Friday, September 2, 2011

How I Improved My Running By Reading 'Mindset' by Carol Dweck

The book 'Mindset, The New Psychology of Success, How We Can Learn To Fulfill Our Potential,' was a great read because it gave me a deeper insight on the theory of fixed mindset and growth mindset. For more detail on her research, please check out my post, 'Six Valuable Running Lessons I Learned from Bounce by Matthew Syed.'

I thought that the chapter on fixed mindset versus growth mindset coaches would be the most valuable, but the chapter that really opened my eyes was Chapter 8: Changing Mindsets.

Sometimes I Am Scared of the Unfamiliar

Dweck shares some anecdotes of children that are "paralyzed by setbacks." These young children have a fixed mindset and, "when things go wrong, they feel powerless and incapable."

In the Video 'Teaching Growth Mindsets,', Dr. Christine Carter and Kelly Coorigan talk about parenting with the growth mindset versus the fixed mindset. This conversation applies directly to how I want to think about my running.

I think that research on children is valuable for my running, because I usually encounter my obstacles when I am at the end of a race or during a high mileage week in my training. I will be tired, thirsty, low on carbohydrates, and my emotions can spiral out of control as easily as a two year old's do if I do not know how to put myself into the right mindset with the right attitude. When I am comfortable, I can easily use a growth mindset to make life's decisions, but when I feel stressed, it seems like the little voice inside my head adopts a fixed mindset.

Do you ever feel paralyzed when faced with a setback in a race? How do you get yourself back on track?

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