How Mindset Shapes Success
Ep. 313
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In this episode of “Lessons from a Quitter,” I focus on the crucial role of mindset in achieving your career and personal goals. While strategy and steps are important, the true barrier to success is often your own thoughts and limiting beliefs. I share insights from my journey of quitting a legal career and helping others overcome their fears and self-doubt. I explain how mindset impacts our ability to take action and stick with our goals, offering strategies to manage negative thoughts and build confidence.

Show Transcript
Hey, welcome to Lessons From A Quitter, where we believe that it is never too late to start over. No matter how much time or energy you've spent getting to where you are. If ultimately you are unfulfilled, then it is time to get out. Join me each week for both inspiration and actionable tips so that we can get you on the road to your dreams. Hello my friends, and welcome to another episode. I'm so excited you are here. I wanted to take a minute to explain why I focus so much on mindset work. If you're new around here, if you're new to my podcast, welcome. I'm so excited you are joining me and I can't wait to help you on this journey. But I do things a little bit differently than I think maybe other traditional career coaches or people that are maybe focused on career.

What I see so often is that a lot of us focus on strategy. Like we just want to know how to do the thing. I just want you to tell me what to do. I want you to give me the steps and I wanna know, like, you know, I dunno, how do I update my LinkedIn resume or how do I get that job? Or what job should I take and how do I figure that out? And I can understand the need for that because it one is a great skill or kind of steps to have, but I know how scary it can be when a lot of us don't know what we want or we don't know how to get it. And you obviously don't wanna reinvent the wheel, and so you want someone to help you. But one of the things that I found on my own journey when I quit my career as a lawyer and in that time that I felt really lost and really scared about what I was gonna do next, one of the things that I realized for myself and now having helped hundreds of other people is that the thing that is stopping you is not the strategy.

It's not the steps it, all of the steps are out there. Everything is Googleable and now chat g, PT able, I can't make it into a verb, but you know what I mean. You can figure it out. It's on the internet. You wanna start a business. There's tons of courses, there's tons of information, there's tons of steps on how to do it. You wanna get in shape and get a six pack. You wanna start an investment account or start investing for retiring, whatever the thing is that you wanna do. The steps are there. You wanna update your LinkedIn resume, great. There's ways to do that. People can tell you how to do that and that's important. But what I have found that the thing that stops most people are their own thoughts. It's their own mindset. And I know that that has sort of become a buzz word, like this term of like mindset work and you know, your limiting beliefs and all of that stuff.
And it sounds maybe a little woo woo. And I think, I know it's easy to write off, but I wanna kind of explain how it is truly everything, everything that you should be working on, because the rest of it is figure it outable, as Marie Forlio likes to say it. The rest of it is something that you can kind of Google, try fail, do it again. But you can't do it if you never let yourself start because you are racked with fear and uncertainty and afraid of what everybody's gonna think and how you're gonna fail and what if it doesn't work, and who do you think you are and all these other thoughts. And so I wanna talk a little bit about why I think that mindset is the most important thing and how I sort of learned that in my own journey. If you look at anything, I want you to think about when you went after a goal or if you've gone after a goal previously that you didn't stick to.

And I want you to think about what stopped you. Let's say it was a health goal. We all know kind of the January 1st comes around, everybody has all their goals. It lasts for two weeks. And there's like what so many statistics that like 90% of people drop it within the first two weeks. Why do you think it is? What is happening that so many people are not sticking with it? It's not because they don't know how to do it, it's because they're telling themselves they don't. Right? For most of us, what happens is we pick something, whether it's a goal or not. Let's say we wanna change something in our lives. We wanna go after a new job, we wanna make more money. We want to get in better shape, we wanna eat healthier, we wanna spend more time with our spouse. It doesn't matter what the thing is.

As soon as we start implementing and we're human about it, we're not consistent. Let's say things come up, life gets in the way as it does. Our thoughts start creeping in and it's like, I'm never gonna stick to this anyways. It was never gonna happen for me. I already knew I wasn't gonna do this. This is too hard. I'd rather sit on the couch and watch Netflix. I don't know what I'm doing. What if I'm not doing this right? What if someone judges me? It is all those little sentences that are running in your mind that stop you from doing things, okay? I want you to even take it a step further. Everything you've ever done before in your life started with a sentence in your brain, started with a thought that you thought that you could do it. If you have gone after a goal, if you got a degree or you got a job, it was because there was a belief that you had that.

Like I could probably do that. Where that belief came from. Maybe you saw someone else model it, maybe like a teacher told you, maybe you saw someone else and you were like, I want to do that. Whatever it is. You had to have the belief of like, I think I could do that, right? Maybe I could get into that college, maybe I could pass that exam. Maybe I could get that degree. Maybe I would like doing that work, right? It started with some thought because there's tons of things that you haven't done because either you didn't want to or you haven't had the thought that you could, right? For so many of us, we don't go after a lot of things because we believe like, oh, I have no idea how to do that. I would have no idea how I could ever make that happen, let's say.

And so we stop ourselves before we ever even start. 'cause we've already decided that's not for me. Oh, that's for other people. I don't know how to invest money. I don't have enough money to invest, so I can't invest. Right? When we have that belief, then we don't look into the tactics of learning how to invest. We don't look into how to save up for retirement. If I think like, oh, I'm too lazy to ever get in shape. If that's my belief, it doesn't matter how many goals I try to set, right? I'm gonna give up as soon as because I have this core belief that like I am just not good enough to work out, or I'm not in good enough shape or it's too hard for me, or whatever the thing is, there's tons of studies that show that when people have low confidence and that stems from their beliefs about something, they don't take action, right?

If they have low confidence in that task, like if they don't think they're good at math, they're obviously not gonna go after jobs or projects or opportunities that are heavily focused on math, right? Like we're not crazy. We kind of like figure out what works for us and what doesn't. And then we create these stories about ourselves based on what we think we can or we think we can't do, right? There's that Henry Ford quote, whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right. The reason that's so powerful is because it's true. 'cause if you've told yourself you can't do something, you're never gonna try doing it. You're never gonna stick to it. And so what I've seen now having coached so many people on their careers is it's not as though those opportunities aren't available to you or that you can't change your job or you can't find the thing that you want.
It's that you've told yourself you can't. And you make kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you tell yourself, it's not available to me. Someone like me can't leave my job. Someone like me can't start a business, then that will become your reality because you won't take the actions that you need to take in order to make that a reality. I know for me, when I quit my job as a lawyer, and when I started going to meetup events, these startup events with a lot of entrepreneurs, I had to really confront because I wanted so badly to have a business at that point because my son was, you know, an infant, a couple months old. And I really loved the idea of kind of the time freedom and the flexibility of having my own business would give me. But I had this belief that like I don't know how to run a business.

I would never be able to run a business. And I don't know where that thought came from. It was because I've never done it before. And so I had just decided that this isn't for me. And I had to really confront that because I wanted it so badly. I wanted to be able to run a business and I would go to these meetup events and I would meet other people who were no different than me. They weren't smarter than me, they didn't have more resources than me, they didn't have more capabilities than me. They weren't harder working than me. And I would see they would be running businesses. And I started questioning like, why do I think this thought? Why have I told myself that I can't run a business? Right? Sure. I don't know how, I don't know the how, I don't know the strategy, but could I learn?

Have I figured out tons of other things in my life up until this point? Yeah, I'm pretty smart. I'm pretty sure I could figure this out. So why am I telling myself I can't? Right? And I think that for so many of us, we don't realize how much those sentences are what stop us, how much it's those sentences that even prevent us from even figuring out the how, figuring out the strategy. 'cause the strategy is just such a minute part of it. It's truly like 20% of it. Because let's say as an example, let's say you wanted to start a business and let's say you knew how to manage your mind fully and you could kind of control your own thoughts. The rest of it is just trial and error. You could try a business, try an offer, find a niche, kind of learn, take the courses, see if it works.

If it doesn't iterate on it, find something else. Kind of learn from that. Take the next step. Pivot, right? I'm not saying it would happen quickly, but there's no reason why you can't figure out this kind of product market fit, figure out like how to solve a problem for people and make money from it. The problem is that most of us don't let ourselves get to that point. Because even if we do try it and then it doesn't go the way that we want on the first try and we're not successful right out the gate, we start thinking like, see, I knew I don't know what I'm doing. See, I'm not good enough. I'll never make this work. And then when we have those thoughts, of course we give up, we decide like why would I keep putting time and energy when I know I'm not smart enough to do this when I know I'm not good enough to do this?

And so I started realizing for myself and then for my clients later that like it doesn't matter what I wanna go after, if I don't learn how to manage those thoughts, if I don't learn how to manage those fears, the fear of what everyone else is gonna think, the fear of failing, the fear of not getting it right, the fear of looking foolish, the fear of success, the fear. I mean so many fears, right? If I don't learn how to manage those thoughts, I will never let myself pursue anything. And that became really the saddest outcome for myself. Like I kept thinking when I was leaving my job and I was in my early thirties at the time, I kept thinking I have 30 more, 40 more years to work. And if I'm gonna limit myself to the only things that I think I can't do that I think I'm good at that I have some mastery in.
I will never let myself try something new. I will never let myself just experiment. I will never let myself fail at things. I will never let myself do things that I think are just interesting, right? Because I always have to win. I don't know. I always have to get it right in order to keep up these beliefs that like maybe I'm smart or whatnot. And I just realized very quickly that like if I don't get a handle on my own brain, if I don't get a handle on these fears and these beliefs, then I'm gonna kind of keep myself stuck in this very limited life in a very small box where like I don't allow myself out of it because my beliefs are too fragile, right? And I didn't want that. I wanted to have a really big life where I got to try things and fail and try again and experiment and do something cool and see what else I was capable of and really push myself and see like what else I could learn.

And I knew the only way to do that was to be able to quiet down that critic, that like inner bully that I had that was always telling me like, we can't do that. We're not smart enough for that. We'll never figure that out. This is a waste of time. You're gonna regret this. You should just be happy with what you have, right? I had to manage those thoughts in order to let myself get to the strategy. And I see this all the time in my membership in the Quitter Club. I have a lot of videos that will teach you strategy. I have a lot of videos that you know will give you kind of your five year plan or your financial plan, the calculators, like all this stuff. Most people don't even touch that stuff because most people can't get past the thoughts. They can't even get themselves to like accept that maybe I can create a financial plan that if I can't leave this year, maybe I'll leave in two years or five years, right?

That would be worth working towards. But they create this kind of the all or nothing thinking that's like, it'll never happen for me. I'll never save enough to be able to leave. And if that's the thought that you have, then you've already counted yourself out before you've even started. Of course, you're not gonna come up with a plan. Of course you're not gonna follow the strategy. And so this is why I focus so much on mindset. When people come to me and they want to change their careers, I could just give people assessments and kind of analyze those assessments. And I'm not saying that that's not useful to kind of give you a better understanding of how you tick and how you operate. Those are great. I could kind of help you put together a resume. I could look at job boards. All of those things are important.

But what I've realized for most people is that they have so much underlying shame and fear and self-loathing and they're so mean to themselves. And there's so much of this constant berating, berating of themselves and putting themselves down that so many people are kind of paralyzed in this place where they don't even see the option of going after a dream. So like how could they articulate what they wanna do? Like there's so many people that don't even know who they are because they've only ever done what other people have told them. And that requires them to like delve into what those beliefs are and to look at what that thought process, you know, how to change that, and how to open themselves up to new experiences and new things and to let themselves try and fail and be a human and take up space and do things in different ways.

And that can't happen. They can't know that until they learn how to manage their own mind. And so that is why I focus so much on mindset. That is why I think that mindset is the most important thing. Because it also goes wherever you go, right? What's that quote? Anywhere you go there you are, right? Even if you change your job, I know for me, when I left my big law job that was, you know, I was getting a lot of money. I was getting paid a lot. But I thought, well, I'm not passionate about this. I left and I became a federal public defender and I was passionate about that, but I just took the same brain with me. So the brain that was a people pleaser, that was a perfectionist that needed everyone else's validation, that always wanted to get the a plus that never let myself rest, that got myself burned out.

I took that brain to the new place and I did the same exact things, right? I still held myself to insane standards. I never said no to anybody. I didn't hold any boundaries. And lo and behold, I was miserable there too. And so honestly, until you learn how to do this stuff, you are constantly gonna take this brain that is berating you. And so maybe you might find a job that's a little bit of a better fit. But if you can't learn how to manage your mind around somebody that you work with that's difficult, or around the stress of deadlines or around existential dread about what's gonna happen in the future, all of these things that we all worry about, you're gonna constantly feel the same. Even if you're changing your circumstances, even if the job changes, you're still gonna bring that stress with you.

You're still gonna bring that anxiety with you. You're still gonna bring that lack of kind of balance. And so the only way to work on it is to learn how to manage those thoughts everywhere you're at. Maybe at one job it's gonna be managing it around, uh, difficult coworker. And then at another job it's gonna be around the fact that the deadlines are very intense and severe and that that causes some stress. And maybe at another job it's gonna be about the fact that you work alone all day and you get bored or whatever it might be. There's gonna be thoughts that you have to manage. And when you learn how to do that, you free yourself from needing to have everyone and everything act a certain way so that you can be happy. You start learning how to manage your own thoughts around whatever is happening to kind of set yourself up for the best possible scenario.

You set yourself up to be able to get that strategy that someone's gonna teach you and actually implement it instead of giving up on it because you told yourself that you're not good enough. So that is why I spend a lot of time on this podcast in my videos and a lot of the work that I do, helping you first become aware of the thoughts that you have. Like what are all these thoughts that are kind of in my subconscious? What is the story that I created about myself? What are the thoughts that are holding me back from trying the thing that I want? What do I even want? And then teaching you how to change that. Teaching you how to like actually take those thoughts that aren't helpful, that aren't serving you and changing them to the ones that are gonna get you to feel more dedicated and motivated and determined and get you to go after the things that you want.

So if that sounds like something that you need, then stick around because that's a lot of the work that we do. If you want more of that, you can join me in The Quitter Club, which is my membership, where I teach you how to manage those thoughts. I teach you and I coach you every week on the thoughts that come up that are not serving you to help you kind of switch those and find other thoughts that will to help you get to kind of the bottom of why you have a lot of these thoughts. And to help you learn how to manage your mind so that you can go after the best life possible for you. 'cause that's what I want for all of you. So if you are interested, you can go to lessons from a club and check that out. And in the meantime, I will be back next week with another episode.

Hey, if you are looking for more in-depth help with your career, whether that's dealing with all of the stress, worry, and anxiety that's leading to burnout in your current career or figuring out what your dream career is and actually going after it, I want you to join me in the Quitter Club. It is where we quit what is no longer working like perfectionism, people pleasing imposter syndrome, and we start working on what does, and we start taking action towards the career and the life that you actually want. We will take the concepts that we talk about on the podcast and apply them to your life, and you will get the coaching tools and support that you need to actually make some real change. So go to lessons from ac club and get on the wait list. Doors are closed right now, but they will be open soon.