Recently I finished reading a book called 'Mindset' by Carol Dweck and was extremely interested in the application it has to exercise and dieting, primarily being able to stick to them after a commitment has been made.
She claims, with a whole bunch of evidence to back it up, that most people fall into two categories of mindsets.
There is the fixed mindset, where everyone has fixed ability and you can either do something or can’t. Alternatively, there is the growth mindset, in which people believe anything is achievable through hard work, smart choices and dedication.
Everyone here should be pushing for that growth mindset.
(Picture - http://terrystorch.com/fostering-a-growth-mindset/)
When it comes to dieting a fixed mindset orientated person would believe that they just have to be strong, not eat so much and make healthier choices, it’s that easy. Upon failing for any reason, say eating a packet of biscuits while watching Game of Thrones, they believe that they failed, will always fail and diets aren’t for them.
I would advise this person to try to come up with strategies to overcome obstacles, create healthy habits and encourage the 80/20 rule for eating. It would be an incredibly boring life without chocolate. Unfortunately many people in the fixed mindset believe this is cheating, why should they need all these strategies and help just to lose some fat? It is in no way cheating, your willpower is a finite resource and will rapidly deplete without a little help.
Success for people with similar amounts of willpower comes down to their mindset. Fixed versus growth will alter how a person acts when willpower is low, reacts to challenges or obstacles, how intelligently they use willpower throughout the day and in the end whether a person will stick it out or not.
It is definitely something to think about and it’s interesting to take an objective look at yourself in different situations.
How do you react to obstacles?
What thoughts cross your mind?
Do you think certain things are out of your control or do you take charge?
Do you make excuses or make it work?