Does it even sound like you?
On Monday morning, maybe yes. By Monday lunch, maybe not. By Wednesday night, it depends on what happened the last two days.
Let’s have a look at it.
Are they kind? Do you like them?
Do they cause chaos whenever something goes remotely off-plan?
Does it look for opportunities to grow and learn in unexpected things?
Does it tell you there is no point in trying because something wasn’t quite as you hoped?
Do they start off looking for problems in every situation and then come to terms that actually it could be a good thing?
This can be a big deal and a total game-changer when sticking with your nutrition and fitness routine.
Are you the person that forgets their prepped lunch, and chooses to devour a pack of Oreos? Or do you head out to the local shop and work out what would be similar, or convenient as a replacement?
Side note: forgotten your food? There’s nothing wrong with grabbing a chicken salad sandwich, fruit pot and a bottle of water on a meal deal! You could even sub the water for a diet coke if you need something to take the edge off some sugar temptation and add skyr on the side.
Over the next week/weekend observe your mental chatter and behaviour.
Do you notice behaviour changes depending on whether you’re quiet, busy, or stressed? Does it make you lean into the negativity and stop thinking clearly? Does everything seem more overwhelming?
What are the patterns you need to spot before this happens and you comfort eat to deal with it?
Do you compare yourself to other people? Or tell yourself you’re not good enough, or should know better, or that there’s no point in doing certain things?
Write each of these things down as you notice them and let’s create some characters to recognise and look objectively at when they come up.
For example, List Making Lizi, when you’re stressed and have to-do lists coming out of your ears. Or Snacking Sue when you’re overtired and emotional. How about Timekeeper Tina when you feel like there are not enough hours in the day and you spend more time under the pressure of time than actually doing the work?
Does any of these sound familiar?
Personally, I have a really bad tendency to get frantic and self critical when I'm too busy. I'm so busy keeping an eye on the time that I am incapable of living in the moment and enjoying anything, or doing a good job. I've been stood in a perfectly good training session thinking everything is terrible because I'm so conscious of time. In this situation, I'd be better off not training and sending myself away for a walk and a good breakfast to clear my head before a big day.
Now I’ve hopefully captured a little of your attention. Why do we do it?
A fixed mindset is one where you believe you are only as intelligent, capable, and fit as you’re ever going to be and nothing will change that.
Whilst a growth mindset is one where we believe that you can take action and have control over your ability to be better (grow).
Which one do you have a tendency to believe? That you’re only as good as you’re ever going to be, or that with some focus you can do anything?
It is possible to move from having a fixed mindset to a growth one. Use the exercise above to notice the tendencies you have to pull yourself into a fixed mindset. You also may believe you have a growth mindset (yasss!) but have the occasional time where you’re fixed behaviours creep in.
It’s important to notice what it is that triggers those fixed behaviours so you have the power to overcome them.
For example, overfilling your diary and getting into the headspace of there isn’t enough time in the day (oh hey, Tina). So you make lots of lists everywhere (hey Lizi) to appear like you’re in control of the situation. Where you could go into the situation with the view that you will learn something from the situation, that way can be done will be and that you have the power to do something about this the next time with your lessons, or approach it differently now as a result of a similar situation before.
By looking at these behaviours as characters, it takes you out of the mix. You can look objectively at what Lizi is doing and see how she could change the pattern. You can see what she did to get to the point of making a million lists and changing course before you get there in future.
So take moments in the next week and jot down different behaviours. Split a page in half - one side for fixed, the other for growth and see how they compare. Do you have more of one type than the other? How could you adapt the fixed ones to be more growth led?