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How to Develop an Unstoppable Mindset

Are You Operating from a Fixed Mindset?

According to verywellmind.com, your mindset is a set of beliefs that shape how you make sense of the world and of yourself. Your beliefs drive your behaviors, and your behaviors drive your results. Therefore, your mindset influences how you think, feel, and behave in any given situation. And if you’re like most people, you might have wondered why so many of the thoughts you have are negative. According to the National Science Foundation, an average person has 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day. Of those, 80% are negative and 95% are repetitive thoughts.

Let that sink in for a moment – most of your thoughts are negative and on repeat.

Therefore, it’s no wonder that you might feel tempted to give up when faced with adversity and operating from what psychologist Carol Dweck refers to as a fixed mindset. Individuals with a fixed mindset believe that their abilities are fixed – you are either born with a certain amount of talent and intelligence, and that’s it, so if you’re not good at something, you’ll never be good at it. On the other hand, people with a growth mindset believe that their abilities can be developed. People with a fixed mindset fear failure, while those with a growth mindset see failure as a chance to grow. The good news? If you are working from a fixed mindset, you’re able to change it.

Carol’s work has shown that the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life, and can determine if you accomplish the things you value. And I wholeheartedly agree. Mindset work is ongoing. It’s not like you arrive one day and your work is done. Your mindset is like a muscle that needs to continue being flexed. So, I want to share how you can develop an unstoppable mindset to achieve your goals.

Identifying and Overcoming What Weakens Your Mindset

The first step is to do the work and minimize what weakens your mindset, and instead focus on what strengthens your mindset. And have you ever thought about what actually weakens your mindset?

One – Rewrite Negative Mental Narratives

Negative mental narratives are the stories you tell yourself that are overly critical and often show up in the form of absolutes such as “always” or “never.” These stories encourage us to avoid risk, play it safe, and therefore diminish our impact – they don’t exactly inspire the confidence and courage we need on our goal achievement journeys. Therefore, it’s critical we learn to rewrite them.

Start by testing the validity of the story you are telling yourself – ask yourself, what actual proof do I have to back up this negative mental narrative? And I bet when you pause and ask yourself this, you will find that you don’t have any proof at all. However, maybe there is proof, so the second question you can ask yourself is, is what I’m thinking moving me closer or further away from my goals? This is a powerful question to ask because you get to decide if you want to keep believing the story you are telling yourself, or if you want to rewrite that story and create a new narrative that will move you closer to your goals.

I had to ask myself these questions and overcome my own negative mental narratives when launching my Goal Setting Success Course last year and if I hadn’t been able to overcome my internal fear and limiting beliefs, I wouldn’t be able to offer this course and extend my impact today.

If you want to overcome what weakens your mindset and ultimately develop an unstoppable mindset, it’s imperative that you monitor your negative self-talk so you can take action in the direction of your goals.

Two – Ditch the “All or Nothing” Mentality

Have you ever started a new year thinking, this is it. This is going to be the year I’m going to be healthy –  I’m going to implement a morning routine, work out, eliminate fast food, drink water, and go to bed early? You’re either going to do all of the healthy things every day, or you’ve failed? When in reality, if you picked one or two healthy habits and did them consistently, you’d finish the year healthier than you started.

In the popular book the Twelve Week Year, authors Brian Moran and Michael Lennington encourage readers using the 12-week year system to strive for a weekly score of 85%, not 100%, to make significant progress towards their goals.

An all-or-nothing mentality weakens your mindset and hinders your ability to achieve your goals by inspiring inconsistency. If you miss a day or get off track, guess what? We are all imperfect – it’s called being human. Don’t give up just because you get a little behind or miss a day.

Three – Past and Future Thinking

We grow our confidence by taking action and in order to take more action, we have to minimize two types of thinking – past thinking and future thinking.

Past thinking is when you ruminate or replay situations in your mind that happened in the past. When you engage in this type of thinking, you often put too much blame on yourself and overemphasize the negative. This type of thinking is unproductive because you are usually having a one-way conversation with yourself about a situation that involved other people. Since the other people aren’t a part of the current rumination in your mind, your mind is filling in the blanks instead of you being able to ask clarifying questions. Past thinking tends to leave you feeling disappointed or frustrated, and then you’re not taking action in the direction of your goals.

On the other hand, future thinking is when all of the “what-if” scenarios take over. What-ifs are rarely positive, and often inspire fear by assuming the worst possible outcomes. We think ourselves out of taking action by wanting to avoid these worst case, made up scenarios. We often don’t consider a positive what-if scenario because of the negativity bias that our mind has. So, when thinking of these what-if scenarios, I encourage you to flip them on their heads and instead think about the best possible outcome. The positive version of the what-if – what’s the best that can happen?

The Surprising Answers to What Strengthens Your Mindset

So, if negative mental narratives, “all-or-nothing” mentalities, and past and future thinking weaken our mindset, what strengthens our mindset? 

One – Fear

Fear. Now, you may be thinking, how is fear something that strengthens our mindset – doesn’t fear weaken mindset? It’s not fear that weakens mindset but being a victim of fear. When you reframe your perspective of fear and invite it to the party, it can actually strengthen your mindset. When you feel fear in business, it’s usually a sign you are growing and taking risks in the direction of your goals. You want to party with fear because when you face your fears repeatedly, you start to become desensitized to them and they feel less fearful. And when we do face our fears, we often find they weren’t as bad as we thought.

I used to think that successful people didn’t have any fear but the more I interact with highly successful people, the more I learn they feel fear too – they just don’t let it hold them back. They invite fear to the party.

We all experience fear and I bet there is something you’ve been thinking about doing that will take your business to the next level, but you are letting fear hold you back. And if you’re currently paralyzed by fear, I want to offer you two power questions – what is the worst that can happen? And, what is the best that can happen? When you explore your answers to these two questions, you’ll likely find that the real fear lies in doing nothing, not pursuing your goals, and not going after all of those best things that can happen.

Two – Having a Plan

Having a plan also strengthens your mindset. It sounds so simple and obvious, but it’s surprising how many of us don’t have an actual plan to achieve our goals. A plan helps you minimize the overwhelming feelings that come along with achieving a big goal – it allows you to break it down into manageable steps so you can actually start taking action instead of feeling overwhelmed and paralyzed by how much there is to do. Working from a plan gives you direction, helps you identify what you need to prioritize, allows you to work intentionally, and inspires you to make progress. Without a plan, you run the risk of doing a lot of busy work that isn’t productive work.

A plan doesn’t have to be complicated, and it can evolve and change. This is why I recommend you review your goals monthly and quarterly to assess what is working and what is not working, so you can adjust your plan accordingly. If you are thinking about the goals you have set for yourself this year and realize you need a better plan, download my popular Breakout Plan. The Breakout Plan is going to help you plan and prioritize what you need to do in order to achieve your goals.

Three – Tracking

Tracking strengthens our mindset by helping us understand our progress – where we are at and what we have left to do in order to accomplish our goals. I know that many of us don’t like to track, and especially avoid tracking when things aren’t going well, but this is a huge mistake. You can learn a lot about your goal achievement tendencies by studying your data, or what you’re tracking.

To embrace tracking, it’s important that you shift your perspective away from shame and judgment and move towards perspective and understanding. If you’re off-track with your goals, don’t self-deprecate. Understand why you may be off-track so you can avoid doing it again in the future. Reviewing your data can also help you recognize the truth versus perception. The data won’t lie to you, but your negativity bias might. The next time you’re telling yourself a negative mental narrative, look at your data for the truth.

Another beneficial aspect of tracking is that you start to learn what works for you and what doesn’t. We often can get too caught up in what other people are doing, which can derail our confidence. It’s empowering to understand your personal progress towards your goals and what is getting you results.

For some simple practices that will help you develop an unstoppable mindset to achieve your goals, listen to my podcast episode on the topic. Remember, people who continually focus on strengthening their mindset are better equipped to overcome adversity when it inevitably comes their way. You might be tempted to stop doing mindset work when things are going great but don’t – party with fear, create a plan to achieve your goals, and leverage tracking to strengthen your mindset. Learn to rewrite your negative mental narratives, ditch “all or nothing” mentalities, and minimize past and future thinking to grow your clarity, confidence, courage, and consistency.