It’s pretty easy to understand that there’s a link between mindset and what we set out to achieve in life. Anyone who’s ever made a New Year’s resolution to get fit, only to break it a few weeks or months later, understands this. Simply having an intention to do something doesn’t get the job done. A change of mindset has to take place in order to take the consistent action necessary to achieve the goal.
But making a mindset shift is a difficult thing to explain, let alone teach. We all have unique experiences that will influence whether making a significant mindset shift will be difficult or easy for us. Let me explain using a personal example. As a young man the goals I set for myself were achieved relatively easy. Maybe it was luck, maybe it was that I set the bar too low, or maybe I chose to take action in only those areas where my mindset was already focused where it needed to be. In any event, most things I set out to do seemed, at least to an outsider, to fall in my lap.
But then something happened. I failed spectacularly at a couple of things. Big things. Lots of the blame falls on my shoulders, but certainly not all. I won’t go into the specifics other than to say that my failures were pubic, and they also deeply affected the relationships I had in my life at the time. These failures rocked my confidence to the core; so much so that setting my mindset right to do what needed to be done in order to get back on track proved extremely difficult.
I remember being afraid even to try at the time. Looking back I suppose my mindset was, ‘why even try, you’ll just fail anyway’. So, I didn’t try. Oh, I did what I needed to do to survive, but I certainly wasn’t positioning myself where I could thrive. About the only thing I did consistently was my training. It has always been my life anchor (everyone needs an anchor. We’ll talk more about that another day). But even my training wasn’t optimal.
So what changed so that I got out of that slump and turned the corner back towards success and a great life? I suppose it was an accumulation of a number of realizations. I came to the realization that those individuals who were with you while you were ‘winning’ but are nowhere to be found when you find yourself at the bottom of the heap aren’t really your friends at all. We hear this all the time but until you experience it first-hand, you really don’t understand. Secondly, and this ties in to the first point, is I came to realize that nobody really wants to hear your side of the story when you’ve failed. The narrative that is remembered and believed by everyone you knew is written by one side only, and in my case it wasn’t mine. Lastly, and most importantly, I came to realize that I didn’t have to live up to everyone else’s perception of me as a failure. My lack of positive choices, my lack of mindset shift, was only confirming the narrative that they had come to believe.
Once I realized these things, changing my mindset became not only easier, it became a driving force in my life. I began reading books and watching videos that explained the power of the mind. I used the knowledge I had accumulated over a lifetime about training, nutrition, and what it takes to succeed in physical endeavors, and leveraged that knowledge towards every other area of my life where I wanted to succeed.
Was it hard work? Of course it was; perhaps especially for someone like myself where before ‘the fall’, everything came pretty easy. Was it worth it? Absolutely. Why would you choose to accept where you are, and who you are,perceived to be, when you have all the power within yourself to change your circumstances, your direction, your fitness, and your lifestyle.
Lynette and I are heading to the northern beaches of Queensland in less than a couple of weeks to spend two months training every morning, eating good healthy food, and enjoying everything that this life has to offer. And it all started with a determination to have a change of mindset.
Eyes open. No fear.