  This powerful belief is what helps us take on challenges and new experiences so that we can improve ourselves and create a life we desire. 

The opposite of a growth mindset is a fixed mindset.  According to Carol Dweck, a psychologist who studies motivation and why people succeed, a fixed mindset makes you believe you are stuck in the “tyranny of now.”  What you have now is all you get.  Below is a great diagram that compares a growth mindset to a fixed mindset. 

Where do you see yourself most of the time?

How to Develop a Growth Mindset

Lucky for us, a growth mindset can be fostered at any time in your life, and really should be throughout your entire life.  Throughout the month of September, I’ll be sharing with you just how to do this.  But let’s start with one of my all time favorites.

Yet.  A word that lets you know anything is possible. 

Add the word YET to the end of the sentences you say when you get frustrated.

I can’t do this…yet.

This doesn’t work…yet.

I don’t know…yet.

It doesn’t make sense…yet.

I don’t get it…yet.

I’m not good at this…yet.

The bridge to “yet” is founded in how we praise each other.  A person with a growth mindset will praise effort, focus, continuous improvement, and progress.  With this type of praise, we allow ourselves to embrace challenges and take risks, even when we know that it will take effort and we will experience difficulty along the way.  Somewhere over time, the meaning of effort and difficulty came to equal “bad.”  That is just not true!  When you have to give a lot of effort and face difficulty or challenges, it means you are striving to grow! 

Think of something you would really like to be able to do?  What is the goal you want to reach for?  Write down all the reasons you think you can’t achieve it. 

Now, have the courage to add YET and go for it!

Here is an example for you using a real goal of mine from this past summer.  When I thought about creating Talent Uplifted and launching a virtual presence, I decided I really wanted a website.  I had never built a website before and was a bit intimidated.  Here are all the reasons, straight from my pro/con list regarding “should I start my own business.”  Look how powerful they become when I add YET to the end of them.

I have never created a website…YET

I don’t know how to create a website…YET

I don’t know what platform is best for a blog…YET

I’m not good at creative design…YET

I don’t have enough time to focus on it…YET

It turned out none of these were a real barrier.  I gave myself permission to be new at something, and new that something was better than nothing.  I learned to create a website.  I asked others who blog what platform they liked best.  I created designs, and recreated designs, and recreated designs, and even outsourced my logo work to someone more experienced. I figured out how to make time and was patient with starting slow.  I knew I would grow into this business and learn as I go.  You can too!  

Start by using the power of YET to help change your perspective.

Bonus Resources – If you would like to learn more about Carol S Dweck’s work, check out her book “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” or her Ted Talk.

More Bonus Resources – I started this entire post talking about my son.  If you have kids in your life, here are a few cool resources for you.  Big Life Journal has a sweet set of pre-packaged resources, a journal, and fantastic weekly newsletter for you.  They also have a private Facebook group you can join called “Raising Kids with a Growth Mindset.”  Consider sharing the motivational music of CJ Lucky.  Here is one of his songs called “The Power of Yet.” 

Subscribe to the Talent Uplifted blog to receive weekly thought-provoking emails that will ignite your thinking and motivate you to take action. 

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These blog posts are meant to be thought-provoking. We encourage you to use your deep thinking skills and apply this to your own growth and development in a way that is meaningful to you! If you choose to respond or start a conversation on this, we ask that you practice professionalism at all times.

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Expand and Renew Your Personal Capacity

In today’s world, we are all trying to figure out how to do more in the same 24 hour cycle we’ve always been given.  Usually we think, “If I could just manage my time better…”  or “If I rearrange my schedule to look like…”  And we keep doing that over and over. Some research suggests that we should ditch the idea of time management because time is finite.  Instead, we should focus on increasing our personal capacity which has everything to do with energy management.

Energy, unlike time, can be expanded and regularly renewed with intentional practices. 

Just sit on that concept for a few minutes. 

This article written by Tony Schwartz and Catherine McCarthy breaks down this idea of energy management.  https://hbr.org/2007/10/manage-your-energy-not-your-time  I’ll be honest.  The first time I read this I thought they were just creatively presenting a bunch of information we already know.  Eat well.  Exercise. Get enough sleep.  Take deep breaths. Practice gratitude.  The list goes on.  But then I read it again.  This time recognizing the wholistic approach they used and called “The Energy Project.”

What really struck me about energy management is that it is 100% uniquely what works for you.  It’s about what intentional practices work best for you, your energy, your job, and your lifestyle.   If you can maximize your energy, you will increase your capacity.    

Schwartz and McCarthy break energy down into four categories:

The Body (Physical Energy)

We already know that nutrition, exercise, and sleep are important for our energy levels.  This section shares some examples on how to create rituals that renew your physical energy.  I really appreciate the non-traditional examples such as not skipping meals, working walks into your day, and the power of short breaks. 

The Emotions (Quality of Energy)

This is all about emotional intelligence.  Do you recognize when you are in fight or flight mode?  Research shows that this happens to use several times a day!  Can you fuel positive energy back to yourself? Deep breathing, gratitude practices, positive self-talk, and seeking alternative perspectives all can help you renew your energy.

The Mind (Focus of Energy)

Oh the power distractions have over our lives!  There are far too many ways for the ding of a message or email, a phone call, or knock on the door to distract us.  And in these days of working from home you can add a few more things to the list (kids, deliveries, etc…).  I really liked some of the systemic changes they suggested to ensure you have time to focus and concentrate.  Only checking email a few times a day was my favorite.  There are also opportunities to turn off instant messaging, phones, and other distractions.  The key is to communicate with your team that these are times you are unavailable (and include the reason why!).  You can get yourself some quality work time and lead by example. 

The Human Spirit (Energy of Meaning and Purpose)

Aligning your values with your everyday work and activities will definitely expand your energy.  Nothing is more motivating than doing work that really matters to you.  And yet this often feels like the hardest thing to do.  Especially when the companies we work at and the managers we work for have a lot of influence on our assignments and the work we get to do.  The one thing you can do every single day is to ask yourself “What do I want to be remembered for today?”  Finding meaning and purpose can be tough work. If you feel your life is out of alignment with your values, seek a mentor or professional coach to help you.

There are a lot of good suggestions in the article that might be just the golden nugget you need to read and try out.  Whatever you do, make it YOURS.  Pick one thing and try it out.

I’m currently testing out the suggestion to time block email management.  I only check my email at certain times so I don’t lose minutes constantly checking it or get side tracked when a non-priority task comes through.  This allows me to focus my energy on higher value work.  I’ll let you know how it goes! 

Now it’s your turn.  Invest in your energy.  Increase your capacity.  Live more intentionally.

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These blog posts are meant to be thought-provoking. We encourage you to use your deep thinking skills and apply this to your own growth and development in a way that is meaningful to you! If you choose to respond or start a conversation on this, we ask that you practice professionalism at all times.

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I’m melting! 8 Tips on How to Survive the Intense Heat (aka – pressure!)

These last weeks of summer are sweltering and seem to add pressure to already chaotic times. We’ve just adjusted to the new, pandemic-driven way to live summer and now the early signs of a changing season are upon us.  If you are a parent, caregiver, or teacher you have been living the realities of the new school year.  And if you support one of those aforementioned people, you’ve been hearing all about it!  One word describes it all: overwhelming.  The pressure is on to manage it all with grace. 

Life often gives us intense periods of time where we have a lot going on and the pressure to perform well in multiple areas of our life becomes intense.  Just when we need energy and clarity of mind the most, we feel stressed, sluggish, tired, and overwhelmed. 

So what do we do about it?  There is no magic formula, but there is a series of 8 questions you can ask yourself every day and some simple actions you can take to feel some instant improvement.      

Have I spent time outside in fresh air?

Quick action – step outside for just 5 minutes (yes even when it is hot or rainy).  My favorite times to step outside are first thing in the morning with my coffee, right before I eat lunch, and in the evening before the bedtime routine starts in our house. 

Pro Tip – no electronics!  Just be an observer and breath. 

Have I eaten regular meals?

This one is going to seem obvious…Quick action – eat a full meal at the next designated meal time.  You will kill your energy by skipping meals or snacking your way through the day. 

Pro Tip – if you are in back to back meetings all day, suggest that one of them become a working lunch and everyone takes the time to eat (turn the video off if necessary).  Not only will you get the nutrition you need, but so will your co-workers.  A win for everybody! 

Have I showered?

Seems like a silly question to ask, but with so much remote work it is easy to skip this step a little more often than you think.  Quick action – go wash your face, your wrists, and the back of your neck with cold water.  This will get you an instance rejuvenation.  Wearing makeup?  Use a cold towel to pat your face, especially your temples and around the eyes. 

Pro Tip – this works even when you have showered and will give you a quick pick me up. 

Have I moved my body today?

Quick action – stand up.  Yep, it’s that simple.  If you have been sitting a lot, standing will help your blood start to flow.  If possible, go for a short a walk.  It will take you places (okay – that was a terrible joke).  I work from home and find that even walking and looking out each door in my house is enough movement to bring me back to life a bit.  Ideally, scheduling a solid 30 minute walk or your favorite workout will bring you the best results. 

Pro Tip – add some music to your movement.  It will give your brain a boost too and even make you smile (another energy boosting move!).

Am I getting enough sleep?

The answer is probably no.  LOL.  Quick action – take a nap.  Neuroscience has taught us a lot lately about the power of naps.  Short, 10-20 minutes naps can be rejuvenating and give you an energy boost.  Longer naps (2-3 hours) can increase your creativity.  I have found that 6-7 hours of sleep at night combined with an afternoon nap a few days a week is a good combo.  I promise you can find some time in your day for a nap, even if you have kids around. 

Pro Tip – set a timer for 20 minutes and have everybody in the house go to a different room for some quiet time.  Let them play with toys, read books, or just roll around singing to themselves.  This will give you some much needed space and a moment to rest your own eyes.

Have I connected with someone I love?

How easy it is to find ourselves feeling alone during stressful, high pressure times.  Good thing it is easy to resolve!  Quick action – call or text someone you love.  Trust me – they love receiving the message “I needed a quick break so I thought I would call you.”  Being that person you thought of gives them the warm fuzzies.  Hearing their voice or exchanging some quick texts will remind you that you are not alone. 

Pro Tip – no complaining about work or your pressure.  Keep the conversation quick and light-hearted.  This will reduce your stress and give you a bigger energy boost.

Have I been comparing my real life to other people’s highlight reel?

Ugh – let’s just say this is too easy to do.  Good thing you can counter any negative, jealous feelings pretty quickly.  Quick action – First, be genuinely happy for the person you are comparing yourself too.  They are a person in your life for a reason.  We want good things for our family and friends.  Second, take a moment to grab a piece of scratch paper and write down 5 things you are grateful for in your life.  Gratitude quickly shows you your own highlight reel. 

Pro Tip – if you see someone who really seems to have it together, reach out and connect with them personally.  You will gain insights and benefits that help you no matter what.  They will either share some tips on how they are making it happen, or you will see that they too have strife (or maybe even both!).    

Have I been thinking kind thoughts to myself?

Working on a big project at work?  Do you ever find yourself thinking that your teammate seems to be cool as a cucumber, and you wonder why you feel like a hot mess?  Yep – there you go beating yourself up.  Quick action – repeat after me: “It is okay to feel <insert emotion here>.”  Research shows us that naming our emotions and telling ourselves it is okay actually triggers our brain to start to counteract that emotion.  Humans are so cool! 

Pro Tip – see above for connecting with someone you love.  They will remind you that you are a pretty good person!

When you are feeling overwhelmed take a deep breath, ask yourself these questions, and then choose 1-2 of them and take quick action.  This will give you some momentum to build on so you can tackle another set of tasks.  Pro Tip – ask yourself these questions at the end of the day too!  A couple of quick actions to improve your mood in the evening will help you end your day on a positive note.

Subscribe to the Talent Uplifted blog to receive weekly thought-provoking emails that will ignite your thinking and motivate you to take action. 

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These blog posts are meant to be thought-provoking. We encourage you to use your deep thinking skills and apply this to your own growth and development in a way that is meaningful to you! If you choose to respond or start a conversation on this, we ask that you practice professionalism at all times.

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New Beginnings – the Story of Talent Uplifted

I’ve dreamed of starting my own business for years now. I’ve always wanted to help people thrive at work and engage more in their communities. My own work experience as a leader in Human Resources showed me the opportunity that existed to help people on a more personal level. But I was always afraid to try my hand at my own business.

And then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. I lost my job thanks to layoff, and found myself at home with my son and wondering what to do. And then I saw it – the opportunity. I was given the gift of time and security (thank goodness for my husband’s job!). If now wasn’t the time to go for it, I didn’t know when would be. So I spent the spring and a good part of the summer getting to work and designing a business that I hope helps people thrive at work and in their communities!

Talent Uplifted is a designed from scratch, based on what I’ve experienced, the conversations I have had with so many wonderful people who want and deserve more, and what I am learning everyday about the future of work.

My sincere hope is that what you discover through talent uplifted gives you the perspective you need, the educational programs and services you are looking for, and opportunity to step into yourself and impact the world around you!

It’s Personal – Development Your Way

Many of us desire to improve the world around us.  That idea, however, is often overwhelming.  Where do you start?  Will your efforts make a difference?  Do I have the energy to take on more in my life?  Big questions to ponder.  And all too often we can ponder our way into inaction.  Life moves on without us even realizing it. 

I believe that the first step to improving the world is for each individual to work on themselves.  A focus on making yourself better so that you may then help others.  All improvement is a journey that includes education, action, and reflection in an ever-evolving cycle.  Below is a common visual used to show how you impact change.  It all starts with YOU. 

Behind your actions is your why. 

Why do you want the world around you to change?  Why is it important to you?

Your “why” will drive what you focus on and how you go about it.  So take a minute and think about it.  Write it down even.

Why do you want the world around you to change? 

Now keep this in mind as you take the first step which is to educate yourself in some way.  Education comes in many forms, some formal (like a class or webinar) and some informal (like reading, having a dialogue, listening to a podcast).  There are endless possibilities.  If you engage in just one instance of education, my friend you are developing yourself.  Congratulations!  I’m so proud of you! You deserve to learn and grow so that you can make your life, and the world around you, a better place.

Subscribe to the Talent Uplifted blog to receive weekly thought-provoking emails that will ignite your thinking and motivate you to take action. 

Follow us on Facebook and/or LinkedIn.

These blog posts are meant to be thought-provoking. We encourage you to use your deep thinking skills and apply this to your own growth and development in a way that is meaningful to you! If you choose to respond or start a conversation on this, we ask that you practice professionalism at all times.

Thrive – Because You Deserve It!

I love to work.  Especially because my profession in Human Resources allows me to help people everyday.  When I reflect on my experiences, one aspect that keeps nagging at me is how I’ve seen countless people – good people, smart people – miserable at work.  Think about it.  Out of your last 5 working days, how many days have you come satisfied and content (or dare I say, even happy) with your day at work?  If you come up with a number that is 3 or higher, double check yourself and ask someone you talk to every day (partner, family member, friend) and see if they agree.

There is plenty of research out there that shows the rise of stress, burnout, and mental health issues on the workplace. Here is good article sharing statistics about stress. There are more you can find with just a quick google search.

On top of what we face in the work environment, we have real every day challenges both at home and in our communities. As a society, we are facing an unprecedented pandemic and intolerable acts of racism and social injustice. These all impact our work experience.

I believe we can and should enjoy our work.  I mean, we spend at least a 2080 hours a year at work.  That’s 25% of your life!  And that doesn’t count if you work more than 40 hours a week.  Nor does it count all the time you spend thinking about work while not officially working.  You deserve for your time and effort to be meaningful at least to you. And to do that, it’s important that you make the best of and most of your time working. This means growing, challenging ourselves, using a wide range of emotions, skills, and experiences, and finding purpose in how we approach our days.

Talent Uplifted was created to help you thrive at work!  It is a journey for you, and for us all. Together we can improve work experiences and workplaces.  You can enjoy what you do and even help others enjoy what they do.  Your position and job title do not matter.  Leaders are everywhere, regardless if you have a management job title. You can start by being a leader in your own life, taking ownership and action of your every day experiences.  And Talent Uplifted is here to help you do just that!

Subscribe to the Talent Uplifted blog to receive weekly thought-provoking emails that will ignite your thinking and motivate you to take action. 

Follow us on Facebook and/or LinkedIn.

These blog posts are meant to be thought-provoking. We encourage you to use your deep thinking skills and apply this to your own growth and development in a way that is meaningful to you! If you choose to respond or start a conversation on this, we ask that you practice professionalism at all times.