Shift Your Fitness Mindset from Fixed to Growth


In today’s episode of the Inspiration2grow I am talking about mindset in terms of fitness. Would you say your mindset is one of growth or is it fixed when it comes to your fitness goals?  Perhaps you’ve never thought about it this way before.  Well, get ready to be inspired and shift your thinking on fitness.

 Your mindset affects your behaviour in all areas of your life, including your fitness and health.  While researching mindset, behaviour, motivation and success, Carol Dweck came up with the terms fixed mindset and growth mindset.

These two mindsets are pretty much what they sound like. In a fixed mindset, you believe that things are pre-determined.  Whereas, in a growth mindset, you believe there is always room to improve.

Fixed mindset:

–          Your abilities are set and unchangeable. No amount of effort will make any difference.
–          You avoid failure or any situation where the outcome is unknown.
–          Obstacles only get in your way or are a sign to quit or give up.
–          Success comes from what you’re born with or pure luck. Results are pre-determined.

In terms of your fitness, a fixed mindset puts you in a mental place where you can’t see any opportunity to improve.  Maybe you hated gym class as a child.  So as an adult, you assume that you’ll hate joining a gym, too.  Or perhaps you tell yourself that you aren’t a runner, you won’t ever be good at it, so you avoid any and all workouts that include running.

Fitness isn’t fixed, but your mindset could be.  While you may not feel strong, coordinated, or “in shape” now, your current fitness level isn’t etched in stone for the rest of your life.

Fixed and growth mindsets set on opposite ends of a mindset scale. When you start taking ownership of developing skills and abilities, not only do you become more coachable, but it also shows that you have adopted more of a growth mindset.

Growth mindset:

–          You believe that it’s possible to improve your skills over time.
–          Obstacles and challenges are an opportunity to learn and get better.
–          Failure is also a learning experience.
–          Your starting point doesn’t matter.

Here are a few ways that you can develop a fitness mindset that’s focused on growth:

1.       Don’t expect perfection.
There is a difference between striving for big goals and striving to be perfect. Be ambitious, but also be willing to make mistakes. If you’re new to CrossFit, remember that it’s okay to be a beginner. If you’ve been training for a while, it’s okay if every lift isn’t a new PR.

2.       Expect setbacks.
Having a growth mindset means that you not only see challenges as an opportunity to grow, but you also expect setbacks to happen. You’ll miss a workout because a meeting went too long, or you got stuck in traffic.  You’ll eat the whole sleeve of Girl Scout cookies.  You’ll sleep through your alarm and miss your morning workout.  These things will happen, but when you expect setbacks, then you’re more likely to take them in stride and bounce back.

3.       Celebrate successes.
Chalking up even the smallest successes to luck implies that you’re not responsible for your own achievements.  But when you acknowledge your accomplishments, then it’s a sign you have a growth mindset. There is no such thing as a ‘lucky lift’.  You earn all of your PRs; they come from hard work and dedication.  When you run your fastest mile, don’t give the credit to the downhill.  Own and celebrate your success.


-> See challenges as opportunities.  If we avoided obstacles, would we ever grow?
You and I, basically everyone, will experience challenges in life, at work, on our fitness and health journey, in relationships,…  but the key to overcoming them and growing from these challenges is to view them as chances, opportunities.  Whatever you do, don’t let them stop you and keep you from continuing or progressing on your journey.

-> Focus on your positive actions, rather than traits. 
Remind yourself of all the positive steps you are taking to achieve your goal and move forward.  Your focus should be placed on these initiatives, not anything else.  As long as you are doing what needs to get done in order to make progress, then you’re honouring your commitment to yourself and that’s all that counts.

-> Recognize failure, then move on better. 
Use any failed attempts as a means of learning.  Realize and recognize your mistake or why you failed and then move on but in a better way.  I always like to see mistakes are way points of our path of learning.  If we can take something away from the failure or mistake, then we have learned from it. And that’s the most important thing when it comes to failure.  Personally, I don’t like to use the word ‘failure’ at all.  Maybe this should be one of those words we replace with ‘minor shortcoming’.

I like to think of it this way…

Failure is an opportunity. It’s a chance to reevaluate and come back stronger with better reasoning. Failure is not fatal. No matter how hard it may be, just know that failure simply means you get another shot to try it all again.

-> Remember growth is a process, not a destination.
Growing to reach your potential doesn’t happen automatically. Unlike your physical growth from the time you were born until you’re a young adult, you are in a constant state of growing physically, which is entirely out of your control. Unfortunately, your personal and professional growth doesn’t work the same way. You have to be intentional and disciplined about it.
If you view growth as a constant, changing, wonderful adventure you are on, it takes on a different meaning for you.  We are not on this growth journey as a kind of race to cross the finish line or reach a final destination, but rather it is like one very long road trip, which can take us to places we have never been before.  So pack your bags, buckle up and hit the never-ending road of adventure on your personal growth journey.

I hope you enjoyed today’s message about developing a growth mentality when it comes to your fitness goals. 

My only hope is that you start to implement some of the ideas, tips and strategies that I talk about and I would love to know which ones have been beneficial for you personally.

I would also like to invite you to become part of the Inspiration2grow community on Facebook.  The group name is: Inspiration2grow for Female Goal-getters.  It is meant to be a community of like-minded women who want to grow strong from the inside out.  There will be journalling prompts, nutrition and fitness tips, exercises to try, encouraging conversations among the community and lots more.  So, be sure to join this group for support, new ideas and the necessary rocket fuel to propel your health and wellness to new heights.

You owe it to yourself to take care of yourself, show up for yourself and become the best version of YOU.

In case you haven’t heard it yet today, let me be the first to tell you…

You are incredible, capable and your potential is limitless.  Never forget that I believe in you 100%.  Now, go out there and show the world what you are truly made of.

I hope to have inspired you to grow.

Til next time,
Lisa  xoxo