I love bridges. I reference them all the time. I seek them out. If you talk to me for very long, there could be an analogy that includes a bridge. Just sayin.
One way to look at it is, when we are challenged in life, if we can look at that time as crossing a bridge, we know we come out on the other side. But it's more than that. Deeper, actually. So much so that I can't cover the whole concept here. But what I want to share with you today is...I just crossed one.
That bridge was LONG. I've crossed it before, so I had all the confidence that God led me to it again for a specific purpose. And while my family and I are accepting, believing and ultimately receiving and celebrating...wow...having the right mindset was a must.
It's okay. You can celebrate with us. Yay!
The reason I'm sharing that personal bite is because today I want to talk to you about mindset. Specifically about how your mindset can and should grow. If you are wanting or needing a breakthrough, something to be different in your life, it's critical. Cool thing is though, you have the power to make it happen! And when it does, I'm here to celebrate with you! (Yay in advance.)
Recently, I’ve worked with several groups of people on mindset, specifically in two programs that I walked them through. We did a 5-Day Mindset Shift Challenge, then I opened a 4-week program for a Mindset Reset. So. Powerful. The feedback has been amazing.
“I will be using what I have learned and been reminded of to try my best to stay focused about guarding my mind and mouth from all negativity and by writing and verbalizing my gratitude. Thanks for the spiritual punch in the arm (also), and giving me a virtual head slap! Thanks for challenging me!”
I would say this person was in a position for her mindset to…grow!
In order to understand what I mean by that, let’s first take a look at the difference between the two types of mindsets; a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.
A Fixed Mindset
A fixed mindset dictates that “it is what it s”(I personally don’t care for that quote or phrase) or that the status is fixed, unchangeable and with no room for growth or potential. And many times, has no desire for it. This can be not only self-defeating, but selfish.
A Growth Mindset
A growth mindset takes on a totally different perspective. A growth mindset takes on challenges as a way to expand and grow in spite of what is. It also dictates that there is room for hard work, learning, and achieving. This can be not only empowering, but inspiring.
Notice that “fixed” processes thoughts through the filter of “that’s (just) how, I am, it is, they are.” It says, “We're done here.”
Notice that “growth” processes thoughts through the filter of “I, you, they can do, learn, achieve a higher level, or another level, BECAUSE there are possibilities and room for that.” It says, “Let’s go.”
“The Mindset Shift Challenge was a great reminder of how my mindset really affects everything I do. I was reminded that reality is reality; however, the lens that I apply to reality has a lot to do with how I experience it - whether good or bad. I still struggle at times with neutralizing certain thoughts and seeing the positive but in the end, I've reclaimed my power! Thank you for the challenge Deni!”
According to Dr. Caroline Leaf in her book, “Who Switched Off My Brain,” she reports that “The science of thought demands that change must occur – either reinforcing the thought as it is or changing some or all of it.”
Can you see how important having a growth mindset is for positive change to take place?
How to Grow Your Mindset
I’d like to share with you some Simple Step Solutions you can easily incorporate into your lifestyle to help grow your mindset.
Make the Shift
If you limit yourself to “it is what it is” or “reality is reality” and accept that as your limit, then that will be your limit. I believe that’s a cop out. We need to, and can, take responsibility for our thought life. As one Mindset Shift participant said, the lens you apply to “it” or “reality” can determine how you experience it.
A shift in your thinking allows you to see and experience things from another perspective, take on more learning, have opportunity to take action, and grow your mindset through this shift. You will begin to challenge your own status quo.
The more you hang out in this shift, the more results and rewards you will see, because the more natural it becomes over time. Yeah. You’ll have to practice.
You will shift your mindset to understand that the more positive you are, the more possibilities you will see. And the more purposeful effort you put in, the more rewards you will get out. It doesn’t have to stop where you are now, at a certain static place. You can make the shift, take action, and achieve different results.
Let me add that this is will make a positive impact on yourself and others as well.
Exercise Your Thoughts
You might be asking, “What does exercise have to do with gaining a growth mindset?” Well, I could say that from a Corrective Exercise Specialist perspective…a lot. And believe me, taking myself and others from, “I can’t” to “How can I,” takes so much growing mentally!
Dr. Caroline Leaf tells us, “…the harder we think, the more change we can make.” This literally takes place on a cellular level. Protein synthesis, the same process that makes your muscles bigger and stronger, happens in your brain to make proteins to grow “new branches” that hold your thoughts.
Yes, creating new, positive thoughts actually lays down new neural pathways, sort of like highways or…paths, inside your brain. When you exercise your brain by traveling on those new pathways (thinking and imagination), you give it a chance to grow and expand over time.
If you want to gain a growth mindset, you need to take on new, challenging things. Make positive choices. Take positive actions. Create positive habits to achieve positive results.
Once your brain sees that it can overcome challenges, taking on more challenges becomes easier over time. Once your mind recognizes you are taking on something new and positive, fear can become minimized and new things will be placed in the part of your brain compartmentalized as something not to be feared.
Remember, change must occur by either reinforcing the thought, or changing some or all of it. So, exercise your right to think harder and make more change happen for you with a growth mindset.
Stretch Your Thoughts
Have you ever heard a point of view or a perception that was astonishing and bold? Do you sometimes see how other people set the bar a bit higher, try new things, and work harder to achieve it? Just because you have to work harder, does not mean you cannot be more successful. Take some time to examine a certain area of your life, such as the physical or nutritional side, and see if you can think outside the box, enter new territories, and achieve higher goals.
After all, anyone who has made a medical breakthrough, created something or achieved a higher goal has probably done so by exploring other possibilities, trying new things, and stretching way outside of their comfort zone of thinking and doing; and you can too.
Don’t make it harder. Think harder to make it more…simple.
Take Simple Steps
Stretching your thoughts doesn’t mean taking giant steps. In fact, when it comes to your health and fitness, those giant leaps usually mean they are short-lived, can cause injury or sickness, and can put you in a position to actually be back where you started or worse.
So many times, I see people that underestimate the power of simplicity. "I already know that," or "It can't be that simple."
Simplicity allows you to take repeated action, but requires endurance. Yep…consistency over a longer period of time is the key. But there are huge advantages. If you stick with it, by the time you achieve your goals you have established new habits that are sustainable. You have conditioned your thoughts and actions (and your body) to adapt over time. And you haven’t gone full circle. Instead, you have landed right where, or even beyond, where you wanted to go.
This is not the case with quick-fix programs or radical measures, because they are not sustainable. You don’t have time to establish new positive habits, which causes your thoughts to revert from “I can do this, “ to “I can’t do this any longer.”
One last point I would like to cover is the power of gratitude. When we acknowledge and express gratitude for those little things we achieve, rather than focusing on what we did wrong or what we haven’t gotten (yet), we choose to create memories that feed our brain and the process of making it stronger. Research shows us that visualization and imagination, deep thinking and even reflection, have the ability to produce the same physical changes in the brain that would take place if you physically carried out the same processes.
What? Yes…the brain doesn’t know if it’s just a thought, or if it’s an action. Yes...you do have that power.
So…what do you choose to focus on?
Here are two scenarios:
- You take the next, say 12 months to achieve your goal...once. In the process, you learn or reinforce positive thoughts and habits that are sustainable and keep you in maintenance mode. Remember that reinforcement is considered change.
- You take quick, maybe radical measures you can only sustain for say, 3 months with success, then in 3 months you're back to where you started. Then you take the next 3 months to do that again or find another quick, radical program, and in following 3 months or less, you've cycled back again. That means that, you guessed it, you really haven't achieved anything sustainable in the same 12-month period!
To do something different is going to take a growth mindset.
Now…take a few minutes and remember all of the times you got in a hurry to achieve results in an area of your lifestyle. I'll wait.
- What thoughts did you have?
- What actions did you take?
- What results did you get?
- How long did they last?
- Where are you now?
And now for the biggest question: What are you willing to do differently this time?
Consider a growth mindset.
You can start today!
If you enjoy the scientific approach to your brain and thoughts, I highly recommend Dr. Caroline Leaf's book, "Who Switched Off My Brain?" Feel free to explore her other books on the same topic that aren't quite so scientific, but extremely powerful.
To be honest, I want to be your ready resource for a breakthrough in this area. Break through your stuck thought processing now! You can get a complimentary Breakthrough Strategy Session and experience it for yourself, just for the asking. No obligation.
Click HERE to schedule your 30-minute session. I'll then send you to a form to complete to prepare for our time together. We'll dig into one area of your life that you need a growth mindset around. You'll walk away with Simple Step Solutions to do just that. In the end, you'll feel empowered.
One thought process I've seen some people have is to think it might be too expensive or too hard to work with me...
Oh! Change that thought and lay down a new neural pathway!
I love coaching small groups of people though lifestyle challenges and changes. There is power in numbers, and people love the additional support and accountability.
"It was great to hear the experiences of the other participants. Also, it was a great catalyst to get me up and moving."
I'm starting groups of peeps through the first two levels, Lifestyle Nutrition for Life and Lifestyle Nutrition and Fitness for Life beginning July 10. Yeah, we'll wait until after July 4th. You're welcome. (Lifestyle Transformations are 1on1 and can begin at any time.)
Early registration and pricing begins July 3rd. Open registration and prep work begins the week of June 26th, with the programs starting July 10th.
Remember, spots are limited each time I open these up, so if you don't want to miss out...reply to this email with the subject line, "I'm an early bird." In the body of your email let me know that you would like to be put on the early registration list, no obligation, notification only. I'll send you more information to apply early.
If you want to see how I can help make this happen for you, contact me now! I'm happy to give you the deets.
N Joy Your Growth Mindset!