The Growth Mindset
Setting lofty fitness goals for one’s self, such as getting abs or squatting 400 pounds, is extremely common. Accomplishing those goals on the other hand, is not. Why is that? Well, it obviously takes a lot of work, but a person’s mindset is often what is holding them back. With regards to the achievement of goals, your mindset can generally fall into one of two categories; a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. You might not even realize which camp you fall into until you look inward toward your own habits and where you have fallen short in the past in accomplishing your goals. I will try to shed some light onto these two different mindsets and how they may be helping or hurting your progress.
A person with a fixed mindset believes that the world is the way it is and there is not anything you can really do about it. The environment is controlling their fate. Obviously, this is not the type of mindset you need if you wish to accomplish a big goal. A person with a fixed mindset will fail in reaching any fitness milestone as long as they keep their current way of thinking. An example of this would be the person who blames bad genetics for their being overweight or claims that they are just not good at running. They have given up all hope of achieving a healthy weight or becoming a proficient runner before they have even started. In their mind, there is no use in trying, because it’s just not in the cards for them, so they avoid challenges. These are also the people who are threatened by other peoples’ success and blame others for their failures. They didn’t drop any body fat following a nutrition program, so the program is stupid and doesn’t work. They fail to mention that they their diet didn’t apply during the weekend, when they were tired or needed their triple chocolate iced coffee and donut in the morning. These are the same type of people that believe in the “magic pill” that will fix all of their problems without them having to do anything.
On the other hand, a person with a growth mindset knows that their fate lies solely in their hands. If they want something for themselves, then they must go get it. A person with this type of mindset believes that they can accomplish whatever they put their mind to, because all it takes is hard work and dedication. They know that if they wake up every day with their vision and do what is necessary to improve, good things will happen. This type of person is eager to learn new strategies that will help them accomplish their goals. They are also the type of person that can take constructive criticism because they know it is making them better. This type of person embraces challenges and persists despite setbacks, because they know they are on the path to mastery.
It is clear that having a growth mindset is not only beneficial, but necessary if you wish to take down a big goal. If you know that you have a fixed mindset and you want to make the switch, you have to train yourself to think differently. You have to believe that you can do it. If you go through the motions, but in the back of your mind do not believe that you will be successful, then you probably won’t. Your vision of yourself has to be consistent with your goals. If you are severely overweight and you have a goal of getting down to a healthy weight, you can’t view yourself as being fat. If you do, then it is unlikely that you will ever reach your goal weight, because you can’t even see it for yourself. You will find ways to sabotage your progress, because deep down, you don’t think you are capable of getting there. Instead, you have to view your current weight as temporary circumstance that does not define you and will not hold you back from where you want to be.
If you can adopt this growth mindset, you may surprise yourself with the results. The truth is that it doesn’t take a complicated program, a crash diet or a magic supplement to accomplish the goals that you dream about. It is much simpler than that. What it takes is consistency and hard work. If you work with a purpose, persevere despite setbacks, and are consistent over weeks, months and eventually years, you will become the best version of yourself.
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