Written March 2018
Why do some people avoid challenges and crumble when faced with difficulties, while others thrive and achieve their highest potential? 

A lot of how people attain success can be traced back to their mindset. Your mindsets is you beliefs; beliefs about yourself and your most basic qualities. Our mindset is what makes us optimistic or pessimistic. It shapes our attitude and ultimately is what is responsible for our success or failure.

Dr. Carol Dweck of Stanford University has extensively researched the topic of mindset over the years. She believes that at its most basic form individuals either have a fixed-mindset or a growth-mindset.

A fixed-mindset implies that we believe our attributes and abilities are inherently fixed and unchanging. In a fixed-mindset, the aim is to achieve validation. The person constantly tries to prove themselves and is highly sensitive to being wrong or making a mistake. So, failure brings them doubt, demeans their character, and destroys their confidence. For example, someone with a fixed mindset will be afraid of “looking stupid” at the gym so they won’t go.

Someone with a growth-mindset, on the other hand, believes that their talents and abilities can be improved and developed. They are about achieving mastery and competence. At the heart of their mindset is the belief that superb personal qualities can be learned, developed or cultivated Let’s go back to our previous example. If the person had a growth-mindset, they would view lifting weights as an opportunity to improve and get better. They would accept that initially lifting weights would be a challenge but it would lead to further growth and development.

Research has shown that success is directly tied to your mindset. Someone with a fixed-mindset, believes that their intelligence or skill is predetermined, limited and unchangeable, they doubt their ability which undermines their resolve, resilience and learning.

When someone has a growth-mindset they believe that their abilities can be developed, they show perseverance and a willingness to learn.

In order to be successful with your fitness journey, you must develop a growth-mindset. I know for some it may be easier said than done but, think of your effort as a sign of strength not as a confirmation of your shortcomings. Thinks of learning as a joyful and constructive process rather than a chore that exposes your inadequacies. Adapting a growth-mindset will be extremely powerful for your overall growth and development not only physically but also mentally.

Dedicated To Your Success,

Andrew Hamel MS, CSCS

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