Embracing the Power of a Growth Mindset

I have a confession to make. When I decided to pursue a certificate education in Health Mindset Coaching a year and a half ago, I didn’t do it for me.

I was told I wouldn’t get hired for a job I wanted without credentials behind my name. The psychology of behavior change and mindset intrigues me (it always has) but the true reason I took that course was to check off a box. 

So when my anticipated job offer was pulled out from under me a week into the course, you can imagine how I felt. Like I wasn’t good enough. Even though I got the, “It’s not you, it’s me” talk, I felt rejected. Disappointed. Defeated. And damn, was I pissed.

These very real (negative) emotions became the driver of my upcoming education. Eagerness over lectures shifted to reluctant “what’s the point?”. As I took notes, I found myself jotting down my own critical thoughts in the margins, reflecting on how every concept related to my crappy situation. I worked through the case studies, filled with resentment and questions pertaining to my own purpose, doubting that I would ever have the opportunity to assist clients of my own.

But I begrudgingly forged ahead because I refused to loose sight of the excitement I did have to learn, even if only a sliver it of was showing. I had to lean in hard on my innate stubbornness and determination to be better. I chipped away one day at time, until all the anger I was holding onto started to melt away. I began not only learning, but applying

I wish I could tell you this story is as simple as turning lemons into lemonade, but it is far deeper than that.

Mindshifts happen through a critical turn of perspective. Specifically, a ‘fixed’ mindset to a ‘growth’ mindset (if you want to get psychologically technical) may be triggered by one event, *but* the shift happens over time. And a lot of it is HARD WORK. Growing your mindset is a like embarking on the hike of a lifetime- you always have a start pointing, somewhere to take the first step with the load on your back. Most of the climb is uphill, but you find valleys along the way. Sometimes you can take it top speed, moments you just slow down, and still others you need to completely stop to catch your breath. Then you reach the peak, literally feeling on top of the world like you can do anything. To only realize this it’s just the beginning. You need to get back down, but now it’s about how you do it. You have further to go. More to learn. More to do. More to be.

Navigating my Health Mindset Certification was beyond eye opening for me. With each chapter, the concepts became deeper and the psychological theories more intricate, mirroring the evolution of my own thoughts. I found myself mapping out textbook examples of behavior change onto my own experiences, and connecting century-old scientific theories to my current reality. My capacity to apply these principles of mindset to my life expanded exponentially, transforming my every day thoughts, words, and actions in ways I can’t even describe.

But I’m going to try (of course)…

  1. I don’t “have to” do anything or be anyone. I GET TO.
    I find reason in what I do; I am proud of who I am; I am thankful for every opportunity and privilege in my life. And if any of it ever feels any differently, it’s time to re-evaluate what is at hand and make an immediate change.
  2. “I don’t have time” or “I can’t” is not in my vocabulary.
    Those sentences are simply excuses, cop-outs, and empty promises. *If* I want, I desire, I hope & dream – then I find a way, no matter what. I shift, I pivot, and I prioritize until it is my reality. Admitting to and acceptance of my own priorities- whether they agree with someone else’s or not- is one of the many ways I honor my own self-respect. 
  3. It’s common to say that real change occurs from the inside, out. To treat the root, attack the core first. But lately, I do just the opposite: approach the world from the outside, in. Because ENVIRONMENT. My mind addresses first what surrounds me. What either is allowing an opportunity to thrive, or caving in to fail. I set up for success by controlling… adjusting… fixing… (maybe even just accepting…) as many outside factors as possible; it is, then, that I can work to change the very core that I began striving for. I built Aligned.byKate on very this premise, so you better believe my mindset is extremely aware of the role environment shapes all behavior.
  4. Nothing happens TO me. I do not throw pity parties and I’m certainly not a victim. Life throws me some pretty shitty cards sometimes, but it’s how I deal with them that makes a difference. Even in the most devastating of situations when answers are unfathomable, I can at least to do something good in response. I search for any sort of hope because sometimes, that is the only way to rise.
  5. I could go without saying, but it’s just as easily to let them leak into our lives as it is to void them. Toxic relationships, poor communication, pessimistic energy, and unhealthy habits are point-blank not welcome in my life. A thing my past was to say, “give it another chance” or “it’s ok, it was just once”… until these things can start to feel so big, it becomes suffocating. So any sign of the above, and I’m out. These choices can be difficult in the moment, but I am better ‘me’ in the long term.

I want to be clear – do not mistake my list for rainbows and sunshine flying out of my ass. It is not about maintaining a positive attitude. I have just as many crabby and hard days as the next Mom parenting 4 kids, in which the Devil temporarily slides into each and every one of them.

This list *is* about mental clarity. Perspective. What is looks like to embrace a growth mindset. 

So, I encourage you to make your list, too. Your non-negotiable’s. Your unapologetic must’s in your life. Your “well shoot, I need to work on this.” Because you will quickly see where you are stuck and where you are thriving.

Remember that change will not happen overnight. You will need to continuously put in the work. 

Experiences will help make us who we are. The people we surround ourselves with will mold what our relationships look like. Our minds will transpire the life we live. 

So, go and breathe in your mindset. 

How you say it. When you feel it. Why you think it.

And while you are at, make some lemonade with it💛