Fixed or Growth?
Someone with a fixed mindset believes that their qualities and abilities are fixed traits, set in stone; that you either “have it” or you don’t. They perceive even the smallest stumble as proof of their limited intelligence or capability. When it comes to working toward goals, they give up easily because they believe they can’t improve.
Alternatively, with a growth mindset, you perceive a failure as a temporary setback and a learning opportunity to figure out what you can do differently next time to achieve a different outcome. You see setbacks as a chance to build on your abilities and knowledge base. You believe that effort influences success, so you spend more time practicing or learning, which in turn leads to greater achievement
Your mindset influences your behavior more than you might imagine and can determine whether or not you pursue and accomplish your goals.
If you have a growth mindset around fitness then you believe you can get fitter, stronger, and even more athletic, no matter where you’re starting from. “Let's say you believe you’re good at running, so you actively work to improve at it and get better. Conversely, let's say you don’t believe you’re good at upper body strength work, so you avoid working on it, and as a result, don’t make any upper body strength gains. A growth of mindset directly affects our capacity for physical growth."
“The first step to a growth mindset:
Tell yourself a different story.”
Creating a Growth Mindset
When we run up against a wall or a difficult situation, how we interpret and react to them depends on our beliefs about ourselves. Our actions are a manifestation of those beliefs. The first step in cultivating a growth mindset: The moment those self-defeating thoughts arise; picture a big red stop sign. And then shift the narrative.
Instead of telling yourself
I’m not good at this
I can’t do this
It’s beyond me
I can do it; I am improving
It’s only possible if I try
It’s OK to fail because I’ll learn from my mistakes
Yes, failure is painful. It burns in our mind and makes us doubt ourselves. But rather than allowing it to define you (or your perceived limitations) and make you shy away from new challenges, reframe it as a springboard for growth. What you believe is what you achieve. How you choose to interpret your experiences can determine what you will, or won’t, accomplish.
Consistency is KEY
With anything else, consistency is always key to success. It’s a consistency of your effort and focus over time. A growth mindset means there’s a belief in change.
A growth mindset creates a powerful passion for learning. “Why waste time proving over and over how great you are, when you could spend that time getting better?”
It’s never too late (and you’re never too old) to learn. When we stretch ourselves and push out of our comfort zone, our brain forms new connections. With practice, these connections get stronger and what seemed daunting at first can soon become easy.