Developing the self-improvement mindset: is exercise the key?

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When you think of self-improvement, you might conjure up images of yoga fanatics or time-poor businessmen trying to squeeze a few minutes of meditation into their day.

However, it’s important to remember that personal development is not just for adults. Children who start developing a self-improvement mindset from an early age are more able to cope with challenges as adolescents and better equipped to grow into resilient, capable young adults.

In this article, we’ll explore how exercise can help kids develop a self-improvement mindset.

Exercise teaches self-awareness

Self-awareness is one of the key building blocks of self-improvement. After all, it’s difficult to improve as a person if you can’t recognise the areas that need strengthening.

Physical activity is an excellent way to gently introduce children to this concept. With regular, structured exercise, kids gradually become more conscious of their own abilities.

Whether they’re running laps, playing sports or knocking out some pushups, they steadily develop a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses - a skill that can easily be transferred and applied to other aspects of life.

Strong awareness of self motivates kids to build on their natural talents and work on areas that could benefit from more practice.

Destroying the fixed mindset from an early age

The term “fixed mindset”, coined by Stanford University psychology professor Carol Dweck, refers to the belief that your abilities are static. This is problematic because it implies that your traits and capabilities are predetermined and can’t be changed or improved, which means there’s no point in trying to grow as a person.

As you might imagine, this way of thinking can be very damaging to people of all ages. The good news is that exercise can help destroy the fixed mindset - and it’s easy to see how.

Physical activity offers very clear markers of progress. Whether you’re running faster, jumping higher or lifting heavier weights than you were before, exercise provides very clear evidence that you are improving and moving beyond your natural skill ceiling.

Children who understand that their abilities are malleable are able to avoid the limitations of the fixed mindset and start developing a self-improvement mindset from an early age.

Find the balance between self-acceptance and self-improvement

While a self-improvement mindset can help set kids up for future success, it’s equally important to teach children to accept themselves for who they are. Try to help your kids find the balance and teach them that it’s possible to love yourself while also striving to become a better version of yourself.

Exercise plays a crucial role in helping kids develop a healthy self-improvement mindset.

Free trial class

World Trainer is hosting a free trial class on July 22, 11am at PitStop (199 Jinguang Road, North side mall, level 2, Huacao town, Minhang District, Shanghai). Join us with your child and experience how World Trainer Youth Academy can help your child build both the mind and body through physical activity.

patty lee