• Jon Duellman PT

Growth Mindset for Beginners

Updated: Jun 26, 2020

Today is a great day to get better. I'm happy to get to work on a new post and try to improve each time.


The Growth Mindset is being discussed and shared in education but can be applied to many things in life. Let's talk a little bit more about this concept and how it applies to health, fitness, and rehab.

Growth Mindset: the understanding that abilities and intelligence can be developed and improved.

Over the past two years, I have heard from various personal accounts on how the growth mindset changed their life. Usually they'd mention how they transformed their life by focusing on improving his weakness seeing them as opportunities rather than being fixed. This may not seem too crazy or new, but let's think of it another way.


A high school student has struggled with math for a few years. His family states, "he is just not good at math." He agrees. He doesn't get good grades in math classes. He is great at reading and writing though. He thinks, "I'm bad at math. I guess I'll just focus on the classes I'm better at now."


This person has succumbed to a fixed mindset. The wrong mindset or the self limiting mindset says you are fixed. This would state you are what you are with strengths and weaknesses are today and in the future. Why would this person work hard to get better at math?




Really, if you look at the "successful" people in the world, they work their butts off to get where they are. It's really the minority that get far without day to day work.


Along with the fixed mindset which makes us rest on our current state, we often self limit ourselves or self sabotage. I can't tell you how many things I "want" to do but give myself excuses to avoid the decision making or effort it takes to actually accomplish the task.


Dr. DeBell in a 2018 podcast (TheMovementFix) suggests we all to reflect on ourselves and our behaviors that limit our own progress in life.


I've been aware of these concerns with myself over the past years, but I have to continually work to recognize and work through those deficiencies. It can cripple you if you state some part of you is stuck and cannot improve.


I recommend we all take a look at ourselves and reflect on our behavior related to our goals and make sure we aren't stopping ourselves from success. We should all look at our weakness as areas for work and plan to improve them rather than view them as fixed. It's easy to give in to them.


Sometimes in physical therapy in particular we are guilty of owning our injury and saying poor me and I'm stuck with it. We should be thinking about the opportunity to improve with training and physical therapy that can make me better than what I was before.


In the end, it's similar to physical training. We need to recognize weaknesses and make a plan to improve them. It may be strength, flexibility, aerobic conditioning, or whatever. We can make a plan to improve. It's no different with our life skills, be it social, business, learning, or something else.

I think this is important as we reflect on our progress through life. Look for the ways to improve not the ways to stop working.

Keep growing everybody.



If you'd like to learn more, check out this site. Link: Growth Mindset

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