Dianna Kokoszka is a Bestselling Author, Entrepreneur, Keynote Speaker and Mentor. As an award-winning business leader, she has established herself as a prominent figure in the business world, developing many leaders during her longevity. Dedicating 13 years as CEO of KW MAPS Coaching and Training at Keller Williams Realty International, she played a pivotal role in propelling the company to become the largest and most profitable coaching enterprise in the real estate industry!

How to Shift Gears in Your Career

The road to success is not smooth. It will be riddled with potholes, curves, detours, and speed bumps. It wouldn’t be accurate to say that I traveled from success to success in my career — it was more from failure to failure.

There were days when I felt physically and mentally exhausted, when the price seemed too high, yet I learned that you must be willing to go through failure in order to get to success. 

There are neverending obstacles to push through; you are never done when it comes to progressing in your career. Perseverance is absolutely key. Challenges come along to strengthen you, to encourage you to become more. 


Embrace a Growth Mindset — Free Your Mind from Limitation

Mindset comes into play precisely in the moments where we make a choice. Do we see ourselves as the helpless victim, a pawn, a non-valuable player in our field? Or do we see ourselves as heroes and overcomers, refusing to be determined or defined by our not-so-great moments? Our mindset is revealed not by what happens to us but by how we choose to see and then respond.

Successful people possess a growth mindset. They know the past is gone, the future is inaccessible, and choices happen in the present. They constantly work to wrestle the not yet into being and understand skills can be grown. They live in the now, yet they are not content with the now. 

A growth mindset means viewing challenges and failures as an opportunity to learn. It means acknowledging that making mistakes is a natural part of the learning process and celebrating effort and progress. It means seeking honest, constructive feedback and seeing it as an opportunity to improve.

The degree to which your mindset is focused on growth or staying fixed is directly influenced by the decisions you make or neglect to make each day. Possessing a limiting versus a liberating mindset informs how we respond to the challenges in our path. Below are seven ways in which you can shift your mindset to help you catapult your career.


Entitlement versus Gratitude

Entitlement will only get you so far. In order to get the most out of your experiences you must cultivate an attitude of gratitude. 

There are a few ways of doing this, such as focusing on what you have, not what you lack. Are you bitter you didn’t get that promotion, or are you grateful that you have the time to learn the skills necessary for that promotion? Are you constantly competing with your coworkers, or are you recognizing and appreciating the ways in which they’ve helped you get where you are now? 

Have you extended your gratitude in ways that help your community, such as volunteer work, or communicated your gratefulness to those who have given you the gifts of time and opportunity? No one succeeds alone; it’s imperative to recognize your reality and practice gratefulness. 


Doubt versus Confidence

Doubt is negative self-talk. We must constantly identify and challenge this negativity and say positive affirmations that counteract the limiting energy. 

Focus on your strengths and past successes. When is the last time you’ve taken small steps outside of your comfort zone to experience new things? Learned a new skill that, years down the road, got you an unbelievable offer at your dream company? Each small success will boost your confidence and motivate you to take on bigger challenges.

Keep a “victory log” of things you accomplish and the things that give you a sense of accomplishment. When doubt creeps in, and it will from time to time, grab your victory log and read it to remind yourself of all you are and all you are becoming. If you impressed clients with your witty and magnetic personality last week, you can do it again! Don’t compare yourself to other people, and avoid those who bring you down. We do it enough to ourselves — we don’t need that energy from others.  

And most importantly, borrow others’ beliefs in you — people who encourage and inspire you. They see you for who you truly are and are not as biased as your self-perception. 


Scarcity versus Abundance

We’re always looking over our shoulders, believing there’s something around the corner ready to take everything we’ve worked so hard for. However, it’s simply not true. There is plenty of success, learning, and growth to go around!

Instead, you must reframe your thoughts by looking around and noticing all the abundance that surrounds you. Opportunities are abundant; they’re never lost, just found by someone else. Stay abundant-minded by learning from experience and seize the next opportunity!

When you see a person get promoted ahead of you and you know you’re not qualified, say, “I’m just not there yet!”  Train your brain to know that in the future there will be a time where you have the qualifications to reach your goals and go beyond them.

Read books, articles, and attend seminars geared toward your career goals. Interview people you admire for their abundance mindset, asking questions around their thoughts and perspectives more than just techniques, as the same actions with the wrong mindset will not produce the same results.

For many, visualizing abundance means creating a “dream board” of your short-, mid-, and long-term goals with everything they desire. It’s up to you how you motivate yourself to practice abundance.


Negative versus Positive

We’ve all been on the self-doubt train more times than we can count. Instead, reframe your negative thoughts by focusing on what could go right.

This takes many forms, such as writing positive affirmations and saying them daily. Remember to write them in the present tense such as, “I am a person who sees the missing pieces and knows how to solve them. I am always driven, focused, and working toward my goals.”

You are who you surround yourself with. Seek positive environments; look for and attract others who possess the same mindset, that set goals and take action toward them. When things don’t work out as planned, don’t be too hard on yourself. Learn and quickly look for other ways to obtain the results desired.


Hubris versus Humility

Everyone has weaknesses — but the inverse is also true. Recognize your limitations and weaknesses, for no one is perfect. Everyone has their strengths, so it’s important to analyze and lean into them! 

The first step is to actively listen to others. Show interest in what they have to say and embrace constructive feedback. Don’t let ego get in the way of growth. It is a surefire way to cultivate empathy by putting yourself in others’ shoes as you consider their perspectives, acknowledging how your actions and words affect them.

Sometimes it’s important to take the focus off of yourself and gain awareness of those around you. (Read: get over yourself, for we all have room to grow.) Encourage others, congratulate them on their accomplishments, and always show respect! You never know what they’re going through — or what opportunities they may throw your way due to your kindness.


Judgment versus Curiosity 

This one is a true mind-opener. We’re all in our own heads and are used to judging others in the same way our inner voice judges us — harshly, no room for error, assuming the worst. The most crucial aspect of shifting judgment into curiosity is to refrain from making assumptions and ask questions instead.

Embrace uncertainty and not needing to have all the answers. As an employee, and especially as a leader, others need to know you are open to ideas other than your own. Practice letting go of the need to be right, seek out new experiences, and cultivate an environment that allows others to be comfortable being wrong around you as well. Practice self-reflection and try not to make rash decisions due to first judgements or impressions. 


Fear versus Faith

Having faith in your ability to succeed, overcome, and flourish is paramount to identifying what scares you and letting go of that fear. 

Work to be in the present moment. Don’t think up what-if scenarios of your past to inform your future. Nurture as much positive self-talk as possible to strengthen your belief in yourself. For example, exercises like writing your fears about your career trajectory down on paper and then burning the paper can allow your fears to melt away, eliminating their power over your life. 

Practice living in your fear for a moment. Look for ways to do the things that scare you on a small scale — and you’ll be shocked how out-of-proportion your fears seem. Look for facts to help you fight fear and bolster your faith. We cannot be certain about all things, but oftentimes our fears are rooted in misunderstanding or a lack of information.

These mindset shifts are not easy! I recommend focusing on one mindset at a time so you can make tangible progress toward your goals in a measurable way. You might start by choosing the one limiting mindset that really hits home for you — the one that makes you shake your head and say, “Yes, this is blocking my goals.”

Trust the process as you work on change one day at a time, over and over. As Earl Nightingale says, “Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality.” Focus on possibilities and move toward success.

Dianna Kokoszka is a Bestselling Author, Entrepreneur, Keynote Speaker and Mentor. As an award-winning business leader, she has established herself as a prominent figure in the business world, developing many leaders during her longevity. Dedicating 13 years as CEO of KW MAPS Coaching and Training at Keller Williams Realty International, she played a pivotal role in propelling the company to become the largest and most profitable coaching enterprise in the real estate industry!

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