How Your Mind-Set is Affecting Your Results

How Your Mind-Set is Affecting Your Results

Today’s blog I am going to encourage you to re-examine how you think about your health and fitness goals.
We all know how to set a goal to one extent or another, what comes after this can have a serious impact on how successful you will actually be at achieving that goal.

I am talking about mind-set, and mind-set is more than just thinking positive and hoping for the best.

Mind-set is an insight to how you perceive your world and environment and is a reflection the lessons you learnt growing up. Today’s blog will focus on mind-set for achieving goals but this topic is vast and deeply connected to how we all think, learn and interact.

What is Mind-set?

In the context of achieving goals we will look at a fixed mind-set and a growth mind-set. These are two very different ways, or points of view at approaching different aspects of our lives. Someone with a fixed mind-set for example will view a certain situation as an unchangeable part of an their life.

Let’s take an overweight individual with fixed mind-set for example. These people will be convinced they have tried everything and it doesn’t work for them because they are an exception. They will blame time, work and confusion as to why they are now stuck being overweight, unhappy and left feeling trapped.

A growth mind-set on the other hand will view the same situation as a problem to be solved and will start looking for the key bits of information they need to change where they have ended up. This might include seeking out a trainer, learning how to cook, figuring out what exercise they could do, or how to fit these changes into their lifestyle.

The key difference here is that the fixed mind-sets are considered as “non-learners” and growth mind-sets are classed as “learners”. Now this has nothing to do with intelligence, however when a growth mind-set is used in conjunction with a goal it becomes a case of figuring out what you don’t know and then finding the answers to plug the gaps. The non-learner fixed mind-set is stuck thinking they can’t change and therefore don’t look for the answers, or are not persistent enough in seeking out all their missing bits of knowledge to be successful.

How are Mind-sets formed?

Many of the fixed mind-set traits are learnt when growing up. Children who are often told they are very smart or talented can become trapped in this mind-set. This might sound fine, however this encourages them to think that they are special and that they should be able to function off of their talents alone. In some cases this may work fine for a while but it is in fact a self-limiting belief and these individuals do not cope well with failure.

When children adopt the fixed mindset of being talented and smart early on it actually fails to teach them the important lesson that intelligence, sporting ability, everything you want to achieve in life comes from working hard and learning. The children who are praised for their effort and given extra help when they are struggling are taught these lessons early on. They may be called names in school but the truth is they have learnt one of life’s most valuable lessons, working hard and learning is the key to success, and talent is bonus.

Chris Hoy always says that he was not the most talented young athlete when he was growing up. Those young athletes relied too heavily on talent and when it wasn’t enough they couldn’t cope and packed it in. Chris was successful because he adopted a growth mind-set and he trained harder and learnt how to be a better cyclist. This approach delivered multiple Olympic medals.

Applying mind-set to your goals.

These two real world example will help you see how individuals with a fixed mind-set can actually self-sabotage themselves without even realizing it.
1. The client who sets a goal that is far too easy for them. This plays into the notion that they are talented and if the goal is super easy they cannot fail. The problem here is they will likely achieve the goal but it won’t be motivating enough to keep going or deliver the change they really need or crave.

This individual will walk away after achieving the short term goal feeling like the program wasn’t for them and that achieving anything more is just not possible, after all they just achieved their goal and not much changed for them.

If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.

2. Some clients will start to adopt a growth mind-set and will chose a goal that is actually going to push them. What can often happen after the initial motivation and a few steps in the right direction is a road block will appear. This might be a small weight gain or a few extra drinks one weekend and the old mind-set kicks in.

What often happens next is the individual will stop recording food, exercise or mentally tracking their week. This will go on for a week or two and then they will decide that they are just too busy right now and their goal will have to wait for a better time, or alternatively they decide to downgrade to something easier.

This is a classic fixed mind-set approach to failure. When the individual is met with a road block they choose to avoid it as learning how to overcome is not a natural response.

Down grading a goal makes it easier helping them to feel smart and successful while removing the risk of future failure. By disengaging with the process of training for the original goal for external reasons such as time then individual again removes the possibility of failure while allowing them to rest assured in the knowledge

“well I could have done that if it wasn’t for X”

Overcoming a fixed mind-set

The most important thing to do is ask yourself if you are adopting a growth or a fixed mind-set about your goals. Are you truly open to learning the things you know you need to be successful? , or are you passing the blame to avoid feeling like a failure?

The biggest secret to overcoming a fixed mind-set is to accept that failure is an abstract concept that’s only in your head. There is no failure, just an opportunity to learn something new that will push you towards your goals in the future.

If you had a drink or a chocolate bar then ask yourself why, do you need to plan your snacks better?, were you enjoying some downtime with friends? and then make the changes you need to.

Looking at a situation like this in a growth mind-set will stop you overindulging and letting one slip spiral into a whole week that will threaten to derail you hard work and putting you back into a negative fixed mindset.

“There is no failure, just an opportunity to learn something new”

Andy Strong
Fundamentally FIT Ltd

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