Journey To Growth Mindset

serenity

I came across this article about fixed mindset vs growth mindset and it resonates with me as I have been growing and evolving from a fixed minded person to a growth minded one.

Coming from a background where failure was deemed as the end of the world — which I know many may have encountered — it was really foreign getting myself in an environment that thrives on challenges and failure. Well, I braved myself for this great opportunity ahead and promised myself to do my best.

Looking back I thought of sharing my ongoing journey since joining Andela and categorised it into three: Successes, Failures and Moving Forward(resolutions).

I have summarised failures and lessons learned at each stage and hopefully, it can be helpful to others.


Successes

Checkpoint and Simulations

I began my journey just like any other Andela fellow with simulations and checkpoints. I remember Mabishi — cohort-mate — and I sleeping late, working on our first checkpoint, which at that time seemed like the hardest project we had ever worked on. We would overthink everything, trying to cover all edge cases, adding more and better functionalities which in the end didn’t meet the basic functionalities stated on the checkpoint document. I think we redid that checkpoint about three times. It paid off eventually and I believe we did a good job. Meanwhile panda(a google analytics clone), our simulations project was underway. I had never built a project of this kind from scratch, let alone collaborate with a team, and this provided me with an opportunity to learn a lot about myself. Long story short, we were unable to finish building panda as we had to move on apprenticeship.

Apprenticeship

My perspective changed a lot during this period. This is where Pair Programming was the order of the day. Let’s face it; you are more comfortable writing code alone than when other people are watching. It’s as if you became naked in the sense that someone could easily read your flow of thought as you code. To counter this fear I kept reminding myself that perfection is a process and it can only be attained with courage and openness to feedback.

I can’t forget to mention the awesome core team … the chiefs, Alhajis and Alhajas who inspired me to greater heights, always available for a sync whenever I am stuck and just killing it every day. I am super grateful for knowing you guys and working with you.

Client engagement

Finally, I was in D1. I was happy that I was on track to becoming a world-class developer and a bit anxious that maybe I am not yet ready for the world out there.

Client waters is a whole different story that may require its own article. All I can say at this time is that I got exposed to a lot of things ranging from social, technical, cultural etc when working with my client. It was great experiencing different work ethics, working with new tools, new teams and of course different time zones.

Failures

A couple of things I failed at include:

  • Struggling with many insecurities, feeling inefficient, almost giving up when I am unable to complete a task or even achieving goals that I have set for myself.
  • Many times I doubted my personality, skills, and dreams which delayed my advancement. The moment you lose the motivation and the will to live, things just fall apart.
  • I would never celebrate any of my achievements as I deemed them negligible.
  • Fear of failure- Before taking a task I would first think about the chances of me failing and if they were high, I would just part ways with that problem.

There are a lot of things I wish I had done differently but taking a second look back I realised that without those mistakes and low moments I wouldn’t be still standing strong and working every day to become a better version of myself.

Moving Forward

I came to a conclusion that all the above failures came about due to the mindset I had. With time it became apparent that I needed to shift my approach to life, move from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. To know that I need to be a lifelong learner to attain mastery and that failure is part of the process.

Throughout this time I found courage, solace and inspiration in reading other people stories, surrounding myself with friends who encourage me and point me out when I am wrong.

I wake up every day knowing that I want to take a step at a time, enjoying the journey.

I am grateful to all my friends, colleagues, facilitators, and everyone at Andela who affected my progress in one way or another.

I have developed a couple of principles throughout this experience and I shared them below:

  • Love yourself.
  • Love the people around you.
  • Imagine the impossibilities — think and look beyond what you see.
  • Remember YOLO — procrastinating isn’t an option.
  • Take risks — Explore.
  • Remember who you are — Don’t lose yourself in pursuit of things of this world.