May 12, 2020

Back to basics: surviving change and achieving success

Develop the mindsets you need to recognize opportunities, learn, grow, and survive change

The reality of our world is this: Crisis, change, and all things disruptive will never stop coming toward us, today or in the future. Whether you’re a business leader driving the success of your organization or an individual driving your aspirations and career growth, we all care about the same things — surviving change, overcoming challenges, and reaching new heights of success.

How we view each episode of adversity and how we react are equally important if we want to survive change and succeed in our goals. There is always a lesson to learn from everything. The question is: Are you willing to open your eyes and mind to new ways of learning and working?

This is why mindset matters. You hear it everywhere and at a certain point, you may feel it’s just part of the noise of management and business jargon. But there’s no denying that mindset is what has got us to where we are today, for better or worse. This is why it’s crucial to shift to the “right” mindset.

Like any essential foundation, your mindset needs to be strong and sturdy to withstand the weathering change.

Here are some examples of strong mindsets to work on:

Growth Mindset

Carol Dweck, a psychologist, and professor at Stanford University says that we all operate with two mindsets — fixed and growth. The fixed side tells us that our intelligence and capabilities are fixed. It tells us that we need natural talent to succeed. The growth mindset, on the other hand, tells us that intelligence and talent can be developed, that’s if we learn, practice, and make mistakes.

Outward Mindset

As explained by the American author and business consultant, Dr. C Terry Warner, it is about seeing beyond yourself. Dr. Warner also states we have two mindsets, which he identifies as inward and outward. Inward focuses on our own goals, with other people viewed either as obstacles or vehicles for achieving them.

Meanwhile, the outward mindset sees people as people, with motivations and goals equally important as our own. If we want to see true success, we must work together to achieve a collective goal.

Agile Mindset

It tells us that we can learn and adapt to change, but we must do so with speed if we want to survive and succeed in the changing world.

There are many other great mindsets we can develop that are not on this list, but it doesn’t mean we can’t learn to develop them.

Here are some ways to develop the mindset to face any challenge and achieve the success we aim for.

Begin with mastering self-awareness

Understanding your state of mind is the first step to understanding yourself and the mindset you function in. In different scenarios and settings, your mindset can shift, and understanding this will give you an insight into your emotions and how you react to certain situations.

Being aware that you can also be your worst critic is also important. The voice in your head that tells you that you cannot achieve your goals comes from fear and insecurity. If you can catch yourself before allowing these thoughts to overtake you, you’ll soon realize that your chances of achieving your goals begin with trying.

As the famous Nike slogan goes: just do it!

The practice is possibly the most important part of surviving change and achieving success. While learning new knowledge certainly helps, you can help yourself, even more, when you work on applying that knowledge and even making mistakes.

Mistakes and failure aren’t separate from growth and success

If you look at every positive and strong mindset concept, they all teach us to learn. We cannot truly understand success if we don’t first understand and learn about all the things that could go wrong; this is where mistakes and failures turn into lessons that we can apply to our growth.

Mindset is the most powerful element of growth and success. It dictates whether you’re moving quickly toward irrelevance or toward growth and success. The good news is, we can all develop the mindset for success — that’s if we are open to it.

Arinya Talerngsri is Chief Capability Officer and Managing Director at SEAC – Southeast Asia’s Lifelong Learning Center. She can be reached by email at Explore and experience our lifelong learning ecosystem today at