One of the biggest factors that influences your outputs and outcomes in your health and fitness journey is your mindset.
Despite if you're working out and tracking your nutrition day in day out, you are only ever as healthy as your mindset is. Your mental state has a direct impact on your overall health, behaviours and your ability to achieve physical results.
Mastering your mindset is a constant work in progress, and like everything, good things take time and consistency.
Keep scrolling for our practical tips and strategies for developing a healthy mindset, to help you cultivate perpetual growth, greater fulfilment and success in all aspects.
Reasons to work on your mindset
Our mindset ultimately shapes the beliefs and attitudes we hold about ourselves and the way we view the world around us. These ways of thinking directly affect the choices and decisions we make each day, which makes mastering your mindset an integral factor in achieving health and wellbeing.
Here are some key reasons why working on your mindset is so important when it comes to our mind, body and spirit.
#1 To fall in love with yourself
Having a healthy self-image and self-esteem is so important to living a happy and fulfilling life. The first step to achieving anything you desire is actually believing that you can do it, which is near impossible if you don’t see yourself in a positive light.
When your inner dialogue is kind, you feel inspired, confident and focused. On the contrary, if you’re constantly shaming yourself with negative self talk, only more doubt and a cycle of self-criticism will follow.
#2 To think like a winner
Having a positive mindset doesn’t mean that you only experience positive emotions and thoughts all the time, rather, it’s about accepting your reality and focusing on ways that you can make your current situation better.
Even if it’s really not your day, working on your mindset can help you develop a winning mentality and truly believe that you can find the necessary resources to make the best out of your situation.
#3 To stay determined
Motivation is great, but you can't rely on it to be there every day for you. There will be some days where you won’t really feel like getting your workout done, or cooking yourself dinner at the end of a busy day.
This is where staying dedicated and focused no matter what comes into play. You can’t always rely on external motivation, however developing a healthy mindset can help you stay self-driven and disciplined.
#4 To overcome any obstacles
No matter how badly you want to achieve a certain goal, your journey will never be completely smooth. To get through rough waters, being equipped with the proper mindset is essential. Staying courageous, open-minded and flexible in any situation, and the ability to handle pressure in stressful times, all comes with mastering your mindset.
Here are some examples of how the right mindset can help you on your health and fitness journey:
- You will set your goals from a place of self-love and acceptance
- You will be happy with yourself, no matter if you’ve already reached your goals or have just started your way there
- You will believe that you can do anything, from staying on track with nutrition to hitting your personal best in the next tough workout
- You will always show up and do your best, no matter if the motivation is there or not
Fixed vs growth mindset
One of our favourite approaches to shifting your way of thinking was created by Carol Dweck, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, in her book called Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Carol identified two types of mindset, a fixed mindset vs a growth mindset.
According to this framework, people with a fixed mindset believe that they are dealt certain cards in life, and this is what they’re stuck with. For example, they may believe that they can’t ever reach their physique goals due to not having the 'right' genetics, or that they could never adjust to doing their workouts early in the morning because they are “just not a morning person”.
In essence, those with a fixed mindset are motivated to avoid failure at all costs, which can often mean never actively trying to get out of their comfort zone, taking risks, or trying new things.
On the contrary, people with a growth mindset believe that their abilities and skills can be developed when enough effort is applied. They are not afraid to put in the work just to see whether something comes out of it, being that in fitness or other areas of life. Those with a growth mindset are appreciative of any feedback so long as it's constructive, are always ready to be challenged and see hard work as a pathway to success.
Shifting your mindset
No matter where you are in your journey, you can start to nurture a growth mindset and eventually learn to see everything in a more positive, constructive light.
Here are some practical ways to start shifting your mindset right away:
- Work on your self-talk. Instead of saying to yourself over and over again that you “can’t do this”, “don’t have time”, or “simply can’t stick to your nutrition plan” instead, reassure yourself that you CAN do it, and that all that’s required is trying and doing your best, as opposed to achieving perfection each time.
- Make note of your language. The way you speak about things matters just as much as your inner dialogue, as your brain will believe the words you speak as truth.
When describing your efforts and achievements, avoid saying things like “I’m terrible at this” or “I look stupid when I do this exercise”. Instead, consciously focus on noting the good things in your life instead of complaining. Try “I feel so strong and energised from my workout today” or “this healthy meal tastes delicious and is fuelling my body”. Only we have the power to change our stories.
- Don’t be afraid to learn and apply new knowledge. Don’t let your mind settle and accept the way things are just because that's the easy path. Always keep learning, researching and challenging what you already know. Stay teachable by reading inspiring books, listen to podcasts by experts and ask lots of questions to level up your knowledge and apply new approaches that work for you.
The ultimate key to taking control of your health and fitness journey is through mastering your mindset.
By adopting a growth mindset, embracing positive self talk and taking inspired action, you can start making sustainable long term changes and be completely capable of achieving whatever you put your mind to.