When you think about mindset, success come with saying “yes” more often. Saying yes to opportunities, saying yes to more effort, and saying yes to your priorities will help you close in on your goals. However, there are some important things to say NO to. Here are 10 things to refuse to protect your mindset!


1 – Mediocrity. It’s easy to slip into average. Average work, average effort, average attitude. Actively refuse to be mediocre. Make it a non-negotiable in your head. If you want to be great at anything, your mindset needs to be great at everything! Apply yourself to every activity and mediocrity will become unacceptable to you.

2 – Distractions. Whether they are things (netflix, video games, etc.) or people, distractions move you away from your priorities and give you a short term enjoyment at the cost of your long term happiness and health. Physical distance is a good idea. Walk away from your distractions. If you find yourself sucked in, set limits on the time and energy you will spend on that distraction. Rule it, don’t let it rule you.

3 – Gossip. Small-minded conversations trap your mindset and limit your world. If you overhear gossip, practice moving beyond it by adding only positive thoughts to the conversation. Getting sucked into gossip becomes a distraction at best, and damaging (to your reputation, to others’ feelings, etc.) at worst.

4 – Peer Pressure. Drugs, drinking, cutting class, and so many more temptations exist in most schools around the country. Besides the obvious reason that these pressures are dangerous and risky to engage in, consider the loss of power. Falling to peer pressure is giving the power and control of your life, health, and happiness, to a kid who may or may not have your best interest at heart. Whatever decisions you make in life, you want those decisions to come from you. When they come from someone else, you’ve given away your power for no reason.

5 – Boredom. It happens. We get bored in class. We start to nod off or we play on our phone to avoid the feeling of boredom. It’s important to develop strategies to fight that boredom. Infuse passions and hobbies into boring activities. Challenge yourself. Participate more to increase your engagement. Connect classwork to your real life situations. Fight boredom and refuse to let it destroy your potential.

6 – Excuses. Excuses only satisfy those who make them. Listen for your excuses. Where do they happen most often? Learn the excuses you say most often and change the wording to add accountability. Take responsibility for your life, which also gives you control of your outcomes.

7 – Negative Self-talk. You are your own worst critic. Negative language fills our heads if we aren’t careful. Pay attention to your thoughts. Fight them off and decide to be stubbornly positive. Any time you say or think something negative about yourself, counter it with several positive statements of power. You need to believe in yourself to achieve your goals. Be active in creating that belief in yourself!

8 – Perfectionism. It’s great to want to try your best. However, perfectionism can freeze you in place. Perfectionists aren’t able to move forward because they get stuck on tasks, believing that their work is never good enough. Give your best effort in everything you do, but also be ready to let it go. You won’t improve if you aren’t making mistakes and receiving feedback.

9 – Complacency. There are few feelings greater than reaching a big goal. It’s okay to celebrate an accomplishment and it most certainly is not wrong to feel good about it. You should! However, it’s important to make that a new starting point rather than a stopping point. Whether you reach a goal or not, always consider how you can continue pushing forward. Improve yourself every day. There is always another level to reach!

10 – Comfort. If you only do things that are easy, you will probably feel successful. The problem is, you won’t be growing, developing, or reaching your full potential. If you are getting straight A’s with ease, maybe it’s time to look at more difficult classes or extra learning activities outside of school. Add challenge to your life and get outside of your comfort zone. Your maximum potential awaits!