Your Mind is Driven to Win, But is it Winning at the Right Things?


Alicia Eichman

Learn how to hijack your mind’s innate ability to win.

“Life won’t stop for your pauses and procrastinations. It won’t stop for your confusion or fear. It will continue right along without you. Whether you play an active part or not, the show will go on.” — Gary John Bishop, Unfu*k Yourself

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

Have you ever given up on what you wanted most?

I have. And I’ve done it a lot.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned through all of my abandoned endeavors, it’s that my mind is actively working against me.

It’s almost as if it’s designed to sabotage me.

And yeah…it sort of is.

Your mind is probably sabotaging you, too.

But why?

It wasn’t until I read Gary John Bishop’s book “Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and into Your Life” that the pieces started coming together.

Specifically, I discovered that my mind’s goal is to perpetuate and realize its own notion of who I am, and it will do anything to win at this, even if it undermines my actual goals. This is what I call a failure mentality.

In this article, I will share one of my favorite takeaways from the book and how it can help you overcome failure mentality.

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

“We are wired to win — we just have to point ourselves in the right direction so we can win at something we consciously choose.” — Gary John Bishop, Unfu*k Yourself

So often, our minds force us into a box. Maybe you’re the good girl. Or the procrastinator. Or overweight. Not smart enough to finish school.

The worst part is not that our minds do this; it’s that they work tirelessly to prove those labels right. Our minds convince us that we’re incapable of moving outside the boxes they’ve designed for us.

For example, if you’ve spent ten years working in a coffee shop, you might think that’s all you’re capable of. You might think you don’t have the skills to do anything else, that you’re too old to go to school and restart your career.

That’s your mind subconsciously setting those parameters. From that point forward, that’s who you are and what your lot in life is.

This happens to everyone in one way or another.

The mind will decide that we’re too broken to be truly happy, too uneducated to be successful, or too addicted to ice cream to lose weight.

Our minds tell us that it’s not a big deal if we abandon our dreams — we were going to fail anyway.

Your mind might get miles ahead of the next step just to prove how far over your head you are.

Suddenly, you’re in the fetal position contemplating literally all 583 things you have to do to get from where you are now to where you want to be.

So instead, you watch Netflix.

That’s your mind winning at its own goals and sabotaging yours. That’s failure mentality.

The only way to conquer it is to relieve your mind of its responsibility for defining who you are; “Thank you, that’ll be all.”

Consciously set your goals not according to the box your mind crafted for you but according to your wildest dreams.

Your mind will revolt, but it’s not your mind’s narration that matters — in fact, that’s irrelevant. Your actions will prove it wrong.

Just keep doing what you know you need to do, get out of that box, and ignore the haters. (#yourmind)

How to Identify Failure Mentality in Yourself

Photo by Jukan Tateisi on Unsplash

Take a look at some things you’ve failed at. What patterns have played out in your life?

What thoughts did you have just before you decided to give up? What does your mind’s narration tell you about how it all went down?

If you dropped out of college three times, why? Is your mind convinced that you’re not smart enough or that it’s too hard? If so, convincing you to drop out of college is how it wins at proving that.

Your mind strives to prove itself right — to reinforce the validity of that box it put you in. To your mind, that’s winning.

And your mind is damn good at winning — it rarely fails.

The problem is that we don’t often know what our mind’s true goal is. We think we’re working towards a college degree, but really our mind is trying to prove that we’re the same person who failed the last two times.

As you start to notice the patterns of failure mentality in your life, you’ll need to think about what your mind’s goals are and what it’s really been winning at without your consent.

Once you know, you can reject those goals and set your own.

Remember, the mechanism for winning is built-in — your job is to adjust the target.

“Fu*k how you feel, ACT!” — Gary John Bishop

Stop Listening to Your Mind

“Think about this: your thoughts (and the resulting feelings) are not always aligned with what is in the best interests of your life, your health, your finances, or your potential.” — Gary John Bishop, Unfu*k Yourself

As an introvert who genuinely enjoys her mind’s meanderings, it hurts me to admit that they’re mostly useless and largely counterproductive.

If your mind is always saying things that make you feel bad about yourself or doubt your abilities, it’s time to just stop listening.

Everyone — every single person — experiences negative thoughts and doubts. And yet, there are people who are uber-successful despite those thoughts.

There are people out there who are just like you, who have met their goals and are living your exact dream.

How? Because they didn’t listen to their mind’s commentary.

They didn’t believe the lie that their mind told them about who they were.

They followed through with their goals instead of letting their mind’s autopilot goals take over.

They took the actions anyway and gave the big finger to their insecurities.

This is the main thing you need to do to overcome the failure mentality.

Photo by Nadine Shaabana on Unsplash

Don’t Let Your Goals Overwhelm You

Goals are your friend, especially when you’re trying to beat the failure mentality.

When I started down this path, I was constantly overwhelmed by everything I had to do to accomplish my goals.

That’s when my mind’s old tricks started up again. “You should just give up…it’s too hard. You’re not built for this. You’re just not organized enough.”

Instead of giving up, I decided to get serious about organizing my thoughts and goals.

I got myself a good planner, ironed out my goals, and got crystal clear about the steps I needed to take to achieve them.

It’s been a game-changer for me.

I found a planner with quarterly goals in several life categories, plus monthly and weekly goals to keep things dialed in. It also has a review section after each month so I can analyze my progress.

But the really useful bit is that I can plan out my day one hour at a time.

That micro-level detail helps me combat the “overwhelm method” my mind is so good at employing. If I set out my goals for the week and break them down for each day, that’s all I have to think about.

My planner says to write this post, so I’m doing it, and I don’t have to worry about the next one until it’s time.

If you want to know which planner I use, it’s the Clever Fox Planner PRO Schedule. Highly recommend! (plus it comes with cute stickers!)

Image by Alicia Eichman

Failure mentality happens to us all, and unless you do something about it, it will keep doing what it does best.

If you suspect that I wrote this article just for you, the book I mentioned will feel like a personal attack (in the best way).

If you’re struggling to get where you want to be in life this book is for you.

Buy the book, ebook, or audiobook here: “Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and into Your Life” by Gary John Bishop.

This article contains affiliate links. I will earn a small commission for any purchase made through said links at no additional cost to you.



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