It Starts with a Belief in Yourself


I have a shirt with a saying on it that reads, “in order to succeed, you must first believe that you can.” Turns out, it is a quote from Nikos Kazantzakis, a Greek writer and philosopher. 

We can apply this thought process to many pursuits in life, including fitness and nutrition.

Generally speaking, there are two mindset approaches: a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. Someone with a fixed mindset believes that how they are presently is unable to be changed so why bother trying. They might say things like, “I’ve been overweight all my life, it’s just how I am.” Another example might be “I’ve never been fast and I’ll continue to be slow.” Or, “my family has a history of <insert chronic disease here> and I am destined to be the same.” 

I’ve been there too. When working to improve my nutrition, I’d often “mess up” in the same way and I started to go down the mental path of, “this is just how I am always going to mess up…maybe this is the best I’ll get.” A fitness example for myself was, “I am not a sprinter;” a mindset that held me back from running faster.

A fixed mindset will keep you stuck where you are. If you are happy with that, then I guess you don’t have to read any further.

On the other hand, if you want to perhaps improve in some area of your life, or you’re just curious, keep reading.

 A person with a growth mindset holds the belief that one can improve if one is persistent and embraces the opportunity to learn more about themselves. The person who is more growth mindset oriented recognizes that although they may not yet be where they want to be, they know their goals are possible to achieve with persistent and dedicated effort.

The person with the growth mindset is always going to win. Maybe not tomorrow…maybe not next week or next month, but in the long run, they are going to win. The person with the fixed mindset – not so much. If anything, instead of looking at opportunities to improve, the fixed mindset person looks for circumstances that confirm their beliefs. They might have something not work out for them, and they will affirm to you, “I told you so.” The growth mindset person will view a bump in the road as a means to learn more about themselves which then sets them up for success in the future.

I provide this little bit of background for you to emphasize: the words you say to yourself matter.

The words you say to yourself are either keeping you stuck where you are at or they are propelling yourself forward.

I have listened to Terri Savelle Foy speak on some podcasts where she emphasizes a similar point. She advises those listening to repeat a statement/circumstance to themselves and follow it up with “and that’s just the way I like it.”

What circumstance are you affirming in your mind and is that just the way you like it?

A personal example for myself could be, “I am always going to fail in this way…and that is just the way I like it.” In actuality, that is not just the way I like it. Rephrasing it in a more growth-minded way could be, “I made a mistake and this is what I learned from it to do better next time.”

Please note, being growth minded does not imply that you will be perfect, that you won’t make mistakes, and that progress will be a direct line in an upward trajectory. Embracing a growth mindset helps you navigate those challenges better which supports you making long-term improvements.

Another personal example…let’s say that I have a workout that does not go the way I had hoped. Fixed mindset me can say “I suck and I am just never going to get any better.” However, this is in no way helpful and supportive of me becoming a better athlete. Whereas, growth mindset me can still acknowledge my desire to have done better, but also recognize my opportunities for improvement, what I learned, and reflect on what I need to work on to do better next time. One approach keeps me where I am at and the other approach supports me moving in the direction of my goals. 

My closing words of encouragement for you are to believe that change is possible, because it is. I didn’t say change is easy.  Actually, it’s pretty freaking hard. Just because something is hard though, doesn’t mean it’s impossible. One of my favorite sayings from my friend Coach Bruce is, “let it be possible.”

Perhaps you have not believed in yourself for a long time and it hasn’t gotten you anywhere. Try believing in yourself for a change and experience the difference it can make in your life.

We can help you find that belief in yourself and it starts with scheduling your free consultation, our No Sweat Intro.

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