What overlays my entire philosophy of life (including my health) is the desire for growth — always. I have always loved learning, being challenged, and moving forward, but Dweck’s book gave me the language to delve deeper into what growth actually means and to explain the significance of that growth. Now one of my favourite internal hashtags is #growthmindset. When I am having trouble seeing someone else’s perspective I say, “Kathleen … #growthmindset.” When I am struggling with a new concept I say, “Kathleen … #growthmindset.” When I am frustrated because I fell off my fitness horse I say, ‘Kathleen … #growthmindset.”
Since this is a health website let’s discuss the significance of a growth mindset toward health. When you fall off your fitness horse (we all do — we are all human), get back on as quickly as possible and, possibly more critically, get on a more informed rider. Course correct quickly and learn from everything. Understand your health process as a giant feedback loop. For example, I (mostly) gravitate toward healthy foods and love exercise, but if I sleep in rather than workout or if I eat a cookie, instead of shaming myself, I take a moment to reflect. Was sleeping beneficial? Did I need it more than a workout? Did I love the cookie? Am I proud of my choices? If so, great. No guilt. If my future self would have been happier if I had worked out or had an apple, then I ask myself why I made that less-than-ideal choice. Did I skip the workout because I stayed up too late the night before? Did I want the cookie because I let myself get too hungry? Once I know the answers, I use them to figure out how to set myself up for success next time. Maybe I need to move my alarm clock across the room or always carry a healthy snack. Basically, “lean in” to learning and growing — always.