Do You Have the Right Mindset?

Our fitness expert Blake Worrall-Thompson explains how you can learn from life's setbacks and become stronger when it comes to achieving your goals.

In the ever-evolving health and fitness industry, it seems that there is still too much attention paid to food and fitness and not enough attention to the other areas of one’s wellbeing—in particular, a person’s mindset. 
I was lucky enough to be brought up through a very affluent private school system. While there, I was surrounded by people who were incredibly naturally gifted and didn’t have to “extend” themselves too much to get the very best results. But the school world is different from the real world—and when some of these people were thrown amongst “the rest,” they started to realise that natural talent alone wasn’t going to be enough anymore.
They had to come to terms with the fact that everything that once ran smoothly was now a lot rougher around the edges, and when things started to turn bad they didn’t have their parents as their security blanket telling them everything was going to be all right. In other words, they had to learn to adapt—and that was not something they had much practice with, because everything had always gone their way before. And being able to adapt and change is a huge part of a winning mindset.
I love people, I find them so interesting. I love understanding them, listening to their stories, and observing their behaviour. I find that when clients come to me, I can pick up their mindset pretty quickly.
They will generally fall into one of two categories, and it’s kind of like a home loan:
You have those that are “fixed” or those that are “growers.”
The former tend to think, “I’m good/bad at this, and that’s just the way it is,” while the latter are much more open to change and possibility.
The growers are more like, “I’m not awesome at this, but I’ll give it a crack.” Put me in front of the growers any day of the week! 
The main differences between these two personality types are:
  • “Fixed” personalities tend to think of setbacks as mistakes, while the growers think of them as challenges and opportunities to move forward. Growers are all about giving it a red hot crack, even if they’re not successful. Fixed personalities see their one attempt that didn’t go as planned as a “failure.”
  • Growers compete against themselves towards greatness. Fixed personalities compete against other people.
  • Fixed personalities attribute setbacks to their lack of ability and get depressed. Growers embrace setbacks because they provide an opportunity to learn and grow, and don’t think failures say anything about their inherent worth.
  • Growers find it easier to stay motivated because they focus more on what they can learn from difficulties and obstacles. The fixed personalities have a harder time persevering because they have a narrow definition of success and get too caught up when things don’t work the way they want.
The kind of mindset you have is determined to some extent by your upbringing and schooling. Did your parents focus on your natural talents, abilities, and test results, or were they more interested in the amount of effort you made and your enthusiasm for learning and growing?
I consider the perfect client to be one who rocks up to training, doesn’t make excuses, concentrates on his or her ”own game,” asks me for advice when needed, and takes full responsibility for his or her own path.
Here are some of the major things I’ve learnt and grown from in the past couple of years:
  • I’ve blown close to $50,000 on bad “investments” and courses, meaning that financially I’m behind where I would like to be at this point. But with each bad investment I’ve made, I am more and more aware of what I’m looking for and what I’m not looking for in a program or coach. I recently paid a new business coach $6,000—and he is by far the best coach I’ve had to date. I could have become cynical about coaches and led myself to believe they are a waste of time and money but nothing makes me happier than continuously moving forward and learning and for that reason I’ll always have a coach. 
  • I’ve been in some “interesting” relationships that haven’t worked out, but this doesn’t mean it’s ok for me to carry a chip on my shoulder and look at any new girl I meet in the same light and assume “Oh, she’s just like the others.” Instead I’ve spent the last 18 months single, working on myself and getting clear on what it is that I’m looking for in a partner. 
  • I’ve had chronic knee issues for over 15 years, and despite the fact I’ve seen in excess of 20 physios during this time, I refuse to accept that my knee is so bad I can’t ever run or play football. Instead I look for alternative methods and hang on to any small improvement that my knee makes. After 10 months of knee pain and trialling new methods this year, I’m finally pain-free for the first time in 2013.
  • I’m currently in the process of moving a large portion of my business online, yet I barely know how to turn a computer on! Despite the fact it can get frustrating at times, I make sure I embrace and enjoy every little win that I have. I also keep a diary and every now and then look over it—it’s amazing how far you can come in a short period of time if you don’t let your “failures” make you give up! 

So there it is. You’ve got two options: Let a setback deter you from living life to the max and play the victim card (because your life is so hard and you’ve been “dealt the wrong hand”)—or man up, learn from your setbacks, become stronger because of them…and, when you get knocked down, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and try again.

Have a good weekend!


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