SFH #33: Growth Mindset

Making the impossible possible

If you spend enough time in your life trying to gain physical health, you inevitably run into the simple idea that what we are capable of physically starts with our thoughts and beliefs.

For most of my life, I've triumphed in the realm of physical fitness. Over the last six (6) years, starting with a move to NYC, launching a business, and building a family, I have embraced my emotional and mental fitness. And it's been a humbling experience.

As a coach and athlete, I would tackle the mental fitness side of training and performance only on the surface. Are we mentally clear about our goals and purpose in fitness? Do we have our thoughts and actions organized around physical habits? When we dive deeper into how we view ourselves and the world we are operating within, we can start to bring awareness to the power of our mindset. Our mindset is the determining factor of whether we learn, change, and grow or not.

You may be familiar with the term growth mindset. The theory and science behind Carolyn Dweck's work in her book 'Mindset' has made strides in the last decade because of the profound shifts that can happen when applying the knowledge. We do not have 'fixed' abilities,' and all it takes is the willingness and determination to shift and grow--the heart of a growth mindset. People with a fixed mindset obstruct their development through their need for approval, avoidance, and fear of failure. A handy info graph below to see how the different mindsets work.

The good news is that we don't have to be a victim of our surroundings when developing our mindset. Our brain is like any other muscle if we are willing to train it. We can teach ourselves to think with a growth mindset with practice and patience. And we don't have to be perfect. 🙌🏼

There are many tactics we can practice to work on our growth mindset. Here is a good list to get you started.

Key Areas that Determine Our Mindset 🧠

  1. Failure and Challenges. Shifting towards embracing a challenge and the opportunity to learn from your losses may be the most impactful. It's when we avoid and hide from the inevitable obstacles we face that we rob ourselves of the opportunity to learn and grow.

  2. Feedback. This one is tough for me. I feel easily captured by shame when receiving what I view as criticism or judgment, and I move towards defensiveness and blame. I work hard to remind myself that being open to blind spots and weaknesses is a pathway to develop.

  3. Effort. Maybe the easiest of these three areas. At any time in our given lives, we've seen how focusing our energy and effort on something creates more possibilities and results. This blog is an example for me. ✍🏼 We can see how our lack of action and effort reinforces a fixed belief on the flip side, and results do not come as readily.

Check out this helpful video on developing a growth mindset. 📺