This week's blog is a guest post from our summer marketing intern, Jenna Gooch!
“If you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right”
“I can’t do a pull-up, so why would I even try?” “I can’t run a mile without stopping, so I’m just going to take a break after ½ a mile.”
Do these thoughts sound familiar? Then you might have a fixed mindset that’s stopping you from reaching your goals. Luckily, we can change how we frame things and how that impacts our lives.
People with a fixed mindset believe that they are born with a certain level of knowledge, skills, and traits, and they cannot change them.
However, people with a growth mindset believe that their knowledge and capabilities can be expanded upon throughout their lives.
So why should you care about changing your fixed mindset to a growth mindset? Because the way you think about your abilities can make a difference in your progress not only at the gym but in every aspect of your life.
People with these different types of mindsets think differently about challenges, obstacles, effort, criticism, and the success of others. People with fixed mindsets often avoid challenges, give up easily, see effort as fruitless, ignore constructive feedback, and may feel threatened by the success of others. People with a growth mindset tend to embrace challenges, persist in the face of setbacks, see effort as the path to mastery, learn from criticism, and find lessons and inspiration in the success of others.
Below are two examples:
- An older gentleman wants to increase muscle mass but believes that it is impossible to add muscle the older you get. When you believe you can accomplish a specific goal you will do whatever it takes to ensure it happens. But, when you have a fixed mindset, you will often give less where it matters most and project your failures onto things you do not have control over rather than focusing intensely on the things you do have control over. In the case of building muscle mass, it is important to keep a focus on progressive overload in the gym, adequate-protein intake, improved sleep quality and quantity, etc. A person with a fixed mindset focuses on the things they do not have control over, such as aging, whereas someone with a growth mindset focuses on what they do have control over, such as training and nutrition.
- A female who has a family history of obesity wants to lose fat mass and incorporate healthier life habits into her routine but is fixated on the impossibility of it because of genetics. Again, this individual is displaying a fixed mindset by focusing on what she has minimal control over instead of focusing on all of the nutritional and lifestyle improvements she can make that will result in weight loss. With a growth mindset, you will push past your comfort zone knowing you can prevail and understand that failure is an essential part of learning and growing.
So how do you cultivate more of a growth mindset? Try to push yourself outside your comfort zone. For example, when you come across a challenge either at the gym or in life try to remember that facing challenges, even if you feel unsure if you can overcome them, will lead you closer to your goals and give you more self-confidence.
Another way to tackle this is to change the way you talk about yourself. Walking into the gym and thinking “I can’t complete my workout today” or “I can’t lift this much weight” are negative thoughts and often end up becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. Instead try, “I can’t lift this much weight YET, but I can build up to it.” Just adding in the “YET” will change your mind from thinking you cannot complete something, to having an open (growth!) mindset about it. This is a much more positive way to think and will help you to crush your workout or any other challenge!
If you’re ready to break out of your fixed mindset and work towards what you’re truly capable of, schedule a free strategy session with a professional coach below to learn more about Central Athlete can help!