As you may know, I’m a strong believer in the power of physical activity, sport, and fitness to transform both lives and mindsets. Particularly for those who don’t consider themselves athletes.
I would even go as far as to say that personal challenges, overcoming adversity, and the ability to learn from our experiences are essential for personal growth and at the heart of a high-performing life.
At FRESH!, we see this power every day.
Many of our clients come to us with a lack of confidence in themselves, their power, and their physical abilities. They may be smart, talented, and successful in their career, yet they’ve never connected with their physical self.
This disconnect leaves a big gap in their confidence and psychological outlook on life. Since the brain and body are so connected, that gap often holds them back in many areas of their work, social, family, and personal growth.
A massive part of our programming plan at FRESH! is to use the movement spectrum to begin shifting a person’s mindset from a fixed to a growth perspective. Doing this has a far-reaching impact on each of these previously mentioned areas of life.
To learn how to perform foundational movements correctly to maximize the benefits from your workouts and daily activities, register for our Movement Foundations Course.
While I consider myself firmly growth-oriented in most areas of life, when faced with new challenges and frustrations, it can be easy to let fixed mindset thoughts bubble up.
Our family is quite active and athletic. Physical fitness and skills are something we’ve cultivated in our children from a young age.
My entire reason for coaching and owning FRESH! can be summed up in this single sentence:
We share the lifestyle we love. The FRESH! fitness team and I believe that being healthy, happy, and fit paves the road to an amazing life. And we want to help as many people as possible experience that life. It’s a pretty simple concept, but not always as easy to get people there.
Now a little digression. A couple of years ago, my family and I were in Mexico. A big focus of this trip was to learn to surf. The lessons and surf were awesome, and it got me thinking about how fitness, physical activity, and sport provide such an incredible vehicle for personal growth and development. On the first day of surfing, we had a great time. The instructors were very helpful, leading us throughout that day. At the end of that day, we all felt that “hey, this surfing thing is pretty easy”.
On the second day, reality came crashing down hard when we didn’t have the instructors guiding every second of the experience. Trying to find an appropriate wave, get the timing of our swimming right, and link that with standing up on the board ended up being too much.
We realized how much more challenging it was to do it right without a coach.
Frustration abounded, and there were a few moments where we all had those negative thoughts come flooding into our minds.
You know them. You’ve probably experienced them before. I’m talking about that voice that says things like:
- “You suck!”
- “What were you thinking? Whatever made you think you were a surfer?”
- “You should just stick to things you are good at”
- “You are so uncoordinated.”
- “I guess you just aren’t a good surfer.”
These are just a few examples of negative self-talk that can rear its ugly head when things aren’t going our way.
Personally, I also had some conflicting thoughts. I was excited that my kids (8 and 10 years old) were doing amazing, but I also realized that they were doing much better than me! The competitive side of me had some trouble with that in the beginning. 🙂
The key to cultivating a growth-oriented mindset in these challenging times is to remember these key points:
- Everything you know now, you had to learn at some point.
- The best people in the world all started as beginners, and it’s taken them years to master their craft.
- Learning and growth is a journey that presents challenges and barriers for a reason.
We must learn a new skill to get past these barriers and unlock new experiences (and further challenges). We should embrace this process and remember that every challenge and frustration is helping us learn a new skill and take us to a new level in life (like a video game…but for real). Soon, we will begin to look forward to these situations and approach them from a more positive and productive perspective.
When we met the instructors that afternoon, the wind had picked up, the waves were bigger, and we were frustrated from our morning attempts.
Like any great coach, they helped us reframe our perspective by reminding us that we were one day into learning a complex skill. And by providing us with some targeted tips to help us overcome our challenges. Of course, when we followed their recommendations, things became much easier, and our confidence returned.
At FRESH!, we see this all the time when people work with us. They will see great results and progress when with the coach, but then struggle when they go on vacation, away on a business trip, or take a break to “do it on their own”.
This is the interesting thing about coaching and the difference between a coach and a personal trainer (or instructor). Trainers and instructors focus on skill-based tips and techniques.
Coaches do these things too, but more importantly, understand that these tips are best delivered after the mindset and strategy have been managed. Successfully learning complex and challenging skills is rarely about the hard skills exclusively (i.e. technique). And typically comprises a large psychological and mindset component.
Physical activity and fitness are amazing vehicles to create the physical and physiological change you desire.
As coaches, we cultivate and manage the variables to your specific needs.
Where else can you set up an environment to experience challenge, frustration, failure, and success hundreds of times in a single session, workout, or outdoor adventure? Each time you do, it transforms your mindset, experience, perspective, perseverance, and resilience.
With regards to our final day of surfing, it posed different challenges. A larger swell had come in, and our instructors took us to a different part of the beach with bigger waves. While it didn’t feel much more challenging than day 2, we were surfing better, and on more challenging waves. This progress in progress in both our technical skills and mindset was helpful to reflect on.
In the physical realm, we often have clients exclaim “I feel like it never gets any easier”. This is when we provide them with some of the exercise variations or loads that they used when first starting. The clients quickly realize how far they have come, and that despite still being challenged, they are now stronger, more coordinated, confident, and capable.
This is a great realization, and it only comes from stopping momentarily to reflect on the learning, growth, and development you’ve accomplished.
It’s one of the reasons that we encourage clients to celebrate their wins, milestones, and accomplishments. Of course, we still want these celebrations to be positive and productive. It doesn’t make sense (yet something many people do) to celebrate by reaching a weight-loss milestone (Yay! I lost 10 pounds) by eating lots of unhealthy food or going back to your old nutrition habits.
Hopefully, these examples help you realize that personal development and mindset change can come from many areas.
Each day, we are faced with opportunities to engage, embrace, and own our experiences in a way that cultivates growth, skill development, and long-term happiness.
Including fitness as a part of this process is a great way to accelerate the transformation.
My question for you is to think about what challenges and opportunities you are putting in front of yourself throughout the year, and what help are you getting to expedite the change process.
We can’t skip steps, but a coach can definitely accelerate the process, and help you avoid getting stuck indefinitely at certain stages.
One caveat about physical challenges is to ensure that your body is ready to take them on. You MUST have the requisite movement skills and physical capacity to tackle them safely.
The great news is that the road to building these movement skills and fitness is part of the mindset and personal development journey.
If you are ready to harness the power of new physical challenges to improve your life, please reach out. My team and I would love to help.