The pitfalls of ‘setting our mind’…and what to do instead

The other day I wrote about a ‘subtle lie that destroys our peace’. The belief that I will only feel good about myself if I accomplish my goal.

Today I will discuss another similar belief, that is super common, but can also have damaging subtle consequences.


“I can do anything I set my mind to.”

Most of my life I have taken pride that belief…it’s a noble belief right?

Not so fast.

Notice the key word ‘pride’ above. There’s a problem at the root there.

Interestingly I just got this message from a new member of the TAL Family:

My biggest challenge as of right now would have to be doubt, and honestly I don’t know why!

Because I know that I can accomplish anything that I put my mind to, because I have.

It was barely one month ago that it dawned on me (in epiphany format) what problems that very belief has caused me throughout my life.

Seems strange I know, because that belief gets placed on a pedestal to be admired.

It’s really similar to this one after all:

“Whatever I can conceive, and bring myself to believe, I can achieve” – Napoleon Hill

But that key phrase ‘and bring myself to believe’ in there, is an important distinction.

With that statement, if we didn’t achieve something, we can see we need to work on our belief level. We are likely just not ‘all in’ for one reason or another.


So what’s wrong with believing “I can accomplish anything I put my mind to”?

This belief doesn’t have the important element of ‘believe’. It’s more a matter of personal will-power and independence.

And what happens when things don’t quite work out?

When we don’t accomplish the thing we set out to? (happens a lot for me as an optimist)

For me, directly after realizing I didn’t or wouldn’t accomplish my big goal for the day, week, year…or life…

  • I felt horrible.
  • I felt like a total failure.
  • I felt worthless.

Those feelings are depressing.

And that dark feeling is a direct result of believing ‘I can accomplish anything I set my mind to’.

What the?? Why?

Because that very belief, for me, carried with it a built in OPPOSITE belief that automatically triggered when I DIDN’T accomplish my goal.

Because I had attached my self-worth to my accomplishment.

The belief…

“I am a failure since I didn’t accomplish the thing I set out to”

is the natural opposite to…

“I am great because I can accomplish what I set my mind to”

When our feelings about ourself are attached directly to outcomes and achievements it’s a losing situation to put ourselves in.

Do we really want our SELF-WORTH attached to outcomes we are not in complete control of??

Heck No!!

And that’s the other problem with that belief…it’s not always true.

Unlike Napoleon Hill’s statement which hinges everything on our level of belief, “I can do anything I set my mind to” places our outcomes solely on our will-power. Our ability to ‘set our mind’ on something.


But are we really in control of all our circumstances?

Do we control all of the outcomes of things just by setting our mind?

What about when I set the goal to teach and help others in a big way and then I got overtaken by a deadly disease?

No amount of ‘setting my mind to it’ was going to change that unforeseeable situation which completely altered my goals and caused a total failure of my goals and plans for that year.


So why does that belief inevitably end in doubt?

Because deep down we know we are not in complete control. And we never will be.


Then what’s the better belief?

“Whatever I can conceive, and bring myself to believe, I can achieve”
is much better. Because it focuses on increasing our belief and our faith.

Faith is the opposite of doubt and fear. They cannot exist in the same space.

And here are some others that work much better for me:

“With God all things are possible.” – Mark 10:27

Or… “I can do anything with God.”

Both of those rely on faith in something bigger, more powerful, and much more capable than me, which eliminates doubt and fear. All things are indeed possible with God.

And those beliefs also go hand in hand with ‘Everything is conspiring for my benefit’.


There’s a much better way than relying on ourselves and our own will-power.

If you find yourself doubting and you ‘know not why’, try easing up on the whole disciplined ‘setting your mind on what you want’ thing and instead start to ‘align your mind with God’s mind’.

There’s a much higher perspective on everything, and you can’t see it with your eyes.

Aligning with that is where you’ll find peace and confidence.

Relief from the doubt.

Align yourself by tuning in and listening to the still small voice in your heart, and trusting that, rather than following the shouting voices in your head of envy, judgment, and the Jones’s many accomplishments.


We can accomplish a whole lot more, a whole lot easier, and be a whole lot happier by tuning in to what our heart truly wants, rather than setting our mind on what we think we want.

Listen to your heart.


Make Today Amazing!



P.S. – Ever get what you want, after firmly setting your mind on it, only to find you didn’t really want that after all? Think about it it…

P.P.S – 5 Minute Mental Mastery will help you embed these positive beliefs in your mind and replace the less helpful ones

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