Slay your self-defeating mindsets

Slay These 10 Self-Defeating Mindsets

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Previously I outlined the Five Essential Mindsets to increase your quality of life. In this article, I am going to outline the self-defeating mindsets that can block your development. In addition, I will share the attitudes and behaviors that will counter and slay your self-defeating mindsets.

When you know better, you do better; read below to learn and activate your superpowers to transform your thinking and thus, behaviors.    

The particular self-defeating mindsets we will review are:


A siloed mindset is the unwillingness to consider the bigger picture or expand your thinking. Sometimes referred to as tunnel vision and akin to a fixed mindset, a siloed perspective can bog you down in routine so much so that that you lose sight of the overall objective. In addition, siloed thinking will limit diversity of thought and life experiences. Lastly, a silo mindset guts your ability to compromise and collaborate.

A siloed mindset should not be confused with focus. You can focus on your work and goals while remaining open to outside help and feedback.

Professional Life: A person with a siloed mindset is typically painfully task-oriented and less likely to work across organizational channels to achieve common goals. Further siloed thinkers have trouble managing others. A siloed thinker generally is unable to delegate and develop talent. They typically over assert themselves into processes and the work produced and leave little space for outside input-resulting in one-dimensional product and can stagnate innovation.   

Personal Life: Remember, the saying variety is the spice of life? Well, the reality is variety is a basic human need; without it, life becomes mundane.  

collaboration is key

Are you stuck in a siloed thinking rut? Do you often feel overwhelmed by the need to do everything because you feel your way is best? Do you feel like you are constantly thinking or doing and never making any headway? So, how do you work your way out of a siloed mindset and the habits they manifest?

It’s time to rethink. Pause, breathe, and take a step back and think about what you can do differently. It is time to activate both your growth and strategic mindset. Not your norm? Good, we are off to a good start. Here are some behaviors to promote a growth mindset and further your strategic thinking:

Review and use Delegation thought process

Some other mentalities marked by a Fixed Mindset yet remedied with a Growth Mindset are:

Absolute Thinking

Absolute thinking is the inability to see the space between or the belief that you either have it or don’t. With absolute thinking, you assert that “it is what it is” and never consider the possibilities of life. Further, those with this all-or-nothing mindset typically take what they don’t need while missing out on growth opportunities.  


Using sweeping, negative statements to describe yourself or others.  

One quick way to circumvent labeling (outside of adopting a growth mindset and embracing diversity) is to remove hyperbole such as “never,” “absolutely not,” and “always” from your vocabulary.  


Interpreting a single adverse event as the norm or enduring pattern.

Embrace Growth:  For these three fixed mindsets, you want to fall back on your growth mindset, which is the foundation for all the mindsets that prompt self-development. Because the trick is to navigate, not to stall life’s journey with silos, adverse patterns, and enveloping yourself and others in stereotypes, we do so by understanding that our traits, character, and personality are free-flowing; we ebb and flow.  

Now on to more self-defeating mindsets and, more importantly, the cure for each.


We all know of the “glass-half-empty” thinking, you know, focusing on the negative of a situation. A pessimistic mindset invades your life with negativity. When you experience life’s challenges, pessimism holds you in a constant state of tribulation. But, on the other hand, a pessimistic mindset blocks your ability to appreciate your fortune.

How to change?

When you catch pessimism creeping in, invoke your positive mindset. Think of your learnings, opportunities, and next steps. Then embrace your gratitude practice, and appreciate any and all the good.

Magnification/ Minimization

You are warped in this negative mindset when you compare yourself to others by magnifying their positives while minimizing your wonderful. This mindset can stem from low self-esteem. One of the best ways to rid yourself of low self-esteem and therefore get off the magnification/minimization see-saw is by actively elevating yourself.

This mindset can manifest in your personal and professional life with your unwillingness to go after what you want. When you elevate others while putting yourself down, you ascertain that they have accomplished something out of your reach.

Don’t put the other person down; get off the see-saw and swing to new heights.

How? Remember that everyone can shine. Adopt an abundance mindset. Use that adoration as inspiration.


The personalization mindset is marked by blaming yourself unnecessarily for external adverse events and putting unreasonable expectations on yourself. Remember, the only thing you can control is yourself and how you react to the world around you. You can’t change others and outside forces, so don’t absorb the blame. 

Emotional Reasoning

Emotional reasoning is confusing how you feel with facts. There is an old saying, “you can’t reason with emotion.” The meaning is- you can’t think with your emotions or reason with someone emotional. Our feelings are based on facts as we perceive them, so when we react to situations with our emotions, this leads to communication breakdowns and misaligned intentions.  Instead, lead life with a rational mindset.

Remember to acknowledge your feelings without interpreting others’ actions and statements with how you are feeling. Or, at the very least, wait before addressing.  

Mind Reading

Mindreading Mindsets prompt you to make assumptions about someone else’s thoughts or motives. When you start guessing, you get similar results to emotional reasoning; things can fall apart. More directly, mindreading can lead to a breakdown of interpersonal connections and relations. You think you know; you react as if you know; what happens when you are wrong? Don’t attempt to mind read; instead, adopt a curious mindset. You will not default to “I know why;” you will default to “I wonder why” and seek out the information through a curious mindset. Ask “why” and “how” to open a dialogue that will delve into understanding as opposed to guessing.

This brings us to our final self-defeating mindset.


A catastrophizing mindset is focusing on the worst-case scenario and overestimating negative emotions or outcomes. For example, an individual who catastrophizes feels a raindrop and, despite the sun shining, believes torrential rains are next. There may be a storm coming, but what odds will the one raindrop produce a downpour? 

A person who catastrophizes overreacts without the benefit of facts or rationality. As a result, they can, at times, create a new set of problems for themselves and their community at large.

Think of the people who hoarded toilet paper during last year’s Covid surge. They ended up with more than they could store, while others had none.

Being anxious is okay; with reason, anxiety induces preparation.

The antidote to catastrophizing is adopting and practicing a rational mindset.
How? Well, before fear jumps to catastrophizing, fall back on reasoning. Know that you can prepare yourself by focusing on the facts from trusted sources before you start dismantling, hoarding, and disrupting your life resources.

Sure, things can go wrong, but catastrophizing is paralyzing behavior. Furthermore, when you catastrophize, you are more likely to focus on impending doom than preparing yourself for whatever is coming. So when you catch yourself catastrophizing, be sure to stop, breathe, and complete a quick exercise in rationalizing:

The manner in which we think dictates what we do and say and therefore what the world throws back at us.  We manifest our thoughts via our words and actions.  Ridding your psyche of the above 10 self-defeating mindsets is an essential component of propelling your self-development practice and getting one step closer to getting back the good that you put out.   

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