59: How to Tap Into a Growth Mindset and Crush Your Goals

Apr 01, 2024

Do you love a good challenge or do you actively avoid it?

In today’s modern world, there’s no denying that building healthy habits and living a healthy lifestyle can be challenging. And sometimes, it really can feel like the entire world is conspiring to make it harder for you to work on your metabolic health.

Without doubt, those moments where you feel defeated are uncomfortable. However, it's important to remember that they also offer valuable opportunities for growth and learning. So, let’s skip the pity party and thoughts of giving up and start exploring how to keep moving forward and achieve your goals when challenges arise.

Embracing Challenges as Opportunities for Growth

I want to start off by sharing the personal experience that got me thinking about the importance of embracing challenges and learning from them. 

I'm currently enrolled in a year-long exercise program that also focuses on mindset, nutrition, and overall wellness. Recently, during one of my workouts, I just wasn't feeling it. Despite my usual routine of waking up early to exercise, I was majorly lacking in motivation that day. Instead of skipping the workout entirely, I decided to skip my usual morning walk and focus solely on strength training. However, during the session, I struggled with certain exercises, particularly side planks (have you ever done those?!) and it left me feeling completely defeated.

Initially, I wanted to go into a complete pity party for myself and moan about how this person doesn't understand larger bodies. But I had to stop myself and say, “Hey, what do I want to get out of this?” What do I want to achieve over the next few months?” And I realized I wanted to be that person who can hold a plank for a few minutes and it's no big deal. I would love for me to have had this moment of defeat and then summer rolls around and that is then something that I can achieve. How good would that feel?

Benefits of a Growth Mindset

And these kinds of moments are exactly the moments that matter most. The times when you can't do things, when you're feeling defeated, when you're feeling pushed, this is when there is the opportunity for real growth is going to occur. So think about it: In those moments, are you going to say, “I'm never going to be able to do this” or are you going to say, “How is it possible for me to get to that finish line? Because that is the mindset shift that will help you face obstacles head-on and keep going when things get tough.

It’s also important to be rooted in your values. What's important to you? What are you working toward? The goal for me is never, “I lose this weight and I keep the weight off.” The goal for me is growth in some capacity, like walking faster or being able to do more things strength wise. I'm only about four or five months into this program and it's already incredible the things I can do, but there's always the next level that I want to get to.

And the way the next level presents itself is when you have these challenging moments. These challenges will bring to the surface what you still need to work on. And if you haven’t faced these challenging moments recently, chances are you're not growing very much.

Now, there's nothing wrong with deciding that you don't like to get pushed. Comfort is totally fine. But when I experience stepping out of that comfort zone, that is when I really get to see what the next level work is. 

Rising Above Self-Pity

Of course, the pity party is always the initial reaction when these moments happen. But don’t forget that there is an opportunity here to grow and to learn. Do you want to accept this challenge? How can you make modifications so that you keep making progress? Use it as a lesson because hard times are going to teach you things. 

For example, say you're someone that experiences a lot of hunger, and a few months after starting the anti-obesity medications, you're noticing more urges and cravings. Instead of saying, “Well, everything has gone wrong and it's never going to work out”, start to get open and curious about what’s possible for you. 

Could you modify your nutrition in certain ways? Could you start to dig into whether it’s a protein, fiber, or fat that’s the problem? fat? Staying in a growth mindset, which means you're willing to figure it out and troubleshoot it, is one of the most essential tools that you're going to need for managing your health long term. And remember, those same challenges are going to present themselves in every single other area of your life.

Confronting Doubts and Finding Strength in Challenges

Whenever I encounter difficulties during exercise, it triggers a deep-seated doubt about my body's capabilities. These moments force me to confront insecurities about whether I've properly nourished and trusted my body. It's a journey that digs deep into my relationship with my body and nutrition.

But here's the thing: every struggle holds a lesson. It's not about failing; it's about learning and growing. And by confronting each challenge, I can uncover valuable insights and discover what I can do differently next time. Embracing these moments of difficulty is essential because they provide opportunities for positive change.

So, as you navigate your own health journey, remember that challenges are not setbacks but stepping stones towards growth. Embrace them, learn from them, and keep moving forward with newfound clarity and determination!