Mindset of a Champion
Have you ever heard of Growth theory? This topic, popularised by Carol Dweck, has application in lots of areas. From raising children, excelling at sports and even losing weight.
In a nutshell the theory holds that someone who has a fixed mindset will believe that your intelligence, character, ability in sports, etc are what you are born with. They’re unchangeable. People with a fixed mindset tend no to put effort into things: I’m not smart enough, I can’t do it, I haven’t got enough time.
People with a growth mindset believe that your basic qualities can be changed. That you can improve through your own efforts. People with a growth mindset are more likely to invest time and effort in to attaining their goals. They are more likely to learn from mistakes or failures, and view life as a continual process of improvement.
Note that generally in life people might have a fixed mindset in some areas and a growth mindset in others. So for examples, I get many women at my classes who say: “I can’t do xyz move”. To which I reply “You can’t do it yet, so let’s break it down”. (Incidentally it’s a phrase I use a lot with my kids too!)
When it comes to dieting and weight-loss, we often have the same all or none approach. We either believe we can, or we believe we can’t. There’s no in-between. There’s no “I’m learning how to do it” step.
This of course can be very damaging. With a fixed mindset, you aim to lose 5lbs a week and if it doesn’t happen, then you’re more likely to be saying stuff like “I suck at this. This is impossible. This diet doesn’t work for me…” Someone with this mindset will typically switch to another plan, another programme, another supplement… And so on and so on.
On the other hand, a growth mindset would try to look for clues as to what went wrong, what went well, and where to focus attention the next time round.
In a fixed mindset, you focus on the OUTCOME.
In a growth mindset, you focus on the PROCESS.
(Incidentally we talk a lot about this in our PHI Programme…Funny that, huh!)
It stands to reason though, if you’re trying to lose weight, you’re trying something new. Even if you did lose weight before children, 5 years ago, 6 months ago, whatever… what you’re doing now is NEW to you. Your stress levels might be different, you might be older, you might be happier or less happy than you were then, so it’s NEW! And it stands to reason that trying something new will be hard. It will have it’s ups and downs. It will have it’s successes and failures.
So we need to start thinking about healthy eating as development of a skill. You have to put in the effort. You will make mistakes, but you need to analyse these mistakes and learn from them. You have to practice everyday. You have to learn to love the process. And then the results will come…