Changing Mindsets


Do you see the glass as half full or half empty? Most people will say they see the glass as half full, partially because they don’t want to sound like a pessimist. But the fact of the matter is that we all see and judge ourselves, others and circumstances based on a particular mindset, whether we’re aware of it or not.

This is particularly true when it comes to lifestyle changes. Trainers can work with some clients for years and only see a little progress, whereas other clients get immediate results. Often, the only difference is the mindset.

Researchers have found some common and opposing mindsets. For example, there’s the Growth vs. Fixed mindset.

Growth mindset: By making certain changes, I will be able to lose weight and build muscle.

Fixed mindset: This is just the way I am, and nothing I do ever changes it.

Identify your mindset, or the mindset of a client. If someone has a fixed, negative mindset it’s important to be empathetic and gently show that person what they can accomplish. Point out negative thought patterns like:

I can’t do as many reps as my trainer wants me to do. I’m just not cut out for this.

I’ll never be able to do a pushup.

I know I’ll fall if I try that!

I’m such a klutz!

Counter these types of negative talk with:

You’re doing great! You’ve already increased the reps since we started, and you’ll continue to increase them as you get stronger.

Many people have a hard time with pushups in the beginning but are surprised by how quickly they improve. We’ll start with one modified pushup and gradually increase.

Let’s go over the step (or exercise) slowly to increase muscle memory and gradually increase the speed (or range) until you feel confident.

You might feel awkward doing (fill in the blank), but you were very agile when doing (fill in the blank). Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. It’s important to remind yourself of your strengths, especially when you’re working on areas of weakness. (This is a good time for a trainer, or friend, to share some of their own strengths and weaknesses.)

It’s also important to recognize if you (or a client) has a Promotion mindset or a Prevention mindset.

Promotion mindset: You like to have goals and markers along the way. This person loves to see the progress, so keeping a good journal of reps, times, and types of exercises helps motivate them.

Prevention mindset: You are motivated to prevent something from happening, like weight gain, development of diabetes, bone loss, etc. It’s important to identify what you or a client wants to prevent and connect exercises and diet to those concerns.

In the two above mindsets, it’s important to work with that mindset, as opposed to changing the mindset. Both mindsets can lead to the same outcome. One is not better than the other, and the two mindsets can even be combined, based on the specific goals. Remember: you can do it!


If you want to have a personalized workout that takes your mindset into consideration and helps you overcome negative thinking, please contact me. I do private classes over Skype at reasonable prices, since no travel is involved. These classes can include PraiseMoves (a Christian alternative to yoga), HIIT, weights and dance. Learn more here.

To learn more about mindsets, read the article below, by Shirley Archer.

© Bobbi Mullins 2011, All rights reserved. FOOD FITNESS FAITH™