Adaptive Human Capital Blog

Bring a Disruptive Mindset to 2023! What goal were you afraid to pursue last year?

Posted Jan 05, 2023 by Rick

I’d like to invite you to re-think your mindset as we approach a new year --- to push yourself toward uncomfortable goals in 2023.

I know that can sound scary, and that’s exactly why you should consider it. New research shows that growth comes from pursuing “scary” and uncomfortable goals. We actually grow through challenging ourselves … through making ourselves uncomfortable. Indeed, we become more resilient when we prove to ourselves that we can overcome difficulties. (Turns out, your grandfather was right … whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!)

Let’s face it, we are living through a terribly disruptive time. I call it an Age of Disruption. People are stressed, anxious and feeling “stuck” waiting for normal to return, but, of course, it won’t. We’re not going back to normal, so we better figure out how to manage change more effectively. As individuals, that means we need to push through our fear of failure, our fear of uncertainty. As leaders in organizations, that means we have an obligation to help others to do the same.

As this new study shows, our “normal” tendency to avoid emotions like nervousness, stress, and discomfort can hold us back from growth. Although we feel like we should avoid them, personal growth and fulfillment comes from working through these feelings … even welcoming them as a sign of growth and development. The researchers explain their results this way: “Growing is often uncomfortable; we found that embracing discomfort can be motivating. People should seek the discomfort inherent in growth as a sign of progress instead of avoiding it.”

Over the past two years, I’ve been calling on leaders to adopt a Disruption by Design mindset and to shape a culture that challenges the status quo and calls for disruptive innovation in their organizations -- to allow people to try, and even to fail (as long as they fail fast and fail forward). At the individual level, our Individual Resilience Assessment measures one’s natural tendencies when coping with change and uncertainty using traits like “openness to experience.”

So, whether your goal is to improve your own coping skills, or to lead others in doing so, becoming more comfortable with your discomfort is a key. Try a disruptor’s mindset to push yourself through your fears and open your mind to new ways of doing things. I’m not saying this is going to be easy, but I am saying it will be worth it! Make 2023 a year of disruptive innovation and watch your sense of accomplishment and life balance grow!

Adaptive Human Capital applies the science of Industrial-Organizational Psychology to developing more adaptive human systems – at the individual, organizational and societal levels. In today’s global economy, organizations must move at the pace of change. We use proven, research-based approaches to helping people better manage change and foster a more open and risk-tolerant culture in the organizations we serve.