Do You Believe You Can Grow and Improve?

Developing A Growth Mindset is Crucial for Wellness Part 1: Cultivate A Sense of Purpose

If you believe you are someone who has the ability to succeed and achieve the contentedness, the energy level, the body, the life you want, will you?



If you believe you are someone who will never achieve it, will you?

You tell me. Are you the type of person who:

    • …believes your skills, intelligence, and wellness have limits, or that you can develop them through dedication and effort?
    • …sees failure/mistakes as opportunities for growth or a limit of your abilities?
    • …likes to try new things or sticks to what you know?
    • …views feedback as an opportunity for growth, or you find you take feedback and criticism to be a personal afront?

These are not only important questions I ask before I accept a new member into our concierge wellness program, they are also questions I encourage you to ask yourself. Do you believe you will succeed – or not? It all stems from there.


Nothing is Impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!  – Audrey Hepburn


Much of the work on what we now call a growth mindset, and a core principle in my concierge wellness program, stems from the work of Stanford professor Carol Dweck, Ph.D. Dweck found that the beliefs we have about ourselves hugely influence success. How we view our personality, specifically, she found would lead you to success or the alternative (I don’t use that word. It goes with my growth mindset. Read on!)




By studying her, I was able to overcome a lifetime of “work harder,” “I’ll prove it to them,” and worse yet, “I’ll never have what they have” (body, happiness, lifestyle, you-name-it). By listening to my host of mentors in the mindset field, and weeks/months/years of personal reflection, I was able to turn my old self filled with fear and lack of confidence into who I am today: content, loving my life, making choices that are best for me.

Along with other coaches and mentors, Dweck’s work led me to fine-tune my purpose and my real anchor in my life. I now live my life with intent. I know what my purpose is, and I live my days aligning with it. I see from 1,000 miles away when something doesn’t align with my purpose, and I deflect it. You see, once I cultivated a sense of purpose in my life, I began to spend my days according to my own “compass.” It is also why I decided to close the doors to my first “baby” Fitness on the Run and found this amazing company, Alexandria Wellness, a foundation for my purpose.


For twenty years, my research has shown that the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life. It can determine whether you become the person you want to be and whether you accomplish the things you value. How does this happen? How can a simple belief have the power to transform your psychology and, as a result, your life?  – Carol Dweck


Living with intent gives me and will give you the ability to make choices that align with who you are – what is deeply important to you and eliminate a ton of indecision and question. Living with purpose not only leads to better decision-making, it also frees you up from unnecessary stress. You know who you are and what you want. It also helps when the unanticipated plops on your schedule. You can more easily say “no.” Stay tuned for my Calendar Mastery Program coming this fall!



Keep the big picture in mind, and not so fixed that you can’t change your course when a better opportunity arises.

We all know someone, or perhaps it is you who is “set” in their ways. They do things “this” way and no other way. Well, this also applies to how we view ourselves, and importantly our wellness goals. When you know what you want and will do what it takes to achieve it, you will build your days/weeks/months/years around it. The sky is the limit.

I can give you five hundred examples, yet I’ll make this simple:

  1. Janice says: “I want to lose 30 pounds. I want to eat 500 calories a day and will track them on my Apple Watch because that’s what I’ve always done. I will run 800 miles a day. No, I won’t meditate because there’s no way I am burning calories when I’m meditating because I am not sweating. And no, I don’t believe in sleep. It’s a waste of time, and I work 12-hour days. And, last, I do not need to deal with my stress. This is how I’ve always done it. So, this is how I will do it.”
  2. Charlotte comes to me and says, “I just want to feel better about me and my body. I know what I’ve done in the past hasn’t worked, because I’m not happy with how I feel or look. Yet I am open to a new path as long as we consider fun a requirement.”

A fixed mindset believes our ability is static and cannot change. “It’s my way” is her default. A growth mindset embraces getting out of your comfort zone, trying new things, and making small yet meaningful change. This is the road to contentedness.


“A growth mindset is a belief that you can grow and improve” – Carol Dweck


Stay tuned for part two next week, which will reveal the next important step to achieving a growth mindset and the life and wellness you want!


  • The latest from Adrien
Adrien founded Fitness on the Run in 2004 out of her home after a successful career in policy and public affairs communications. After spending 15 years developing her own personal definition of wellness and watching thousands struggle with theirs, in January 2019 Adrien founded Alexandria Wellness, the home for the Concierge Wellness Program and Corporate Wellness with Adrien Cotton. Over the course of 15 years, “FOR” was home to more than 2,000 clients, 30 instructors, and hundreds of inspirational success stories. Adrien is now, more-than-ever, passionate about helping women view their fitness as a journey, not a quick fix. Adrien’s recipe for success herself has evolved from a rigid training plan of sweaty and heart pumping workouts to some days getting in her 10,000 steps, consciously breathing, her 7.5 hours of sleep, and her beloved 5-Minute Flow. Adrien believes the most important ingredient is making small changes for big results, even if it’s one new habit formed each month. Still passionate about fitness, Adrien’s clients appreciate her ability to make sessions seriously challenging without a “beat down,” a healthy mix of strength and metabolic (cardio) work and ultimately helping her clients gain real strength in mind and body. She believes we all benefit from being curious about our bodies and that change, or improvement, is within reach despite what your “inner voice” or others may tell you. Adrien is bubbling with excitement to help women learn the importance of a comprehensive approach to wellness, weight loss, and contentedness with yourself, and that every person has the right to feel good about themselves. Most days, you can find her helping clients with their wellness, listening to success stories, and bragging about her twin 13-year-old children and “fittest man in Alexandria” Bill Cotton. Adrien prides herself on her practice of mindfulness, meditation, and putting it all into perspective.

Alexandria Wellness offers achievable answers for anyone who is tired of chasing fitness and health without a clear plan, someone who has struggled and is not satisfied with their fitness and wellness or someone who is open to maximized healthful longevity and fitness along with healthful weight loss. Adrien and her team offer help with food guidance, body acceptance, sleep and stress issues, and insist you have fun along the way.

Schedule your free 30 minute consult here!

Alexandria Wellness
215 North Payne Street
Alexandria, VA 22314



1 Comment

  1. Avatar Damon Nelson says:

    Great article Adrian! Thank you for sharing and continuing to be a champion for women’s wellness and wellbeing!!

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