Mindset Shift

The Mindset Shift: Overcoming Obstacles with a Growth Mindset3 min read

by Dr Olivia Ong

Are you finding things a bit stressful?

Are you like me, with days filled with back-to-back appointments, rounds, and emergency calls? The demands of being a Doctor are relentless, and the stakes are often high.

Despite the chaos, I’ve discovered that a mindset shift into cultivating a growth mindset approach has been essential for navigating these challenges and finding fulfilment in my profession.

Embracing the Learning Process

One of the most significant mindset shifts I’ve made is embracing the learning process. In medicine, the landscape is constantly evolving with new research, technologies, and treatments. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the need to stay current. However, adopting a growth mindset means seeing these changes as opportunities for growth rather than threats.

Practical Tip: Allocate Time for Continuous Learning

Dedicate at least 15 minutes each day to learning something new related to your field. This could be reading a medical journal article, attending a webinar, or discussing a case with a colleague. This consistent effort helps build knowledge and keeps you engaged with the latest advancements.

Viewing Challenges as Opportunities

Every day, I encounter complex cases and difficult decisions. Early in my career, these challenges often felt like insurmountable obstacles. With a growth mindset, I’ve learned to view them differently. Each challenge is now an opportunity to develop my skills and improve my practice.

Practical Tip: Reflect on Your Experiences

After a particularly challenging day, take a few minutes to reflect on what you learned. Write down key takeaways and consider how you can apply these lessons in the future. This practice not only enhances your skills but also helps you maintain a positive perspective.

Cultivating Resilience

Resilience is crucial in medicine. Setbacks and failures are inevitable, whether it’s a treatment that didn’t go as planned or a difficult patient interaction. A growth mindset helps me see these setbacks as part of the journey rather than defining moments.

Practical Tip: Practice Self-Compassion

When things don’t go as expected, treat yourself with the same kindness you would offer a friend. Acknowledge the effort you put in and remind yourself that mistakes are opportunities to learn and grow. This self-compassion fosters resilience and prevents burnout.

Building Collaborative Relationships

Medicine is not a solo endeavour. Collaboration with colleagues, nurses, and other healthcare professionals is vital. A growth mindset encourages me to value these relationships and seek out diverse perspectives.

Practical Tip: Engage in Peer Learning

Create a regular forum with colleagues to discuss cases, share knowledge, and support each other. This can be a formal meeting or an informal chat over coffee. Peer learning not only enhances your knowledge but also builds a strong support network.

The power behind a mindset shift

Adopting a growth mindset has transformed how I approach my work as a doctor. It allows me to thrive amidst challenges and continue evolving both professionally and personally.

By embracing this mindset shift of continuous learning, viewing challenges as opportunities, cultivating resilience, and building collaborative relationships, I’ve found greater fulfillment in my career.


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If you have any questions or feedback regarding this article and any of the issues it raises, or if you’d like to get in touch to find out more about fulfilling your true potential I would love to hear from you.

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