57: 6 Steps to Mastering Your Mindset to Overcome Fear, Self-Doubt & Mental Limitations

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I think the term ‘mindset’ gets banded around quite a lot.

It seems to be the new ‘in thing’ for trainers, coaches, gurus and everyone else to bang on about the need to ‘master your mindset’.

There’s no doubt it’s a critical piece to the puzzle.

In fact, I think it’s a foundational, underlying and essential piece.

But it’s also often misunderstood and underutilised when it comes to creating or facilitating lasting change towards success and happiness.

Back when I first started my own journey with mindset, I used to see people posting and talking about the subject without any real substance to it.

It’s all too common to see things about the importance of ‘getting in the right mindset’ and ‘mindset is everything’ without offering anything further.

I used to think “okay, but HOW do I get this mindset thing down?”

So in this post I want to share with you what I believe to be the basics of mastering your mindset for success, inner peace and happiness in all facets of life.

Step One: Detach

In some sort of weird paradox, one of the very biggest things that used to screw me up was my sheer desire and desperation to learn and succeed.

I know that sounds weird, but bear with me.

Because what this did was have me following, subscribing and connecting with so many different people I just didn’t know which way to go.

I had email newsletters coming into my inbox at all hours of the day, would watch YouTube videos, read blogs, read books and basically consume everything and anything from anyone I deemed to be more ‘successful’ than me.

This could range from anything to do with making me a better coach, to marketing, to sales or anything that took my fancy at that particular time.

The problem with this, however, is that there is more than one way to skin a cat.

One person’s marketing, sales or coaching strategy may work for them, but not for you or me.

So I was accumulating all kinds of information and learning a great deal, but was taking absolutely fuck all action.

Follow the Right People For YOU

I’d start something in a variety of areas in my life thinking ‘this is it, this is the one’ and then see another post or video and feel like I was now doing it wrong and needed to start all over again.

Not surprisingly, this is a recipe for being unsuccessful and feeling like shit.

But this isn’t to say to just ignore everyone and go off doing whatever you want.

It is, of course, possible to learn a great deal from a lot of people out there.

The only thing I would say is make sure whoever you do follow or take advice from aligns with you.

For example, there are a lot of people who feel at home in the ‘hard sales’ world and like the whole Glengarry Glen Ross, ‘coffee for closers’ approach.

There’s nothing wrong with that, per se, but if it doesn’t align with you then you don’t have to do it that way.

I used to be in a group that had that kind of mentality to sales and I hated it. It’s just not me. But for a while I just thought ‘this is sales’ and if I want a successful business then I have to get used to doing it that way.

Bollocks!

And this applies to any area of life too.

My advice is to begin your quest for mindset mastery by a simple process of ‘selectively detaching’ from all the people, blogs and what not who do not align with you.

Only allow the people and information into your life that is aligned with you and the kind of person you are.

Take this podcast, for example. It may have some awesome stuff around mindset and performance for entrepreneurs and busy people, but if the way I present it or the kind of person I come across as doesn’t speak to and align with you then don’t subscribe.

Decluttering your mind and only allowing in what is truly useful for you is huge.

Step Two: Acceptance

This is a very necessary, yet also very harsh and, sometimes, extremely hard to take on board step.

So I’m going to frame it around a personal story.

Up until very recently, I still harboured a lot of resentment and bitterness inside towards things that happened ‘to me’ in my past.

I’m not talking about anything too drastic here.

But I would look at my present situation, see the aspects I didn’t like or weren’t happy with and hold deep amounts of blame and resentment around them.

I’d resent the coach for taking my money and getting me into debt after they, in my view, didn’t hold up their end of the bargain.

I’d blame my deep introvertism for the fact I felt alone.

And I’d just generally get myself frustrated around elements of my current situation that I didn’t like.

We All Make Choices

The hardest thing for me to hear was that my situation was, is and will always be a matter of my own choosing.

Whether consciously or subconsciously, I chose everything that was going on in my life.

When I was first invited to explore this possibility, I wanted to, in no uncertain terms, tell the person who was telling me this to fuck right off.

Why would I choose to be in debt?

Why would I choose to be stuck?

Why would I choose to ?

But, in actual fact, we make choices all the time, whether that be a conscious decision or a subconscious one framed around our beliefs and thoughts.

The Good Thing About This

So, by now, if you’ve never been exposed to this concept before, you may very well be extremely pissed off with me. I know I was when I first heard this stuff.

But the sooner we can accept that life happens for us, not to us, the sooner we can be liberated from the limits of our own mind and seeing everything as an opportunity, rather than a problem keeping us stuck.

We are choosing all the time, whether we realise it or not.

And simply and fully accepting this, without the need for resentment or blame upon ourselves that we could have been choosing differently all along, is the first step to liberation.

The great thing about this, however, is that as soon as we do accept our current reality for what it is, we open ourselves up to a different one.

If we accept that we chose the reality we have now, it instantly means that we can simply now begin to choose a different, happier, healthier and more successful one.

One we maybe previously thought wasn’t possible for us due to the external things being perceived as happening to us and preventing us getting what we want.

So invite you to simply explore this concept.

And just allow yourself to think about maybe being at ease with the current reality, in order to open up choosing into a new one.

Step Three: Awareness

So now we’ve detached from the web of all the crap coming into our consciousness and also fully accepted our current reality without judgement or resentment, it’s time to start gaining some awareness of what’s actually going on in our mind.

All too often, we try to suppress everything happening inside us.

We label thoughts ‘bad’ or ‘good’ and when something ‘bad’ comes up, we try to ignore it and push it away.

In fact, this practice often just results in us inadvertently suppressing all thoughts and feelings until we end up being almost ‘numb’ to everything.

But how about we just label these things ‘thoughts’? Not good or bad or anything else, just… thoughts.

There’s no attachment to them in any way. They just ‘are what they are’.

And then instead of ignoring them and wishing the bad ones went away, we took some time to simply look at them.

Switch the Lights On

Rather than simply trying to blindly put your foot on the accelerator and be an ‘action taker’ or a ‘hustler’ or whatever these bullshit motivational videos and memes tell us we should be, let’s just take a moment to look inside and consider what’s actually going on.

Because if we can’t see our obstacles, we can’t avoid them.

It’s like playing dodgeball in the dark. We can adhere to the five Ds of dodgeball (dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge – sad that I didn’t even need to research what these actually are) all we like, but if it’s pitch black then we never know when we’re going to get hit.

What’s my point here?

If we’re constantly trying to ignore our thoughts without looking at them and creating epic awareness, then we will continually just keep getting smacked in the face with thought after thought after thought and end up getting knocked down.

So switch the lights on, so to speak.

Don’t just ‘keep on ploughing through’ because some douche in a video told you to ‘never give up on your dreams’ and played some fancy music over the top.

The Art of Awareness

It takes an investment of your time and focus, simple as that.

An investment where you accept that it is actually worth putting down the laptop, the phone, the appointments and even putting down the new self-help book you’ve started…

And just being with you.

Turn the lights on, inwardly.

Ask yourself questions about who you are, your beliefs, your fears, what goes through your head.

Just look at your thoughts.

Remove any judgement of whether they are ‘good’ or ‘bad’ thoughts and create some internal awareness of what is actually going on inside you.

It doesn’t need to be hours of sat on a rock meditating.

But just value spending some time with YOU and becoming aware of the dodgeballs you’re throwing at yourself every day.

Write them down or record them in some way and be brave enough to just LOOK at what’s actually going on inside you.

Step Four: Challenge

You probably already started doing this just off the back of creating awareness.

It’s pretty common for awareness in itself to be curative.

So by simply bringing a thought to your conscious awareness and looking it, you can instantly see how it isn’t actually true.

But there are some (or many) that creep through.

And this means that the process of properly challenging the thought must begin.

Remember step two around accepting everything? Well, this is where this really comes into its own.

If you’re looking at one of your thoughts and struggling to get past it, just remember the concept of accepting what is and that there could be an alternative if you choose it.

Say you’re struggling, for example, with the thought of “I’m not good enough”.

Simply accepting that there is a different way to think in which you actually do feel like you are ‘good enough’ is an essential first thing to do.

Then we can start to challenge it and investigate it.

Ask yourself questions, such as ‘where did this come from?’ and ‘is this really true?’.

Investigate and challenge your negative thoughts and beliefs in an attempt to prove to yourself that they actually are just layers of bullshit we’ve built up over the years.

Step Five: Alignment

So far, we’ve done an awful lot of investigation and breaking down in order to clear out all the current stories and bullshit that’s keeping our mindset frozen.

But now it’s time to align with the most effective, joyful and productive version of ourselves.

The first thing we need to do is get clear on who this is.

  • What do you desire in your life?
  • What do you believe about life, health, business and relationships?
  • What kind of person do you want to show up as?
  • What daily behaviours do you want to encompass?
  • What are your core values?

Asking ourselves questions like these enables us to get clear on the kind of person or ‘mindset’ we want to consciously align to.

Taking time to do this and going as deep and as detailed as possible helps us build up a clear picture in our own minds of who we desire to be.

And, to be honest, it’s as simple as that – realising and creating our best self and choosing into being it.

Sounds sort of oversimplified, right?

Well it is simple. But it’s not easy.

It’s simple to consciously align to our best selves.

But then when our subconscious beliefs and mental-shittery comes creeping back in again it can all go to pot.

That’s why we need to ingrain this version of ourselves into our subconscious.

And this is done by…

Step Six: Repetition

This is where the real ‘work’ comes in.

It’s easy to do the ‘one off task’ of the questions in the previous step, but repeating it and ingraining it into us day-after-day is where the ‘magic’ happens.

I do this through a process of:

  • Visualisation
  • Silence/meditation
  • Journaling

When it comes to visualisation, I suggest each morning and evening just reminding yourself of your vision.

And when I say your vision, I mean everything you’ve outlined in step five.

This is the vision of how you want your life to look, the kind of person you want to be and the kind of thoughts and behaviours you want to have.

Spend some dedicated time just for a few minutes each morning and evening to remind yourself of this.

And continually remind yourself of who you want to show up as in your life as you go through the day.

In each moment, accept that you can choose into love, joy and the best version of yourself, or choose into fear, anxiety and doubt.

And calm your mind through a regular practice of silence/meditation and journaling of your thoughts.

Your aim is to stay aligned with everything in step five (who you really are) as often as possible through the day.

Take a listen to the podcast episode for this blog post via the player at the top.

Or head over to iTunes and subscribe there for Apple lovers, and over on Stitcher for non-Apple peeps.

Love, Laughter & Light, Mike

P.S. If you haven’t done so already, click here to join my Facebook group and engage with all the other dudes and dudettes in the Enlightened Entrepreneurial Badasses tribe!

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