Maximize Your Mindset
Adapted From It All Adds Up: Designing Your Game Plan for Financial Success by Devon Kennard
One type of mindset familiar to many of us often stands in the way of achieving our goals. That is a negative mindset.
This is when you or someone else says that you aren’t good enough, or that you’re a failure and you can’t accomplish whatever it is you are trying to do. And the important part is that you believe it. Have you ever heard the quote, “Whether you say you can or you say you can’t, you’re right”? It’s so true. A negative mindset will stop you from achieving whatever it is you want to achieve.
When I was on that hill that first time with my brother, I knew deep down that my body was capable of doing more, but I kept telling myself that I just couldn’t do it. My body believed what my mind was telling it; sprinting suddenly became impossible. My negative mindset literally stopped me in my tracks, and I was the one in my own way. For me to get out of my own way, I had to change my mindset. Imagine if, before I went on the field each week, I said to myself, “Devon, you are not going to sack the QB!” Guess what probably would—or in this case, wouldn’t—happen? Until you change what you’re telling yourself about whatever situation you are in, and believe what you can achieve, things will remain status quo.
Maybe you are struggling with years of negative “I’m not good enough” self-talk. Perhaps you have been surrounded by toxic people who have sucked the wind out of your sails when you’re trying to achieve your goals. Even parents are guilty of this, telling their children they shouldn’t grow up to be something they themselves don’t see as being successful. If this is the case for you, setting intentions and having a positive mindset probably does not come easy to you. In order to move forward, you need to hold off on flipping bags for now and work on flipping your mindset. Once you feel more confident, the bags will flip more easily for you.
FLIP YOUR MINDSET
To work on flipping your mindset, you need to find a tool to help you. This could include meditation, journaling, or some form of therapy. I have a daily habit of reading a very special notebook that I keep in my office. Inside are quotes I have written down that inspire, encourage, and uplift me. I’ve been adding quotes to this notebook for years, and I’ve even scattered some of my favorite ones around this book. I hope they motivate and focus you as much as they do me. Reading them regularly helps me stay positive and wipe out negativity. Since I never know what obstacles I will face on any given day, taking a few precious minutes to read these inspirational quotes is a great way to start my day. Sometimes I just open up the notebook to a random page and start reading. It never fails that I will find an encouraging word for whatever it is that I am going through in that moment.
SAY IT STRONG
My notebook is not the only tool that I use to stay focused and positive.
I have been saying positive affirmations for years. I repeat the one right above to myself every day and do my best to live it. The whole idea of it came from wanting to maximize my mindset and be the best that I can be. I can’t always control how my day plays out or what the outcome will be, and I might not always be the best player on the field, but I just want to know that I did the best that I could. I want to look in the mirror and be proud of the man that I’m looking at. Every day I want to glorify God, be relentless, and make sure I’m having fun. I’m working to be the best that I can be and controlling things that I can control.
Mike Tyson once said, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth,” and it’s so true. I often set grand plans and intentions for my day, week, and month. More times than I would like to admit something goes wrong. I used to allow this to negatively impact me far too much. Now, thanks to “Glorify God. Be relentless. Have fun,” I am able to stay focused and within myself.
Every day I ask myself, “Did I glorify God by doing the best I could with whatever circumstances were presented to me? Was I relentless in my pursuit of the things that I want? Did I make the most out of my situation and have fun?” Despite what happened that day, as long as I can say yes to these three questions, I know I am on the right track. By repeating this affirmation every day, I continue to develop into the best version of myself that I can be.
A Carnegie Mellon study showed that even saying one brief self-affirmation is “effective in eliminating the harmful effects of chronic stress on problem-solving performance, such that chronically stressed self-affirmed participants performed under pressure at the same level as participants with low chronic stress levels.”1
The easy thing about positive affirmations is that you can say them anywhere, at any time before, during, or after any situation in which you are involved. This could be before a big game or a test, a job interview, during an important meeting, or just because you need a boost of self-confidence at any given time.
So state an intention and say a positive affirmation or write it in a notebook or on your own bulletin board. It really makes a huge difference in how you approach your day and your life.
Be prepared to sacrifice what you are for what you will become.