The 5 Obstacles to a Positive Mindset

by | Jul 21, 2016 | Mindset

Each and every one of us has areas of our lives where we are positive and upbeat, and others where we are less than that. These latter areas are where we need to work if we want to be more successful in business and life. But there are obstacles we face in doing this, and recognizing those obstacles for what they are is a great first step in cultivating a positive mindset.

The 5 Obstacles to a Positive Mindset
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Public Domain image via Pixabay

Obstacle 1. Assuming Your Ability is Unchangeable

This is a belief that you cannot get better at something, causing you to be less likely to put effort into learning and practicing to get better. For example, if you believe that you aren’t good at sales, you might avoid this activity in your business and not even try to learn. You’ll block out opportunities to get better at sales.

Two strategies for overcoming this particular obstacle include using the word “yet” and practice. Try this exercise on for size:

  1. State what you believe you aren’t good at, e.g. “I’m not good at sales.” How does that feel?
  2. Now tack on the work “yet,” e.g. “I’m not good at sales yet.” How does that feel?

Can you tell the difference between the two versions of that statement? The first will more likely feel restrictive, defeated. Whereas, the second statement opens up possibility and feels hopeful.

From now on, every time you find yourself saying, “I’m not good at …,” remember to tack on “yet” at the end.

Then, start practicing those skills and abilities you currently aren’t good at that you want to grow. Remember, practice makes perfect!

Recommended Reading:

  • Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck
  • Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth
  • Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals by Heidi Grant Halvorson Ph.D. and Carol S. Dweck

Obstacle 2. Putting an Emphasis on Talent Over Effort

Highly successful people practice their craft. Yes, they might have had a talent for it in the first place, but not all successful people started off with talent. Research shows that what successful people have in common is dedication to their craft. They practice and put forth effort to get better.

Many people buy into the belief that you have to have talent to be successful at something. Therefore, when something is challenging and they have to put forth effort to achieve it, they falsely believe that they can’t succeed.

The solution to overcoming this obstacle is realizing that all success requires effort, whether you have talent or not. Therefore, if you really want to succeed at something, you need to go ahead and put in the effort.

Recommended Reading:

  • Bounce: The Myth of Talent and the Power of Practice by Matthew Syed
  • The Confidence Myth: Why Women Undervalue Their Skills, and How to Get Over It by Helene Lerner
  • 7 Kinds of Smart: Identifying and Developing Your Multiple Intelligences by Thomas Armstrong

Obstacle 3. Self Sabotage

There are so many ways in which we sabotage our efforts. Sometimes we do this consciously and other times we do this subconsciously. Self sabotaging behaviors include:

  • Procrastination — putting things off so that you end up not having enough time to do a good job.
  • Setting goals so high you can’t achieve them. This “supports” low self worth.
  • Setting goals so low you are unmotivated. This keeps you playing small.

Overcoming this obstacle requires you to become aware of your role in your failures. You need to recognized that you are self sabotaging so you can at the root of the behavior and end it.

Recommended Reading:

Obstacle 4. Fatalism

Not all failures are caused by things out of our control, and one failure doesn’t mean that you’ll fail every time you try. But if you fall into this trap, you’ll find yourself giving up too soon. You’ll see challenges as threats and avoid them.

Avoiding challenge keeps you small. It blocks out opportunities for growth. And, it prevents you from taking strategic risks that gave give you excellent results.

To overcome this obstacle, you need to cultivate resilience. When failure happens — and it will — learn from it. Identify what you can do differently next time to achieve a more satisfactory result.

Recommended Reading:

Obstacle 5. Misunderstanding Anxiety

Anxiety is a natural reaction to stress. Therefore, when you are experiencing anxiousness, nervousness or even feelings of fear, that doesn’t necessarily mean that something is wrong with you.

Successful and accomplished people feel anxious at times. So don’t work if butterflies start to fly in your stomach. Use them to propel you forward, not hold you back.

Recommended Reading:

  • Performing Under Pressure: The Science of Doing Your Best When It Matters Most by Hendrie Weisinger and J. P. Pawliw-Fry
  • The Upside of Stress: Why Stress Is Good for You, and How to Get Good at It by Kelly McGonigal
  • Clutch: Excel Under Pressure by Paul Sullivan

Once you can recognize and overcome these obstacles in your life, you’ll find yourself achieving success at a much more rapid rate.


Want to feel great about yourself?

Join Me in This Year’s Celebrate You! Challenge!

Click image to learn more.

The 31-Day Celebrate You! Challenge is a free event where you are encouraged — dare I say inspired? — to celebrate what is awesome about you and going right in your world. Creating this positive habit will rock your world! So sign up today!

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