The How To Guide for Strengthening Your Wonder Woman Mindset and Physique
By Sandra Sorgini @get_fitss (header photo by James Patrick)
“You are stronger than you believe. You have greater powers than you know”
YOU have the strength and power of a goddess with the heart and mind of a human. Like Wonder Woman, you are the ultimate superheroine. The superheroine to so many who adore, respect and love you. Being Wonder Woman to so many people in our lives comes with incredible challenges and beautiful blessings. Remember that being a martyr is not one of those blessings. To maintain superheroine status, to hone combat skills, to sharpen intuition and all things wonderful, Wonder Women need to rely on an impenetrable mindset and strong physique to stay on top of saving the world while shining their brightest light. This article and accompanying workout are a go to guide for strengthening the wonder woman mindset using positive psychology insights and tools and bringing goddess energy to sculpting a super heroine body.
MISSION #1: Lasso an Impenetrable Mindset
There are 5 Positive Psychology strategies you can use to develop an impenetrable mindset:
In the book, Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life, Seligman explains a useful tool for learning optimism. Since optimism is believed to be a learned skill and not a stable personality trait the key to practicing and developing optimism is reframing and monitoring our automatic thoughts. Seligman explains that we need to learn how to identify our beliefs about certain situations and recognize how these beliefs can have a detrimental effect on our emotions and subsequent behaviours. Learn your ABC’s - Adversity, Belief, Consequence. Adversity refers to the facts about the situation from a non-judgemental lens - the who, what, when and where. Belief relates to your typical, habitual response - why it happened, what will happen next. The consequence is your behaviour and feelings related to those beliefs. Identify beliefs, recognize their effects on our emotions and behaviours then challenge and change them to more beneficial thought patterns.
Self-efficacy is defined as the belief a person has that they can reach their goals or a desired outcome. In the Handbook of Positive Psychology, Maddux explains that people with high levels of self-efficacy demonstrate a high quality of functioning, resilience to adversity and reduced vulnerability to stress and depression. Efficacious people attribute their failures to insufficient effort and therefore, attempt more things and bounce back after an undesired outcome. With this understanding of self-efficacy, it is so important to note that being efficacious impacts the choices we make, the effort and motivation we have and put forth, how we feel about ourselves, others and the task at hand and how long we are able to persist in the face of obstacles.
In positive psychology circles, hope is defined as the determination to achieve goals (agency) plus believing that many pathways can be generated. This is more thorough than the definition of hope one would find in the dictionary (desire, longing and positive expectation). Those of us that are hopeful have higher levels of success in performance and achievement which is due to the fact that high scores on hope correlate with self-esteem, positive emotions, effective coping, physical health and achievement. When your goals are questionable yet very important to you, hope helps to keep you striving for your goals. To experience hope however, we need agency and pathways. Agency refers to efficacious thoughts. Pathways refers to breaking down complex goals into achievable steps. When you exercise high levels of hope you set more difficult goals and there is greater likelihood you will achieve them due to the fact that you break them down into smaller sub goals which are easy to attain.
COPE DON’T MOPE
Coping is defined in The Encyclopedia of Positive Psychology as, “constantly changing cognitive and behavioral efforts to manage specific external and/or internal demands that are appraised to be taxing or exceeding the resources of the person.” We employ two main coping strategies, problem-focused coping and emotion-focused coping when faced with stressful or adverse situations. Both strategies have positive consequences. When we utilize problem-focused coping we identify the stressor and take active steps to engage with and tackle the issues at hand. Using emotion-focused coping consists of turning to others for social support and engaging in healthy distractions. Ultimately, great coping strategies lead us to resilience. The returning to normal functioning associated with growth and thriving following an adverse event is resilience. The well-known German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche stated, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger”. Adverse circumstances are inevitable and developing an impenetrable mindset requires us to cope and therefore, come out stronger than ever!
GROW RATHER THAN FIX YOUR MINDSET
In the book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Carol Dweck states, “the view we adopt for ourselves profoundly affects the way we lead our life”. She is referring to mindset. Mindset involves how we perceive basic abilities and qualities. There are two types of mindsets: fixed and growth, according to Carol Dweck. When we operate out of a fixed mindset this means we believe our qualities/skills are present naturally or not at all. If it does not come naturally to us, we perceive the ability or task to be out of grasp. Crucial to developing an impenetrable mindset is the cultivation of a growth mindset. Believing that with experience, effort and engagement one can grow and develop the skill or ability is growth mindset thinking. Mindset matters because when we encounter difficult times our default mindset will either enable or hinder our goal attainment. A hallmark trait of growth mindset individuals is the ability to think outside the box generating new ways of doing things upon encountering setbacks.
Use these 5 Positive Psychology insights to complete mission #1. Next up, mission #2: lasso a superheroine body.
MISSION #2: Lasso A Superheroine Body
Use HIIT workouts to sculpt a superheroine body.
One prescription for sculpting a superheroine body is high intensity interval training. HIITing it hard is really all about super intense periods of work that force you to work at your max for a short amount of time paired up with periods of recovery that allow you to hiit it extremely hard. Cardio conditioning, improved explosiveness, increases in VO2 max, improved insulin sensitivity are all benefits of this type of workout sure to keep you in superhero shape. If you are looking to lose weight this type of workout will shred your body. Wonder women know the importance of getting to high gear and staying at that level. Choose cardio based or strength based HIIT workouts to ensure you are operating at an optimal level. When sculpting a superheroine body use the Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale to gauge your effort. On the RPE scale, rate your level of exertion from 0-10. You should be at about a 9 if you are looking to shape up and save the world like wonder women are capable of.
Wonder women not only possess an impenetrable mindset but a strong and sculpted physique. To stay sharp in mind and body utilize these positive psychology tools, complete hiit workouts on the regular “and always remember that in a world of ordinary mortals, you are Wonder Woman.”