Coaching for Growth Mindset

coaching goal setting research growth mindset mindset coach personal development

I’ve noticed over the last several months that I’m seeing more and more coaches talking about growth mindset, which can be exciting!

However, I see growth mindset talked about incorrectly all the time.

Now, I’m not here to call people out or prescribe to cancel culture, but, as always, I’m here to teach.

Here I’ll discuss common mindset misconceptions and how you can leverage the science of mindset to become a better coach with happier and more successful clients.


Growth Mindset Misconceptions

There are a lot of misconceptions about growth mindset, so I’m laying out the most common ones here:⁣

Growth Mindset is Synonymous With Being Flexible or Having an Open Mind⁣

You can have a growth mindset AND be flexible or open-minded, but they’re not the same thing.⁣

A growth mindset is more about believing in your ability to change and being willing to put the effort forth to do so, even when things get hard.⁣ If you have a growth mindset, it’s easier for you to see failures and setbacks as opportunities to grow and learn. 

With a growth mindset, you’re also more likely to take criticism constructively and persist in the face of challenges.

Growth Mindset is all About Effort and “Try Harder”⁣

The process of growth includes more than just effort.⁣

It’s about trying new strategies, not just trying harder. 

A growth mindset is also about seeking input and help rather than assuming you need to do everything on your own.⁣

The worst thing that can come from this misconception is praising effort when someone isn’t actually learning (and I see this from coaches too frequently)⁣. This praise may reinforce negative habits and prevent your client from learning how to achieve their goals.

“Praise the Process, Not the Outcome” is Growth Mindset⁣

While this is not totally false, it's incomplete.⁣

I often see people focusing solely on the process rather than the outcome, which misses the mark a little bit.⁣

What we need to do is tie the process TO the outcome.

It’s not necessary to lose sight of your desired outcome and hyperfocus on the process alone. Cultivating a growth mindset requires you to see the process (including the challenges, hardship, effort, etc.) as something you should lean into (maybe even get excited about) because you know it’s the necessary path to success. 

Just believe: “You Can do Anything” is Growth Mindset⁣

It may come as a surprise, but the “you can do anything” attitude can actually lead to a fixed mindset.⁣

If all someone needed to do was BELIEVE, they might start to think they’re "not meant for it" if things don't work out.⁣

As a coach, you still need to guide your clients to seek resources, manage barriers, and find what works for them.

The journey will be challenging, and there will be speedbumps along the way, but it’s important to teach your clients that things getting challenging doesn’t mean that ⁣they won’t ever achieve their goals.

If being successful really only required “belief” - I wouldn’t be writing this blog (and probably wouldn’t have a job!).


Growth Mindset Misconceptions Aren’t Uncommon…

Beyond growth mindset work, misinterpretations of research in general and nudging messages from research studies to fit a specific narrative is not uncommon. 

And often, people don’t even realize what they’re promoting is incorrect.

Which is why I’m here!

It takes time and practice to understand much of this research, so if you’re curious about other mindset messages and whether or not they’re legit, shoot me a DM and PLEASE ASK!  ⁣

Learn More About Growth Mindset


Mindset is my absolute JAM.

Like, I spent nearly 5 years researching this stuff during my Ph.D. to better understand how to help people exercise more and eat healthier - starting with their mindset.

I’d love to share more of this knowledge with you!

If you haven’t already, check out my FREE 5-Day Self-Sabotage Workshop Series where I’ll dive into, not just mindset, but all kinds of psychological factors that play a role in your goal achievement.

But let me tell you… this “mindset stuff” requires WAY more than 5 days to get a good handle on.

And although I don’t think it’s required to have a Ph.D. if you’re a coach and you really want to take the time to better understand the science of mindset and behavior change to increase adherence, retention, and success with your clients (and steer clear of the misconceptions I listed in this blog post…)

The Health Mindset Coaching Certification is for you!

If you want more info and some FREE primer education resources (aka get started on your mindset knowledge journey ASAP) add your name and email to the waitlist HERE!

We’ve had hundreds of coaches complete HMCC already and I can guarantee that after going through this program, you’ll feel more confident in your abilities to help your clients with the psychological aspects of their health and fitness, such as mindset, habits, and negative thought patterns. 

Learn about mindset, psychology, and how to apply the research and science to your coaching practice through the Health Mindset Coaching Certification!


Connect with us!

Email: [email protected]

IG: @coachkaseyjo @kjocoaching