On Wellness: The Importance of a Growth vs Fixed Mindset

Since I launched Alexandria Wellness Concierge Wellness Program a few weeks ago, I’ve had so many inspiring meetings. In these meetings, I didn’t intend to start explaining mindset among all of the other really vital “spokes” of the Wellness Wheel. But the truth is, mindset is the place where it all starts.

While most everyone wants to talk about their (need for) exercise/cardio/calorie burn and, of course, food, if you’ve had a chance to see my video in previous posts (if you haven’t, indulge me and check it out here), then you’ll already know that, after working with more than a thousand people, I know for sure that true wellness (and fitness) comes from way more than diet and exercise.  Pure, unadulterated, true wellness comes, I’m convinced, from mindset first.

Famous author and researcher Carol Dweck calls a “growth mindset” a belief you can grow and improve. In her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, she explains that while a “fixed mindset” assumes that our character, intelligence, and creative ability are static givens that we can’t change in any meaningful way, a growth mindset thrives on challenge and sees failure “not as evidence of unintelligence but as a heartening springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities.”

Read that one again, folks! So, if you actually believe you’ll accomplish something, try a few ways to do it, view those attempts as more like an experiment, not a failure, you are more likely to achieve them. Yep. It is true!



Here are ways to establish a growth mindset and shed that fixed mindset for good:


Enjoy the journey.

Outcomes will happen if we emphasize the appropriate, new behavior patterns and habits. We will learn and grow if we learn from being mindful throughout the process. You will reach your goal, yet the lessons learned along the way will help you so much when you hit a bump in the road in the game of life.


Add “yet” into your vocabulary.

As someone who advises my clients to add things into their lives (like more coconut oil, Epsom salt baths, and long slow walks!) instead of taking away (like wine, chocolate, and Netflix addictions), begin your journey by adding “yet” to your wellness statements.

“I don’t like how I look in my white jeans….YET.”

“I can’t imagine being able to run a mile…YET.”

“I can’t stop drinking a glass of wine every night…YET.”

To take it a step further, lose “but” and replace it with “yet.” Not only will those on the receiving end digest your words more favorably, you will!


Get super clear on your WHY.

Name it. WHY do you want to lose weight? WHY do you want to get in the pool with your kid/grandkid? WHY don’t you think meditation can help you learn how to de-stress…yet?


Lose the excuses.

…especially those pointing fingers elsewhere.


Acknowledge your  imperfections.

People, we are all not perfect. Fess up that you are human and have your own individual quirks, habits, and stuff that drives you nuts – and that may be detracting you from reaching your wellness goals. Take ownership. Move on. Look in the mirror and believe in yourself and all you can do.


Stop fearing failure.

Worry about failure stops us from trying new ways. Get out of your comfort zone. We grow when we try new things. We stay stagnant when we stay in our same lane. Get out of your lane!


Leave space for the unhealthful choices.

We all do them and we all need space for them. Instead of focusing on the two to three bad choices you made today, concentrate on the awesome choices you made.


Be the comeback kid.

We all love the story of someone who falls or falters and gets back up. So why not be a comeback kid? Picture it. Visualize it. You really can be that kid!


There’s no such thing as a mistake.

It’s called an experiment. Don’t avoid obstacles. Head straight into them with full force. Remember, growth is a constant reinventing, resetting, and refreshing.


Accept feedback with a growth mindset.

Thank those around you for feedback. Feedback is how we grow. While it may not feel awesome at the beginning, learn to love it by asking people more often for specific feedback. Consider the source and how they care for you.


I mentioned at the beginning of this post that I’ve already had so many meetings about our Wellness Concierge Program. Using your growth mindset, think it might be for you? The first step is to set up a a free 30-minute consult with me to explore and discuss your wellness goals and vision. We then decide if you’d like to take the next step toward the program with a 90-Minute Wellness Inventory.


To learn more and set up a 30-minute introductory conversation with me
about the opportunity to be part of the Alexandria Wellness program,
go to www.alexandriawellness.com


  • 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




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