• michellesengara

Success is an Inside Job.

Talking about LOVE isn't just for hippies anymore!

I was reminded today of the essential nature of compassion in our pursuit of excellence. There has been a lot of research in recent years on the power of a growth mindset in achieving both personal and professional 'success', but what does this kind of attitude look like and sound like in practice?

In business as in life, many of us have taken the need to develop a growth mindset to heart, but in our attempt to open ourselves up to new possibilities, take risks, and face our fears of failure, we have ironically failed to first identify our default mindset. If you were hard on yourself before you started trying new things and challenging yourself, then it's more than likely that your attempt to cultivate a growth mindset has resulted in more destructive self-narratives that only serve to shame and de-motivate you: "I can't believe I'm still not improving... I'm trying so hard to change, but it's not working... everyone seems to get this, so I must be doing something wrong".

This internal storyteller is critical to the development of a growth mindset!

You could be talking the good talk about "failing forward" or "leaning in" to challenges, all the while chastising yourself for not reaching your definition of "success" fast enough or in the way you had hoped. To really walk the walk towards growth, you have to take those first few scary steps inside, into your heart and mind to identify how you feel about you, how you talk to yourself in moments of stress, how worthy you feel, how much love you have for that inner child within all of us. Everything you think and do reflects that primary relationship. The relationship you have with yourself.

Telling stories of self-love and compassion: "I'm a good person... I'm worthy of success... I'm perfectly imperfect... My past doesn't dictate my future..." creates an internal narrative of trust, compassion and confidence. This strong foundation is what a sustainable growth mindset is built upon. Struggle and self-doubt are inescapable elements of the human condition and can in fact be helpful catalysts towards innovation, but an authentic attitude of acceptance and positive action starts by embracing self-love as more than just a hippie ideal.

If you don't believe me, take Beyoncé's word for it - as she ends her award-winning song "Pretty Hurts", with the powerfully simple question we should all be asking ourselves:

Are you happy with yourself?

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