A group of my friends and I were hanging out one night, and somehow we got on the topic of how random people become rich and famous by doing the stupidest things, sometimes by accident. For example, the "Catch Me Outside" girl, Danielle Bregoli's net worth is estimated to be $4 million just for being on a talk show and saying something that eventually turned into a meme and went viral. That show platformed her endorsements and rap career, but it all started with something "so dumb."
Anyways, on this topic, a friend of mine was absolutely disgusted by this. The fact that she has made so much money was insulting to him. And it was at that moment that I challenged him. I said, "Her being worth $4 million is kind of amazing because it evens the playing field! What does she have that you don't? When "nobodies" make it, that is inspiring as fuck. If she can do it, truly anyone can!"
That brings me to what I will talk about today—how to shift from a fixed mindset to a growth, abundant, builder-of-your-own destiny mindset. I also want to emphasize that while my growth mindset has improved dramatically over the last year, it never used to be like that. I very much played the victim in my own life for a very long time and used scarcity language daily. So now, when I even hear a whisper of scarcity, it sticks out like a sore thumb. Once you see it, you can't unsee it, you know?
Within this article, I want to give you three tangible tips on how to shift from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset so that you can live up to your fullest potential. Because trust me, pointing the finger at other people or circumstances as blame for where you are in life is tiring. So let's jump into 2022, cracking through those bad mental habits, and begin to build new ones that will propel us forward.
But first, I want to identify four mindset types that I will be referring to a lot within this article.
Four Mindset Types
A fixed mindset refers to when people believe their basic qualities such as intelligence or talents are fixed traits and cannot be changed. They may also become very uncomfortable with change. Change to them is scary, and the old ways are always the best. They subconsciously do not believe they have the power to create change in their lives and remain in mediocrity.
A growth mindset refers to when people believe they can change their qualities with hard work and practice. Growth-minded people embrace change and get excited to try new things. Innovation is fun and exciting, not a hassle. They believe they can create change in their lives and view obstacles as opportunities, not barriers.
A scarcity mindset is when someone mainly focuses on the lack of something, usually time, money, love, or resources. They may also compare themselves to other people and what they "don't have" in comparison. They believe there is only so much to go around, so they have to hold on to whatever they can. These people can sometimes be codependent in relationships as well.
An abundance mindset refers to when someone believes there is enough to go around for everyone. Everyone can get a piece of the pie, and what someone else has doesn't take away from what they have. All can prosper and thrive independently because everyone is running their own race.
HOW Growth Happens
Now before I get into the three tips, I want to pre-frame HOW growth happens. It occurs over four different stages:
Stage 1: Comfort
This is our comfort zone. Many people are here, and some stay here indefinitely. Folks who remain in this stage can be set in their ways, for better or worse. They do not like their ideas challenged because that challenges their "safety." They like to be right and do things the way they were always done. Familiarity is comforting to them.
Stage 2: Fear
At some point, we must step outside of our comfort zone to grow, which can be scary! That can bring up the unknown. And for many people, they would rather live with the devil they know rather than the devil they don't. Some people would rather live in misery (their comfort) than challenge their fear, try something new, and get really uncomfortable in stage 2 to cross over into stage 3. But here is the thing y'all, fear is required for growth. Embrace it and learn from it.
Stage 3: Courage
Courage is taking action even when you are fearful. Courage is getting comfortable with the uncomfortable. Courage is making an authentic choice despite other people not understanding or supporting you. Courage doesn't exist without the presence of fear. Courage can only manifest if fear comes first. Courage occurs when you overcome fear. When one has courage, they are stepping on growth's doorstep.
Stage 4: Growth
And only after fear and courage take place can true growth happen. No one, and I mean no one, can grow within Step 1. Zero growth occurs when we are comfortable, it is literally impossible! If something scares you, like embarking on a new career, moving to a new city, or leaving a toxic relationship, I encourage you to lean into that. Fear is normal. It doesn't mean we shouldn't move forward. It is simply our brain's way of keeping us safe. When people reach stage 4, they typically ask themselves, "Why did I wait so long?"
Transitioning from a Fixed Mindset to a Growth Mindset
Lastly, I want to give you three tips to help you transition from a fixed mindset into a growth mindset. And notice I said transition. Growth doesn't happen overnight.
Reframe How You View Adversity
Like I briefly mentioned above, when presented with an obstacle, do you view it as an opportunity or a barrier? Many people view adversity (or even inconveniences for that matter) as a barrier. But I encourage you to instead LOOK for the opportunity. It's amazing what you will find when you go looking for it. Plus, opportunity is proactive, not reactive. When we look for opportunities versus being halted by barriers, we take control of our lives and feel empowered.
Allow Your Beliefs to be Challenged
Stepping out of your ego takes practice. Because let's be real, the ego is where our high horse lives. In order to grow, we need to step off our high horse to get out of our ego so we can listen, absorb new information, be willing to be wrong, and evolve. Nothing is more impressive than when an expert is willing to change their mind. That is true leadership and growth right there.
Focus on the Process and Less on the Result
This one is tough to execute, but any of you reading this probably have some experience in fitness/training so you know it's true. To crush it on meet day, you must focus on the details of your training during meet prep—not the meet itself. The training (process) is what prepares you for the result. That is where your focus needs to remain for you to succeed and therefore grow. It's the same with any goal. If you don't put emphasis on the small tasks and wins for them to compound, you will never make it to your end result. Too many people miss the forest through the trees here. Growth is achieved during the PROCESS.
Remember, this is not an overnight fix. Improving our mindset requires time, practice, and awareness. If you slip back into old patterns, no problem. Just catch it, be aware of it, and do better next time. Simply noticing our fixed or scarcity mentalities is a great fucking step! Most people are completely unaware their mindset sucks in the first place. I hope you found this article helpful and cheers to your growth!
Alycia Israel is a nationally qualified NPC figure and bikini competitor and raw powerlifter. She has a master’s degree in exercise physiology, is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist, and an ISSN-certified sports nutritionist. As the former personal training coordinator at Ohio State University for seven years, she currently owns and operates Alycia's Barbell, an online training and nutrition business that helps clients lose fat for life or jump on the competitive bodybuilding stage. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.