Without realizing it, falling in love with Michiel (my husband) some 18 years ago, was the start of adopting a growth mindset for me.
It is only now, almost 2 decades later, that I can see just how life-changing that was.
Having a growth mindset can lead to better health, obtaining a larger skill set, more opportunities, more rewarding relationships, and so many other benefits.
And apart from all of these benefits, a growth mindset can go as far as affecting your hormones and overall health more than you will ever know.
Join me in this episode to learn more.
Free resource mentioned in this episode: www.vandghie.com/guide
Hello hello and welcome to yet another episode of the Beauty in Balance podcast!
I gotta let you know that I’ve been enjoying these conversations with you and the feedback I’ve been getting. So on that note, if you’ve been enjoying these episodes and you haven’t shared it with somebody yet, take the link and share it in a text or however you prefer. And secondly, if you’ve been enjoying these episodes, I would love for you to let me know what you would like to hear more of!
Now, as you know, this podcast is all about how beautiful things come to us when we manage to find balance. IN our health, relationships, work, social life and everything else. And more specifically, I truly believe that we can do all the self-development in the world, but if our bodies are not physically in a healthy place, it’s going to be really hard to implement all of that amazing growth strategies that we spend time learning!
And often, when we feel exhausted all the time, with low self-confidence and a deep sense of being unhappy and unfulfilled, getting through each day is hard enough.
So make sure you practice good self-care through the food you eat, how you move your body and how you deal with stress. I just wanted to put that out there.
Now, this week I’ve been pondering on a specific topic I’ve become more aware of in the last year or so.
You may have heard about this topic of having a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset.
If you haven’t, it’s a theory that was developed by psychologist Carol Dweck and she wrote about it in her book called Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.
Now bear with me here. I’ll just lay a foundation before I tell you a story…
According to Dweck’s theory, a mindset is a self-perception or self-theory that you hold about yourself and who you are. Believing that you are either intelligent or unintelligent is an example of a mindset. Another example may be that I’m a good parent, or a loyal friend, or I’m bad at remembering names or maybe you see yourself as an impatient person
You can either be aware or unaware of your mindset and what your thoughts are about yourself, but according to Dweck your mindset can have a profound effect on the kinds of skills that you’ll learn, your personal relationships, your professional success and many other dimensions of life.
She also talks about having a fixed mindset, which is when people believe their basic qualities, like intelligence and talents are simply fixed traits. These people believe that talent alone creates success - without effort. And when they inevitably fail at something, they are convinced that they can’t or won’t be able to do it. For example I’m bad at numbers or xy and z is just part of my personality. These people also tend to make excuses to rationalise their failure.
On the other hand, people with a growth mindset believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work - talent is just the starting point. And as you can imagine, this view creates a willingness and love for learning and resilience, which are both essential for achieving or accomplishing anything in life. These people also tend to see failure as opportunities to improve.
Now this is where my story comes in.
You might have heard me talking before about how I did crossfit.
And like most people, you may think that I’ve always done sport.
During my 10 years of crossfit, I was usually one of the fittest and strongest people at the box (which, if you don’t know anything about crossfit, a crossfit gym is called a box). I could do all the crazy things you see on tv, like handstand walks, handstand pushups, pullups, muscle ups, and did some heavy lifting. Most of my lifts would be some of the heaviest at the box amongst the ladies. I even did some competitions and ranked in the top 10.
Now you might be wondering why am I telling you this and why is this important to you?
Well, this week I was reminded of where my fitness journey started.
Many people when they hear this story, find it really hard to believe.
Ever since I can remember, I’ve had really bad asthma.
And for this reason, I hardly did any sport at school.
I played netball for the 3rd team for my year group every year.
We had the choice between hockey and netbal and I chose netball every year because it involved less running. I hated exercise, I was extremely unfit for the most part.
Then I went to uni and met Michiel within the first 2 months of being on campus.
He absolutely knocked my feet out from under me and he still does every day.
But he was in the final year of his studies of Human Movement Science and then went on to qualify as a Clinical Exercise Physiologist.
He also played rugby for most of his life at that point and was an exceptional athlete.
And to be honest, I felt like I had to start doing some exercise if I was going to have any chance at impressing him at all!
And so my journey started…
It was hard, most days. It always felt like a ton of bricks were resting on my chest as I struggled to take each breath. It was actually quite embarrassing how weak i was. I literally couldn't do glute bridges. But I was determined.
Michiel used to come over to my place and we’d go for a quote run unquote.
It was a 400m snail paced jog and then walk back home, as my whole body cramps due to a lack of oxygen.
There were many days that I was so ready to give up!
Then I started studying dietetics and learned about why exercise was so important, which made me even more determined to not give up.
So very slowly but surely things got easier as I persisted.
I mainly fluffed around at the gym doing some slow cardio and machine weights.
And then Michiel started including higher intensity workouts into the programs he wrote for me.
And that hooked me.
And 4 months after having my second baby, I got introduced to crossfit.
It was one of the hardest physical things I’ve ever had to do, but I loved the challenge.
And that’s where it started.
And fast forward 10 years, most people believe that I’ve always been an athlete and must have done really well at sport in my younger days.
So this week I thought about that journey.
I used to believe that I wasn’t a sporty person and my asthma prevented me from doing anything active.
If I allowed myself to remain stuck in that fixed mindset, life would have looked very different to me now.
Unknowingly, back then, I adopted a growth mindset and it has served me really well.
Now, I don’t think of myself as somebody that is not sporty, I actually think of myself as somebody that loves exercise and am actually not too bad at it either.
Michiel believes that he is not good at math. And we’ve talked about this before, how he actually have never truly developed that skill or tried to develop it.
Adopting a growth mindset can be something that can help you to achieve greater health, achieve more success and acquire more skills. It can lead to a very fulfilled and rewarding life, because the more you take risks to learn new things, the more you’ll experience a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
On the other hand, I believe to be able to adopt a growth mindset, we have to have a sense of self awareness.
We need to be able to become aware of our limiting beliefs. The ones that actually make up who we are. That we’ve been convincing ourselves of or actually have never been aware of.
Once we become aware of these limiting beliefs, we can actually investigate where it comes from. Why do they exist. I know for my exercise example, my limiting belief was two-fold. I believed because I’ve had asthma, exercise was not something I’ll ever be able to do and therefore i believed that I had a physical limitation.
Secondly, I believed that I was not a sporty person and would never be able to do well in any form of physical activity or exercise and therefore it stopped me from even trying.
Another example for me is my recent obsession with my veggie garden.
I’ve tried to do veggie garden before (maybe twice) and have failed miserably every time.
I then started saying that I didn’t have green fingers and I wasn’t good at gardening.
But when I started adopting a growth mindset and became more aware of the actual reality around personal growth, I realised that gardening was merely a skill that can be learned and mastered over time. And now that I’m committed to the process of learning how to garden, we harvest beautiful vegetables from our home garden, and that only 4 months after committing ot the process.
So I have a question for you friend.
Have you though about your limiting beliefs lately?
What is it that you believe you are or are not?
And how does this affect your behaviour?
Are these potentially the things that keep you back from being the person you want to be?
Maybe you would love to be a better wife or parent, but there are things that you believe is part of your personality or simply just who you are…
I had a conversation with Michiel about this the other day.
I used to be a very emotionally detached person. Black and white. Right or wrong. And mostly it was my ways that were the right ones.
I believed that my strong personality will serve me greatly into the future, because successful people are strong right?
But once I became aware of my limiting beliefs, I realised that all of those characteristics were survival skills that I’ve had to learn over the years to survive through certain situations and since I’ve learned to be stubborn, unemotional, and confrontational, I learned that I can also change that and become inspirational instead of stubborn, endearing and empathetic instead of unemotional and learn to listen and care instead of being confrontational.
It’s taught me that behind every single one of my characteristics lies a world of experiences, hurts, joys and emotions, that have been buried and locked away.
But once I got brave enough to dig deeper to find those experiences, joys, emotions and hurts, could i understand the things that I didn’t like that much about myself and change it.
Self-discovery can at first be a very scary thing, but once I’ve experienced the great joy and freedom that comes from it, I’m actually a bit addicted to it now.
So maybe today you can find 10 minutes of mindfulness and think through the things that you don’t like about yourself. And then start to meditate on why they are there. What were the things that created this version of you and how can you leverage that to use it to your advantage.
I wana leave ou with this today.
You’ve been created for great things.
Don’t allow the past to rob that from you.
Instead, put on your big girl pants and start noticing the tremendous possibilities that lies within your unique life of experiences and characteristics.
Find somebody you can trust and have real conversations. The ones where you can start peeling back the layers and discover the beauty that lies within you.
And you’ll see, on that road of discovery and change you’ll find the things that make you unique and that you can offer to the world around you.
There is a bigger purpose to your life than just showing up tired and irritable each day.
You just have to be brave enough to try and find it!
Ok my dear friend. Thanx for spending a few minutes with me again today and if you’ve enjoyed this episode, go on and share it with a loved-one!
Bye for now
If you’ve been a bit unhappy with the version of you that’s been showing up lately then I’ve got just the resource for you. You might be wondering why your PMS seems to be getting worse as you get older. And because many women wonder this same thing, I’ve created a guide to help you understand the 3 reasons why your mood swings, irritability and emotional outbreaks are getting worse, especially after having your babies.
You can find this free resource on my website at www.vandghie.com/guide or find the link in the show notes to this episode.