How to Develop a Growth Mindset During Uncertain Times
Clinical psychologist Desiree Dickerson wants everyone to know it’s okay to admit COVID-19 has us all a bit frayed. In a column on Nature, Dickerson talks about having to deal with eight days of quarantine with two children in a small apartment as her “sense of resilience” slips from her grip.
If a clinical psychologist who specializes in academic mental health and well-being had to learn how to develop a growth mindset during uncertain times, so do you.
When our minds are consumed by the spread of the coronavirus and its impact on our health, loved ones, home countries, economy and students—not to mention our research program [sic], funding or employment status, and an abrupt transition to e-learning—how do we maintain our own mental health and well-being and that of our community? – Desiree Dickerson
Once you’re past getting adjusted to working remotely, the next step is to adopt a growth mindset. If you are serious about your work, you know that means more than holding the fort. You can make progress no matter where this pandemic has left you.
Dr. Carol Dweck’s research 30 years ago led her to coin the terms “fixed mindset” and “growth mindset.” Recent studies in neuroscience have confirmed her conviction that our brains are “far more malleable than we ever knew.”
To sum up these researchers’ findings, we can change our mindset by the actions we choose to take.
Growth Mindset Actions
Though some of these may seem obvious, too many professionals fail to take any kind of structured approach toward adopting a growth mindset. Here are some simple things that will help you get a grip on what can become a stagnant situation.
Be Aware of Expectations
By now, we all know that quarantine is not the dream vacation we may have thought it would be. While you need to stay focused on the job at hand, you also should be realistic.
Having difficulty concentrating, dealing with distractions, and times of diminished motivation should be expected. While working remotely does offer opportunities for unprecedented productivity, there is a downside. Abrupt changes can cause an emotional and cognitive overload that takes time to overcome. Adaptation always takes time.
Be Proactive About Your Stress Threshold
This may seem too simplistic for an IT professional, but good sleep practices, a healthy diet, and exercise are essential for managing stress.
Develop a Growth Mindset Routine
Routine is one of your best friends when it comes to managing your headspace. Clear distinctions between non-work time and work time provide the structure your brain needs to function its best.
Know Your Red Flags
Nothing hinders a growth mindset more than ignoring your red flags. Identify what is most likely to distract you from your work and lead to a fixed mindset that says you will never be productive until everything returns to normal. If watching the latest news about COVID gets you off track, then leave that to someone else to keep up with.
One thing you don’t need on your mind while working remotely is managing your IT. There is no better time than now to investigate managed IT, so you can focus on your work.