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Career Setbacks Got You Down? Here’s How to Get Back Up Again


Many of us take relatively minor disappointments seriously to heart. The result is that what could have been a small setback becomes a giant hurdle for future success.

Michele Hoos, on the Huffington Post, talks about how she used to see every failure as insurmountable — until she began reframing them into opportunities for growth. The whole article is worth a read, but what stood out most to me is how important positive thinking was to her path to success.

This isn’t news to most of us, of course. Everyone from management experts to the authors of The Secret have long told us that thinking of ourselves as successful will make us successful. The difference in Hoos’s approach is that it relies on adopting a growth mindset, a concept she learned from author Carol Dweck, who wrote Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.

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Dweck and Hoos believe that the most successful people are the ones who realize that their “basic qualities” can be cultivated through their efforts. In other words, a failure isn’t a sign of stupidity or lack of talent — it’s merely an “opportunity for growth.”

“It’s not about immediate perfection, it’s about confronting challenge and making progress,” Dweck writes.

That’s a small tweak in thinking that even the most self-flagellating among us can try to adopt.

Tell Us What You Think

We want to hear from you! How do you deal with career setbacks? Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter, using the hashtag #MakeItHappen.

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(Photo Credit: wadem/Flickr)

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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