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FitDeck Blog with Founder Phil Black

New Year New Mindset

Posted by Phil Black on January 6th, 2015

A new calendar year always provides us with a psychological pause - and license - to start over. Who doesn't love the chance for a fresh start? Hello 2015!

As we kick off the New Year, I urge you to think deeply about what type of mindset you've been operating with. Is it a "fixed" or a "growth" mindset?

The former suggests that one's potential is predetermined, finite, and limited - that each individual is dealt a certain level of intellect, skill, and talent - which is immutable. One must simply work within the confines of their given skill set - and be satisfied.

The latter argues that inborn talents are just a starting point, and one that can change and grow their potential through application and experience (that's code for "failure and recovery").

Which mindset do you have?

Fixed mindset individuals

  • love the "sure thing"
  • are worried about how they are perceived
  • don't like to be wrong, because they are the best they'll ever be
  • want to prove themselves over and over again
  • seek success and validation

Growth mindset individuals

  • thrive on challenge
  • don't take the easy road
  • risk failure
  • have a strong love of learning
  • are energized by criticism

A growth mindset doesn't come without challenges. In fact, it's quite the opposite. A growth mindset is determined by how well individuals react and respond when the chips are down. The very act of digging deeper, challenging oneself, and stretching when things aren't going your way, is the true sign of a growth mindset.

Nearly all successful people have growth mindsets. Not because they are always successful, or right, or lucky, or smart - but because they fail - a lot. They fail, and get back up, make adjustments, and try again. They repeat this cycle over and over and over. They are growing.

Underlying this cycle of Try-Fail-Recover are two key components: (1) a willingness to fail, and (2) the belief that one has the capacity to turn setbacks into future successes. 

Before we plunge too deeply into 2015, I'd like to challenge all of us, collectively, to assess which type of mindset we have.  If you've been operating with a "fixed mindset" resigned to the life and circumstances you're in now - consider a change.

Life is too short to live in a box. Stretch yourself, expect failure, embrace failure, love the learning process, know that you are not limited to what you were born with.

Set a goal that exposes you to failure, sign up for a race you're not sure you'll finish, or pursue a hobby that you've been intimidated by.  2015 is the year of growth. Get your mind ready and your body will follow.

I live with an unapologetic "growth" mindset. This means I expose myself to failure - to the point of almost taunting the failure gods. I spend many days and weeks "lingering in discomfort".  This keeps my mind and body alive, pushing the boundaries, and tweaking my execution on a continual basis. It's not always fun and games, but in the end it's well worth it.

Where do you fit on the fixed versus growth mindset continuum? Please share with us some of your "growth" goals for 2015.

Keep growing,

Phil Black (FitDeck Founder)

P.S. For more information on this concept of "fixed vs. growth" mindset, see teachings of Carol Dweck, Ph.D.


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