The Second Wave of a New Normal: How Will You Respond?

People keep talking about a new normal and asking: what’s the new normal going to look like and will life be anything like pre-COVID? The reality: we’re moving into a second wave of “a new normal”. The first was exclusively working from home, fighting for internet bandwidth, home schooling while working full-time, learning how to cook versus eat out, finding a closet to work privately, wearing masks, obsessing over pandemic statistics on TV, entertaining bored children, and keeping teenagers from consuming even more technology. These were the struggles for the lucky who still had jobs. As if we didn’t have enough imbalance, we added several more responsibilities to juggle in new ways. Some people are mastering the change, while others are still trying. Now…

…the pendulum is swinging back. Just when you felt like you’d gotten command of this new way of balancing work and home, your employer talks about bringing you back into the office. But this isn’t about stepping into the old way from a year ago. Not everyone is going back at the same time, the work environment is setup differently, and some services you depend on for the old normal aren’t available or they cost more. You’ve restructured life during the regime of COVID. We are entering the second wave of a new normal, which…

…brings on a new set of problems and possible anxieties. Perhaps even your pets are having separation anxiety thinking about you returning to the office and leaving them home all day. What can you do?

  • Acknowledge that it’s okay that you’re feeling overwhelmed and recognize it’s because we are entering into a second round of trying to create a new normal. Give yourself credit for weathering through the first round and have faith that you can do it again. This isn’t as easy as picking up where you left off.
  • Decide what mindset you’re going to adopt? Are you going to have a fixed or growth mindset? If you’re not sure what mindset you have, you can learn more about mindset by reading The Power of a Growth Mindset and the Risk of Holding on the Fixed. How will you look at the change? Will it be an opportunity to create something new or will you grudgingly look at it as “woe is me or why me”? Will you see this change as an opportunity for growth or an excuse of why you have it so bad?
  • Find your tribe and support system. You weren’t designed to go it alone. We were built to live in community, to support one another, and to be supported. We need to be both givers and receivers of support.
  • Consider hiring a life coach to be your partner to help you develop a vision of your future, design a game plan, hold you accountable, and be your cheerleader.

We won’t be going back as we move into the future. Tomorrow brings a new set of struggles never seen before. Stay confident, have faith, set a vision, create a plan, and take action.

About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional life coach with an extensive background in leadership, sales, and business consulting. She has a passion to help people be the hero of their own life story. She administers assessments, designs, and facilitates workshops, and coaches individuals, teams, and businesses. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at or by visiting her website at

The Power of the Growth Mindset and Risk of Holding onto the Fixed

People talk about wanting more knowledge, additional talents, and greater personal strengths. They may also talk about working on their character, understanding their core values, and identifying their personality preferences. I bet rarely will you hear people express a desire to expand their “growth mindset”. You may wonder (1) what is a mindset and (2) why is it important to understand it. Because mindset can predict behavior and future results.

Have you ever been in a situation and asked yourself (1) how can he think that way or (2) why did she do that? No one intentionally chooses an illogical action or makes an illogical decision. Although there may be an untold number of factors, one contributing explanation could be a difference in mindset between you and the other person.

Your mindset is a reflection of your belief system. Think of mindset on a continuum, anchored on one end by “growth” and “fixed” on the other. Are there different areas of your life where you have a different mindset approach? Answer the questions below and self-assess where on the continuum you may fall today. 

The Growth Mindset

  • I’m not discouraged by failure. In fact, identifying with failure isn’t difficult for me, because I think of it as learning.
  • I have a passion for stretching myself and sticking with it even when things aren’t going well.
  • I routinely take inventory of my strengths and weaknesses and aren’t afraid to acknowledge them to others.
  • When I reflect on my setbacks, I turn them into future successes through perseverance and resilience.
  • I get excited to see how I improve when I continue to press forward.
  • I surround myself with people who are smarter than me, so I can learn from them.
  • I love to be challenged and learn new things.
  • I like hard problems.
  • I readily admit when I’ve made a mistake.
  • My failures don’t’ define me. I can always change if I choose to.
  • I feel comfortable sharing my honest opinions, even when it’s not popular or part of the group think.
  • I can easily forgive people.
  • I prefer to be acknowledged for my commitment and effort rather than my results.
  • I welcome coaching, because I want to improve.

The Fixed Mindset

  • I look for opportunities to confirm my level of intelligence, character, and talents.
  • I’m concerned whether people consider me successful.
  • I strive to be accepted.
  • I sometimes avoid situations where I believe I will fail and be judged.
  • I believe talent is something people are born with. Practice can only improve talent so much.
  • My intelligence is something that I can’t change much.
  • I find it difficult to admit mistakes.
  • I look for ways and people to validate me.
  • I make safe choices where I have a reasonable opportunity to succeed.
  • In situation I can influence, I’m usually the smartest one in the room.
  • I like easy problems.
  • I typically transform failure (I failed) into an identity (I’m a failure).
  • It makes me feel better to hang out with people who are worse off than me.
  • I blame my failures on other people or situations, rarely taking responsibility for my failures.
  • I believe if you are talented or smart it should come naturally and take little effort.
  • Effort is required for those people who don’t have talent.
  • I don’t usually seek feedback.
  • I feel uneasy or uncomfortable with people give me feedback.
  • I do things for the sake of receiving praise.
  • I find myself judging people.
  • I don’t see the benefit of a coach.

“The worst fear of the fixed mindset person is to try and still fail without the ability to make excuses or blame others.”

Growth Mindset Benefits

What are the benefits of the growth mindset in companies? Studies show that employees have much higher trust in their company and leaders, and have a greater sense of empowerment, ownership, and commitment when led my leaders with a growth mindset.

In business, fixed mindset leaders can damage company performance. At the extreme, these leaders become so concerned with their reputation for personal greatness, they may set the company up for failure after they leave. What greater testament to their greatness than for the company to fall apart after they resign. They don’t want great teams; they want to be the smarter person in the room. The fixed mindset leaders have a strong need to prove their superiority and fail to develop and empower employees.

The fixed mindset leader causes a cascade effect. They become controlling and everyone starts worrying about being judged. Their direct reports stop learning, taking risks, and wait for the orders to come down from above. And then they wonder, “Where’s the talent?”

You Choose Your Mindset

The study of mindset provides thought-provoking insights into the impact on relationships, business, and life success. The good news is that you may now have a fixed mindset, but it doesn’t have to stay fixed. You can choose to move toward a growth mindset, and the mindset you choose will profoundly affect the way you lead your life.

If you’d like to learn more about mindset, check out Dr. Carol Dweck’s Mindset: Changing the Way You Think to Fulfill Your Potential. And if you’d like to do a deep dive, we can schedule a coaching session.

About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional life coach with an extensive background in leadership, sales, and business consulting. She has a passion to help people be the hero of their own life story. She administers assessments, designs, and facilitates workshops, and coaches individuals, teams, and businesses. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at or by visiting her website at