A counterintuitive mindset strategy for more confidence.

Image of Brian Kight
Brian Kight

One minor change in my mindset over the past 10 years has made a major impact on my happiness and productivity.

That minor difference is I started prioritizing the things I was not going to think, say, and do.

I identified easily recognizable and common patterns of thinking, speaking, and acting that I don’t want to engage in because they don’t work, come with too much risk, or aren’t who I want to be.

I observe and decide what I won’t do, what will have no place in my life, and it’s had a significant effect on my clarity and confidence.

An easy example is complaining. I will not do it under any circumstances. There are always better options than complaining. I don’t need to know what those options are before I commit to eliminate complaining from my life. 

My job in a difficult situation is first to not complain and second to explore disciplined courses of action, whatever that may look like in the moment.

Another, more personal example, is I will not argue with my wife in an attempt to win the argument. I’ve never seen that be successful or productive for anyone. Maybe it can be. Maybe it has been for some people. I decided it has no place in my life or our marriage.

I will not argue in that way and when we have a disagreement I will not try to win. I’m a competitive guy. But that’s not an enjoyable or valuable competition for me.

There are many, many more options available to me as a husband other than trying to win an argument with my wife when we disagree. Knowing the clear boundaries of what I won’t do gives me clarity in moments of heightened emotion. Not perfect answers but better direction.

You might consider creating your own list. Start simple. See if you can come up with 3-5 things you don’t want to think, say, or do because of the potential impact they’d have on your life. 

Everything is training for something. Do the work.

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