When we talk about mindset, we have to include the importance of hope and possibility.
Viewing a situation through the lens of hope and possibility changes everything. When we experience hope and possibility, we free up energy. Hope and possibility lift moods and ease the way to creating change.
Where are you on the hope and possibility spectrum when it comes to creating peace with food and the vibrant life you want?
If you’ve been unsuccessful, this is something you might want to examine.
Mindset can propel you forward and it can also be your biggest stumbling block.
Most approaches to overeating don’t address mindset, and that’s a problem.
As a psychologist, thoughts and beliefs are usually the first places I look if someone is stuck, and today, I want to challenge you to do the same.
What’s the conversation you have in your head about the changes you’re trying to make?
What are the stories you’re telling yourself?
Are they words of possibility? Is the self-talk positive, encouraging, hopeful?
Or are you calling yourself names, judging yourself, talking to yourself in a way that you’d never speak to a dear friend, or blaming your situation on all the things that “make it impossible”?
Are you determined to make changes in a way that feels good or do you constantly tell yourself how hard it’s going to be to change your eating because you’ll feel deprived, and be missing out?
The thoughts and beliefs you have about what it will take and what it will feel like to change your eating are your mindset.
The more you learn to take control of the mindset you choose, the easier making changes will be.
Carol Dweck was the first to coin the term and write about growth mindset. A growth mindset involves approaching challenges and situations from a belief that you can grow and change, and that you can affect a positive outcome. Within a growth mindset, problems or “failures” aren’t signs that you are a failure, instead, they’re opportunities to grow and to learn more about how to succeed.
There is a way of creating momentum and motivation from even the worst binge or day of overeating, and to do this you need a growth mindset.
You need permission to be curious about what happened. And you need to see yourself as capable of moving on from past missteps.
The opposite of a growth mindset is a fixed mindset. It’s a belief that you’re stuck and powerless against circumstances beyond your control. It’s a place in our minds that allows very little room for hope and possibility.
A fixed mindset about your relationship with food will leave you feeling stuck, and at the mercy of the 3 Os – overwhelm, overload, and overeating.
Feeling like there’s not enough energy or time or motivation.
Groaning at overloaded calendars.
Chasing along behind a busy life, feeling hopeless about catching up, dreaming of finding more time for yourself, and maybe filling in the gaps with a little extra chocolate, wine, or procrastination.
Maybe feeling tired and irritable, because you’re not getting what you want.
Life is too short and you’re working too hard to not be feeling hope and possibility.
Even during challenging times like these.
Mindset is everything. It’s the filter through which we experience life.
If you think peace with food is impossible, it probably will be. If you believe you’ll always struggle with your weight, is there really room to break free of the struggle? And if you feel like you’ll have to make tremendous sacrifices to stop overeating, doesn’t that impact the odds of creating lasting change?
I challenge you to pick a place where you feel stuck and take one step to shift into a growth mindset.
Find one place where you have been feeling stuck or frustrated with yourself and consider it from a different perspective. Be curious about what you can learn. Why are you getting stuck? What is throwing you off track? What change or new approach might help with this situation?
What are you needing that would help you lean into growth instead of throwing up your hands in frustration?
These are big questions, and they can be game-changers. Adopting a growth mindset means learning about what we don’t know and being open to learning how to approach things differently.
Today, be attentive to your mindset. It can make all the difference.