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  • Writer's pictureTom Foxley

Why Coaches Fail To Get Freedom, Success & Impact (22 Signs your Mindset Is Limiting your growth)

Please Don’t Make The Same Mistakes I Did (Where It All Ends Up)

You don’t want to screw up like I did.

You don’t want to find yourself sobbing in your girlfriend's arms because you’re so ashamed, so fearful, so angry. You don’t want to be defaulting on your credit cards, rent and loans. You don’t want your clients to find out what you’re really like and then leave you. You don’t want to be begging for money from your family.

Trust me, it's awful. The sleepless nights and the appalling self-image I held are still burned in my mind.

All these things appeared because of my mindset at the time.

Coach Tom at one of the first Mindset Rx'd Seminars

Real Change Begins Within

From the hundreds of athletes, and dozens of coaches we've coached we've seen the pattern countless times. Burnout, stress, fear. In the vast majority of cases, mindset is a major contributor to this struggle.

I’ll level with you; mindset work is hard work. I think you’ll find it as tough as training, or maybe harder. It doesn’t come naturally to folk in our day and age. But it does change everything.

I can vouch for myself, but I can also vouch for the dozens of coaches who have passed through our coaches course. Mindset training works. It works slowly, but certainly. When you learn to break through your limits, you will generate the kind of freedom and success you deserve and yearn for.

Not instantly, but certainly.

It’s my hope that this pretty uncomfortable article will help you avoid the lows I experienced. When you turn your mindset around, your positive momentum will in turn help those you coach. They then will turn up as a better version of themselves and spread the momentum.

As a coach, you have an incredible opportunity to do truly important work. Your work doesn’t just affect you, but your athletes, and everyone your athletes touch. It’s vital that you lead by example.

If these points resonate with you, we are just about to open up spaces on our Coaches Course Level 1. Spaces are highly limited and sell out quickly. It’s a 5 week course where we teach you the foundations of mastering your own mindset. You can pre-register to receive the first access in just 30 seconds by filling out this form.

Anyway, on with the article.

22 Signs You Need To Work On Your Mindset

1. Not increasing your impact in the world

If you’re stuck training the same number of people, or not getting even better results with your athletes, chances are you’ve hit a limiting belief. At the heart of things, you believe that this is your level and you can’t handle anything more. Maybe you struggled immensely to get to where you are and can’t face doing it again. Maybe you just don’t trust your judgement.

Really, by failing to amend this, you end up wasting your time on earth. You have a gift, and you’re not sharing it.

2. Rushing

Everything is hectic and frantic for you. Home life, training, coaching, social life… all blur into a mess for you. You never have time to sit down and plan.

Impactful, successful coaches are deliberate and intentional. Rushing leads to being endlessly busy, but never moving forward. Rushing is just spinning your wheels. You must learn to do less and achieve more.

3. You’re “not rewarded” as you should be

We’re talking finances, but we’re also talking about the sense of satisfaction. You feel like you’re owed more than what you’re getting right now. Things are on the edge, and there’s never enough [time/money/resources/care] to go around, despite how much you try.

One question which helped me so much was “if this doesn’t change in 5 years from now, how will that feel?” The truth was painful to look at, but eventually this painful realisation set me free.

4. You’re on the emotional roller coaster

There’s no stability to your mental-emotional state. Your days, months, and even hours, differ emotionally to each other. All it takes is for one external factor to change (you lose or gain a personal training athlete for example), and you are flying or crashing emotionally.

You must learn to seek the peaceful middle ground. Sure, you’ll find smooth variations, but without finding mental-emotional stability, you’ll never have the kind of freedom you long for.

5. There’s little predictability in your days

You find yourself reacting instead of slowing down and responding. Other people’s emergencies dominate your time

When your subconscious mind knows that there’s routine and predictability, it doesn’t have to worry about this, so you can spend your energy focused on the real challenges at hand, those which reward you most highly.

6. You feel like there’s more to life, but you just can't get there

You know you love to travel. You know you want to start a family. You know you have more to give, more to experience, more to receive, but nothing is coming to fruition.

Honesty time: one of my biggest fears is that I will fail to maximise use of my short time on earth. It’s something a lot of our coaches relate to. Part of mastering your mindset is knowing what constitutes a good life for you specifically, then acting on it.

7. There’s no such thing as “off-time”.

Your existence revolves around your athletes and your gym. Not in a healthy way, but a constantly-dominated-by-others’-demands-kinda-way. You are replying to messages, coaching, traveling, fretting about your work too much. There’s never a time where you switch off.

If your spare time is filled with anxiety about your work, you’ll never have enough energy to serve your athletes at a higher level.

8. You don’t train, eat, or recover, like you should

Maybe it’s too rushed. Maybe you’re not consistent enough. Maybe you binge on shit food because you’re so hectic. You don’t follow your own advice. You wish you had time to train, but somehow you’ve lost the love for it.

Would you trust a doctor who smokes, is overweight, and doesn’t take their own medicine? No. Same goes for a coach who doesn’t train.

9. Life is pretty constant stress/fear/overwhelm/tension

You long for some time off, or a break, or simply some time to breathe. The truth of it is, that your subconscious doesn’t believe you deserve a break. You feel like you’re not good enough to take time off or that you’ll lose what you’ve worked for.

Success comes from stability. Reactionary coaches always perform below their potential.

10. You notice what there’s not enough of, rather than what is abundant.

This is another way of saying “scarcity mindset”. Through the way you’ve been conditioned (maybe your upbringing & family’s wealth situation) you are primed to feel that there’s never enough [time/money/love/energy] to go around. You fail to notice how you always manage to have enough to pay your bills, rent/mortgage, and your gym membership. There’s more than you realise, but you fail to see it.

11. No energy.

You feel flat, uninspired, lethargic and tired. Who wants to follow an un-energetic, uninspiring leader? No one.

12. To remedy this, you are always caffeinated

I remember my days of coaching. I remember the constant buzz of caffeine destroying my productivity and creating anxiety. Despite being a coffee snob, limiting my caffeine has helped me immeasurably.

Are you trying to bootstrap your way through the day with multiple quad-shot coffees? This just leads to burnout, anxiety, (not to mention the terrible bowel situation ;) )

13. You are a walking contradiction

Related to point 8, you do the opposite of the advice you give to athletes; late nights, poor food choices, alcohol, and no training make you feel guilt and shame.

14. Sleepless nights

Here’s a huge sign that your mindset needs work: your nights are restless and filled with waking up. You can’t get to sleep and when you do your dreams are anxiety inducing. You worry about paying the bills, getting up in time and a million other things. These are signs your subconscious is trying to process things which you haven’t attended to.

If left unchecked, your yawns get noticed by your athletes and that creates doubts over your credentials.

15. Your always comparing yourself to other coaches (judging or jealous)

You look around the gym, or scroll through Instagram. Your instant reaction is one of two things: “why do they get all the opportunity? They don’t deserve that.” or “they’re a shit coach, they don’t know as much as me.”

Both are key hints that you don’t believe you’re good enough to succeed. When you don’t believe you’re good enough, guess what.. You’ll never be good enough.

16. You are argumentative at home

Your spouse bears the brunt of your frustration. Or, to your shame, your kids. You know it can’t carry on like this, it’s unfair. Yet, you find zero willpower and take it out on those closest to you.

Right, this is a tough one for me. The person I love most is the person who I hurt the most when I didn’t have my mindset in check. She was my emotional punch bag. Thankfully, my part in this has been mostly solved now. But it came close to being irreparable. Don’t make this mistake, please.

17. You are bored when coaching

You feel the urge to check social media. Or you can’t be bothered to help athletes. You feel guilty about this, but you can’t make yourself care that much. You just wish you were sleeping or relaxing.

Bored coaches under serve clients. That’s the long and the short of it.

18. You procrastinate (mindless scrolling anyone?)

Hours of aimless phone use. Instagram, TikTok, email checking, shit games, dating apps… they consume your life. A coach with a mindset problem distracts themselves from their real problems by solving the fictitious problems which they can get a handle on.

I don’t need to tell you where this leads to. 3 hours on your phone every day (the average smartphone owner’s use), 21 hours a week, is 1092 hours a year. What could you do if you didn’t waste so much time? Who could you be? Just imagine. That’s 45 full days, or 136 working days of your life, every single day.

19. Everything feels like hard work

You just wish you could catch a break. You are struggling and grinding, yet look around and see your peers crushing it with ease. The irony is, if you managed to find that sense of ease they had, you too would get the results they get.

Once you integrate a sense of ease into your life, you will find success for you and your athletes flows to you consistently. When you force success, you will end up burning out.

20. You feel stuck.

Stuck in income. Stuck in service. Stuck in relationships, training, health, peace of mind. Above all, you are concerned you’ve stopped growing. You’ve stagnated.

21. You don’t have a plan to fix this

You know you need to change something, but everything you’ve changed so far hasn’t solved the real problem - the way you feel. You wake up every morning and create a plan, instead of knowing what has to be done and just executing it.

A great coach wakes up and executes. They know the plan. They get on with it. As such, they earn their success.

22. You don't seek out new experiences.

You are scared to notice your faults, so you don’t seek out experiences where you grow.

It’s cliche, but growth happens at the end of your comfort zone. You need to experience novel situations to thrive. You need to enter the world of the unknown.


This list is just a starting point. The long and the short of it is that if you know you can serve yourself and others at a higher level, but you’re not making consistent progress towards it, or that you’re getting in your own way, mindset work is a part of the equation that needs to be solved. In fact, it’s probably the main reason.

Once more, if you're ready to change your mindset challenges, consider our 5 week long Coaches Course. It's for those coaches who are ready to turn up and help others and themselves at a higher level. You can register your interest here.


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