Feedback and Setbacks: Methods for a Positive Attitude

Positive Attitude Methods - Embracing Feedback and Setbacks for Personal Growth and Success

Nothing ever goes wrong. What matters are your responses to such events.

Tomás Krause

Have you ever had a terrible boss? It came as a surprise to me to find that the majority of us take up to twenty-two months to break free from our bosses and that three out of every four individuals say that dealing with their boss is the most stressful element of their work.

To think I was the only one experiencing this!

A few years ago, I took a job at a large accounting company where I could assist with staff administration. They were decent enough individuals in their personal lives, but as employers, they were the worst I’ve ever had since they took such professional satisfaction in identifying flaws and passionately pointing them out.

Constant criticism and hostility marked each day. Regardless of our successes, we were constantly reminded of our shortcomings.

Let me be clear: I welcome constructive criticism and am always looking to better myself in the workplace. To keep my excitement and self-assurance up, I also need to know that, on occasion, my efforts are recognized and acknowledged.

After all, it’s a basic human urge to feel that one’s efforts are recognized and acknowledged.

After this continued for a few months, I had a hard time getting myself to work in the mornings for the first time in my life. Their pessimism was really eating me alive.

Instead of giving up and finding a new job, I decided to look into strategies for dealing with my whiny, negative managers. Thankfully, I learned quite a bit about “growth mindsets” and the study of positive psychology (the study of bringing out the best in people).

Carol Dweck, a psychologist from Stanford, observed that by shifting our outlook, we may significantly enhance our emotions and performance.

There are two ideas in particular that may make a difference: first, that we can increase our talents, and second, that this is as good as it gets.

It’s probably obvious to you right now as you read this. We can all make a difference, right? The truth is, however, that many of us unconsciously carry about a “fixed mindset,” thinking that our innate skills are all we have and that things can’t improve from here.

For the most part of my life, I’ve avoided attention out of fear that I’d be exposed. There’s nothing I can do to prevent people from realizing I’m not as fantastic as they once believed.

Those are the classic ideas associated with an individual with a “fixed mindset.”

Therefore, I have a bad habit of putting too much stock in short-term successes, like being the youngest General Manager ever hired at the company, as a means of self-defense and social validation.

Not wanting to set myself up for failure if possibilities don’t present themselves, I try to avoid taking on too much. Even though I make an effort to hear others out, I find it difficult to accept constructive criticism since it highlights my many weaknesses.

Dweck’s studies reveal that those who adopt a fixed mentality are more likely to stop trying to solve their issues, feel dejected and unmotivated, and develop low self-esteem as a result. Not a good fit for managers who measure success by how many things they can find wrong with their employees.

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Fortunately, Dweck’s studies have also identified a means to disprove such assumptions. A “growth mindset” allowed me to break free.

There is now, scientifically speaking, no dispute about our adaptability. Because our brains are malleable throughout our lives, we can all develop and change as we study and put forth effort. I included.

What you’re thinking of is the classic “growth mindset.”

I noticed a change at work when I began having conversations with my “fixed” thoughts, reminding myself that every complaint from my superiors was an opportunity to grow and improve. Suddenly, the criticisms stopped feeling like personal attacks, and I became enthralled by the prospect of rising to the challenges they presented.

After hearing my boss’s criticisms, I proceeded to inquire, “To ensure my comprehension, could you please provide an estimate of the success rate for our strategy?” Despite your amusement, the overwhelming majority of those who responded agreed that at least 70% of our work was excellent.

What the heck was keeping me up at night?

You shouldn’t take my word for it, however. Researchers have shown that negotiators who adopt a development mentality are more successful because they are able to see through roadblocks and create win-win deals. Managers who have a growth mentality are also better coaches because they recognize and value employee progress. (It would be perfect if it spread!)

Dweck’s research is helpful if you suffer from a “fixed mindset” and fret about the possibility of failure. Here is how she recommends you change your outlook:

1. To overcome your entrenched attitude, you must first learn to listen to your inner “voice.”

When you “approach” an issue, what story are you telling yourself? Or when you hear negative feedback?

2. Realize you can decide for yourself.

You get to decide how you’re going to handle difficulties and criticism. In a rigid worldview, you can see them as evidence that certain of your innate skills are inadequate. You may either let them discourage you or use a growth mindset to see them as opportunities to improve your approach, push yourself to new limits, and learn something new. You decide.

3. Respond with a development-minded tone of speech.

When faced with a difficult situation, do you want to avoid failing at all costs, or do you welcome it as a chance to grow?

4: Do something to adopt a growth mentality.

Eventually, you’ll have to decide for yourself which voice to listen to. It’s up to you to decide if you’ll tackle the problem head-on, learn from your mistakes, and give it another go.

My professional trajectory shifted because of this. Thanks to adopting a development mentality, I no longer feel the need to always strive for perfection. Samuel Beckett puts it better: “Ever attempted. Never before succeeded.” In any case, Just give it another shot. Do not succeed. Attempt to improve your failures.

Do you believe you can improve yourself?

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