When my sister Kim suggested in the fall of 2020 that I get a Peloton bike, I rolled my eyes. “That’s your thing,” I said. And that part was true. Both my sisters have put thousands of miles on the trendy stationary exercise bikes. I had not one iota of interest, and, as a rule, abhor cultish fads. “Think about it,” Kim said. “It’s going to be a long winter.” That part was also true.

On a scale of one to triathlon, I’m like a three. I’ve believed that avid fitness was for other people, save for the occasional run. When my heel pain put an end to running, I needed other options. Could I really see myself “clipping in” to a bike? Is that me?

In her bestselling book, “Mindset: Changing the Way You Think to Fulfil Your Potential,” Carol Dweck, Ph.D, defines a fixed mindset as the belief that who you are is carved in stone. That you’re simply good at math, or a people person, or … a fitness person. And that’s that.

When we subscribe to a fixed mindset, Dweck says, we can end up feeling (or fearing) that we aren’t enough—and feel put upon to prove that we are. Or, we may give up the minute things get tough, assuming we’re not cut out for it.

Those who embrace a growth mindset, however, have a different life experience. For those who believe they can cultivate more of what they want through effort, strategy, and support, life is not a zero-sum game, but a journey of curiosity, learning, and reward. “They believe that a person’s true potential is unknown (and unknowable),” Dweck writes.

Here are three ways to begin to free yourself from a fixed mindset.

1. Don’t Assume You Already Know

In “Everything is Figureoutable,” entrepreneur Marie Forleo says one of the most destructive thoughts we have is, “I know this already.”

“Whenever we feel like we already know something, our minds disengage and shut down,” she writes. Rather than dismiss an idea out of hand or assume you checked that box, look for the opportunity to catch something you might have missed the first time around or knew but never actually implemented.

“Knowing something intellectually is very different from doing something consistently, mastering it, and benefiting from it,” she writes. “Be humble.”

2. Push Through a Rough Patch

A fixed mindset doesn’t just dictate who you are; it can also take a toll on your willingness to explore new things.

In a study published in “Psychological Science,” Paul O’Keefe, along with Dweck, found that people with a fixed mindset on the idea of having a single passion in life were more likely to have tunnel vision around it and fail to cultivate other interests. Ironically, they were also more likely to give up on that passion at the first sign of difficulty.

An aspiring writer with a fixed mindset might buckle at the first rejection and decide they’re no good. Whereas the writer with a growth mindset sees it as a challenge, as part of the practice of getting better. Guess which writer is more likely to have a fulfilling writing career?

What if, rather than give up early, you decided to give yourself a little more time with something? What if you saw the tough parts as the opportunity to learn something valuable?

3. Break Your Own Rules

I’ve now done nearly 400 rides on my Peloton in eight months. I not only trained hard enough to keep up with my sisters, but on occasion I’ve even blown past them. I’ve amassed an impressive collection of hand weights, and, in less than a year, I lost ten pounds. (I’m happy to say that my fixed belief around middle-aged weight gain? Also wrong.)

You don’t have to invest in expensive gym equipment to experience a real shift in mindset. Because it’s not about the bike. I didn’t suddenly become a different person. I simply discovered the pleasure and confidence of challenging my body and moving it often, and I’ve grown into a stronger version of myself.

I broke my rule about fitness. What’s one rule you’ve always said you couldn’t break? What might happen if you did? What’s possible? Probably a lot more than you think.