If you’re feeling trapped or uncomfortable, it’s time to create and fortify a growth mindset to move forward. You may be experiencing stagnation in your career, business, or relationships. And if this is the case, you’ll need a plan to determine where you want to be and get back on track.
I was recently interviewed by Rollis Fontenot III on his HR Maximizer Growth Monday podcast about stagnation and growth. It was an absolute honor to be invited to speak about a topic I’m incredibly passionate about. And I’d love for you all to watch the podcast interview video when you have a chance.
In this podcast episode, I discussed how to boost the growth of your business, career, or relationships after you plateau. And I provided some essential steps to help, which I wanted to share with you here.
But first, let’s define what stagnation is and what we mean when we talk about growth and having a growth mindset.
Stagnation and Your Growth Mindset
If you’ve ever felt stuck or dissatisfied with where you are, you’ve likely experienced stagnancy. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. And if we examine our lives, we’ll realize that we’ve all experienced stagnation at some point. We may not have been aware of it at the time.
But there’s more to stagnation that needs to be understood. Stagnation at its core is inactivity. In other words, it’s the lack of movement. And when there’s no movement, negativity starts to set in, and we begin to experience discomfort.
What we must understand is that humans are purpose-driven beings. We thrive when we have direction and can move toward a goal. This is why recognizing stagnation and maintaining a growth mindset is essential for personal growth.
Growth requires direction, action, and movement. And it’s critical to nurturing a positive outlook, purpose, and fulfillment in life. As such, finding clarity regarding your goals and taking action to reach them is imperative.
The actions you take don’t have to be significant. However small, each action should be executed with intention, taking care not to lose touch with others.
But how do we know when stagnation has taken hold of us? And what do we do to rekindle that growth mindset and move forward again?
The following are the steps I discussed on Rollis’ podcast to help you move out of stagnation and into growth. Let’s dive in.
Overcoming Stagnation and Instilling a Growth Mindset
Step 1: Identify Stagnation
Identifying stagnation begins with taking inventory of our current situation. The goal is to determine why we’re experiencing stagnation. Once we recognize the factors making us feel stuck, we can develop a plan to move forward.
This is the time to ask yourself some deep questions and take a moment to reflect on your answers. These questions are designed to help you recognize stagnation and gain clarity regarding why you’re stuck in this position. They’ll also play a part in helping you set a course to where you’d like to be.
These are the core questions you should ask yourself, which we’ll elaborate on below:
- Who am I?
- Where am I now?
- Does this make sense for me?
- Does it align with my values?
It could be that your employer’s workplace culture simply doesn’t sit well with you. Or perhaps you’re following a particular path because others expect it of you.
Bear in mind that no matter the situation, it must make sense for YOU. It’s not wise to make decisions about your life based on what makes sense for others. It may sound selfish, but it’s necessary for personal growth.
Identifying stagnation and answering these essential questions will ready you for the next step in your journey back to growth.
Let’s dig deeper into these critical questions, which are at the heart of your progression from stagnation to growth.
Who Am I?
Understanding your identity is crucial to personal and professional growth. This question encourages you to reflect on your strengths, weaknesses, passions, and values. By exploring your identity, you can better understand what motivates you and what you truly want out of life.
It’s essential to clarify one’s sense of self to recognize if you are stagnating and not progressing the way you want. You can develop a clearer vision for your future when you gain insight into who you are. And you can identify the changes needed to break free from stagnation.
Where Am I Now?
The second question prompts you to assess your current situation in your career or personal life. By taking stock of your accomplishments, challenges, and areas of dissatisfaction, you can determine whether you are experiencing stagnation.
Be honest and objective when evaluating your present circumstances. Recognizing the need for change can be uncomfortable, but it’s a necessary step toward developing a growth mindset. By understanding where you are now, you can more effectively plan your next steps and set realistic, achievable goals.
Does This Make Sense for Me?
The next step is to evaluate whether your career or life choices align with your true self. This question encourages you to examine your actions and decisions. It’s intended to determine whether they make sense based on your passions, skills, and long-term goals.
If you find yourself in a situation that doesn’t align with who you are or what you want, it indicates stagnation. Be truthful and consider whether you are pursuing a path that makes sense. If not, it’s time to explore new opportunities and make necessary changes.
Does it Align with My Values?
Consider your values and whether your current situation aligns with those values. Our values are the guiding principles that shape our decisions. And when our actions and choices don’t align with our values, it can lead to dissatisfaction and stagnation.
By examining the alignment between your values and your current situation, you can determine if you’re living authentically and staying true to yourself. If you identify a disconnect, it’s essential to reassess your priorities. Then make changes that bring you closer to living a life in harmony with your values.
Step 2: Self-Motivate & Manifest
Now that you know where the issues lie, it’s time to exercise some self-motivation. As a motivational speaker and life coach, this is something I speak about often. Ask yourself how you can move forward and become visual about your goals.
I prefer to write things down with pen and paper. And I use a vision board to map out where I want to be. You can do the same or draw up your plan on your phone, tablet, or PC. It’s crucial that you do what feels good and works for you.
Irrespective of how you document your plan, ensure that it provides you with an outline that gives you direction. And understand that there is power in committing your thoughts to paper.
Writing down your goals and formulating a plan around them is an act of manifestation. You’re speaking your intention into the universe. And taking action will attract the right opportunities into your life.
To make achieving your goals more manageable and realistic, break them down into smaller, actionable steps. This will make it easier to stay motivated and track your progress.
You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment each time you complete a step. And this will boost your confidence and drive to keep pushing forward. By setting milestones along the way, you can better maintain focus and momentum as you work towards your larger objectives.
Step 3: Radical Acceptance
You may be experiencing stagnancy because of something that’s happened in the past. Perhaps you’ve experienced a loss or disappointment when it comes to your family, relationships, or business partnerships.
The best thing you can do to garner a growth mindset is to accept the loss. It may not be easy, but accepting where you are is crucial to moving forward. When you can see the bigger picture, it becomes easier to progress and grow.
“If it didn’t work, it’s because something greater is ahead of you.” – Kurline Speaks.
Radical acceptance is a mindset. Therefore, it doesn’t necessarily have to apply to the past. Developing a radical acceptance mindset can help you deal with the present and prepare for the future.
I encourage you to exercise these tried-and-true affirmations to reinforce an attitude of radical acceptance:
- I am going to begin to prepare my emotions to accept the things I cannot change.
- I will develop the courage to change the things I can.
- And I will garner the wisdom to know the difference.
- I can move forward and succeed – It’s attainable.
Learning to accept things as they are is also an excellent way to relieve stress and reduce anxiety, both of which can lead to stagnation.
Step 4: Leverage Your Network
As they say, “Your network is your net worth”. And there’s a great deal of truth in this statement. But growing a network can be challenging, especially if socializing doesn’t come naturally to you. So, how do you put your best foot forward and develop meaningful connections in your field?
I believe that you have to be open and step outside your comfort zone. It’s time to be intentional about your career and your business. This is when you need to make big moves to create a significant impact.
Others are watching and depending on you. They want to know if you’re willing to step up and take the necessary risks. And they’re keen to find out if you’re the leader they’re looking for.
When you realize you can’t succeed alone, you can focus on developing key relationships with intention. Learning to engage with humility and purpose will prevent you from missing opportunities within your reach.
Networks are Opportunities
Developing a network is vital because it exposes you to opportunities you may never have had before. Someone in your network could open a door for you or connect you with someone else who can. The help you seek can sometimes come from the most unlikely source. You just never know.
“Some people come into our lives for a season and some for a lifetime.” Unknown
Not everyone in your network will be there forever. Some will be present for a “season” to provide support or assistance in a particular moment of your life. But we should recognize that “seasons” can be strategic and may lead you to your destiny.
Overcoming Networking Difficulties
As mentioned, not everyone is comfortable with the social element of networking. People tend to gravitate toward what they’re familiar with, which could leave you excluded if you don’t know anyone. But there are ways to overcome exclusion and initiate those essential introductions.
Granted, not everyone is going to hit it off. But that doesn’t mean we can’t exercise humility and connect on a human level. In fact, chances are that many others feel the same way you do.
I speak from experience when I say that exclusion is a difficult hurdle to clear. But I’ll tell you what I did to overcome this networking obstacle. And it usually begins with me asking: How do I ensure the next person doesn’t feel the way I just felt?
“The pressures of life will form your character and help you learn some valuable lessons. And then you’ll be able to share that and teach others.” – Kurline Speaks.
First, think about why you might be experiencing this reaction from others. Consider their mindset and what you can do to switch that around. Then find a way to spark a conversation with someone and begin by complimenting them.
Delivering a compliment is a great way to make someone feel comfortable and ignite conversation. You never know what impact the person you’ve engaged with might have in your life and vice versa.
Consider joining networking groups and online forums or attending events related to your goals. Look for opportunities where you can connect with others on a similar journey. Doing this will help you build a strong and meaningful network.
Step 5: Build Your Community
Some might be wondering: Isn’t network and community the same thing? And while it’s easy to understand why some might place these in the same category, they are very different. Let’s break it down.
Network: Your network is typically linked to your business or career. And it’s built to provide support and opportunities for career and business growth.
Community: On the other hand, your community is your tribe. It comprises people you have a more intimate relationship with. These are individuals or groups you can be more vulnerable with. And it’s a group of people who care enough to help each other in various areas of life.
Your community doesn’t have to be a large group of people. And there isn’t a particular number that defines a community. But I believe there should be at least three individuals in your community.
When more than two people come together, it fosters a healthy and necessary diversity of thoughts, perspectives, and attitudes. All of which are essential for growth and nurturing your growth mindset.
Leverage your community for support in times of stagnation. And learn to accept the advice and assistance of others in your time of need. Surrounding yourself with like-minded, positive individuals can also be a powerful source of motivation and inspiration.
Share your goals with friends, family, or colleagues who can offer encouragement, advice, or even act as accountability partners. A support network can help you stay on track, overcome obstacles, and provide the motivation you need to keep moving forward.
Go Ahead – Develop Your Growth Mindset!
For some, a state of stagnancy might go unnoticed. But for others, it can be an overwhelming experience. However, it’s vital to remember that stagnancy is temporary if you take steps to move forward with purpose.
You can beat stagnancy if you remain intentional and use all the resources available to you. Remember that what you need is often in your backyard. And when building your network and community, remember you only need to engage one person at a time.
Following the steps outlined above should see you reestablishing your growth mindset and igniting personal growth.
Don’t hesitate to reach out if you’d like me to speak at your event, workplace, college, or organization or work with you one-on-one. Let’s set up a meeting and discuss how we can initiate growth together.