Bret Burchard 01/26/2021
2 Minutes

Stuck With No Clear Way Forward

This is Part 2 of a six-part series on how to recognize if you’re performing with an inferior mindset. 

Most people respond to setbacks and failures by making reactive changes or shaming criticisms. They don’t see the one element that can have the greatest impact: mindset. 

Mindset is the piece that determines how you approach a task or challenge and shapes how you assess the other factors. With an inferior mindset, you don’t have the objectivity to evaluate your tools, the awareness to recognize a gap in skills or the humility to accept that the challenge is just too great for your current resources and abilities. You feel compelled to take short cuts or accelerate expectations without the necessary infrastructure. You’ll waste time, money and energy in the wrong direction. You’ll tear down relationships in a misguided attempt to upgrade the team. 

A healthy approach to improvement and sustainable success begins with a world-class mindset. Before fine tuning your mindset though, you have to learn how to recognize when your mindset is the thing holding you back. There are five key clues that reveal an inferior mindset. We will explore these throughout this series.

Clue #1: You’re stuck with no clear way forward.

There is one entrepreneur who seems to be a staple of every episode of Shark Tank: the irrationally confident inventor presenting a failed idea, begging for a lifeline. Despite drowning in debt with no product sales, they’re convinced they’ve found gold. They just need a shark to help them polish it. 

Every shark rejects the offer and at least one shark reveals the unfiltered reality: “Stop what you’re doing before you do more damage to the rest of your life.” 

Despite being chewed up and spit out of the tank, the entrepreneur leaves with a fighting spirit and commitment to the conviction of a coming gold rush. We watch and slap our foreheads, screaming for them to heed the advice of successful, experienced business people. All the while, we are acting the same way in our own lives.

When other people act this way, we see stupidity and stubbornness. When we do it, we believe we’re writing a story of resilience. 

Resilience is the ability to detach yourself from the results to make the next right play. Stubbornness is the need to force your will to prove that you are right. 

Stubborn people don’t make space for opposing views. They don’t allow flexibility in their thinking to come up with new ways, see a new reality, or break free from an old worldview. They are so attached to one pathway that they can’t see clearly what’s blocking their progress. They blame others but it’s themselves who are blocking progress. 

Resilient people cooperate with what’s unfolding before them. The setbacks are clues to where to turn next. The obstacles are the tool to help them grow. They keep going through every iteration.

You can prove your toughness by never giving up, or you can outlast the competition by quitting what isn’t working and finding a new way forward. 

What are you forcing that isn’t working? Where are you too attached to your particular solution? What do you need to quit to find a better way forward?




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