In today’s video, I’m going to talk about how to change your mindset quickly.

Read or watch the video below to discover how to change your mindset quickly.

Zachary Stockill: I was doing an “Ask Me Anything” session on Instagram recently, and one of my followers asked me a really important, really pertinent question. And the way he framed it was basically “Zach, I have certain bad habits that I keep falling back into, I have certain habits that I want to change. How to change your mindset quickly?” So in today’s blog, that’s exactly what I’m going to talk about in much greater depth. 

How to change your mindset quickly?

The first and probably the most important thing that I can tell you is that human beings are motivated by incentives. And the fact that you’re not doing what you know you need to do? There’s some kind of payoff associated with that. You’re getting some kind of reward for not taking action. This may sound crazy. You may respond to me, “Zach, no, I’m not getting anything out of this. I’m in hell, I’m in agony, I’m struggling with retroactive jealousy, I can’t stop asking my partner questions.”

Or, you know, “I’m 80 pounds overweight, I need to lose weight. I’m not getting any reward for my inactivity.” And that’s wrong. There is a reason you’re doing what you’re doing. Because again, human beings are responding to incentives. 

So ask yourself, “Why am I not doing what I know I need to do? There has to be a reason.

I often say to people, you can be your own coach. In certain circumstances, you can be your own therapist. And when you ask yourself, don’t let yourself off the hook. Don’t shrug your shoulders and say, “I have no idea. It’s totally out of my control. I have no idea.” That’s not an option for this exercise. 

And I promise you if you ask yourself this question, and you don’t let yourself off the hook, you will get an answer to this question. There is some kind of payoff associated with your inaction. You’re getting something out of your current situation, you’re getting something out of your current bad habits. And it’s up to you to figure out what exactly you’re getting out of it.

I’ll also mention, you know, one thing that coaching has taught me over the years is that most people know exactly what they need to do to get to where they want to be. Most people know the things they’re doing that are holding them back. Most people know the steps that they should be taking. 

And the question is, “Why aren’t you taking those steps?” 

And I don’t mean that in like an aggressive sense. I mean, literally, why aren’t you doing what you know you need to do? I’ll also mention one of my favorite recent concepts, which is the concept of compound debt. And how that can be useful to keep in mind when you’re trying to change a certain habit. 

Compound debt is debt that grows and grows and grows and grows on top of itself over long periods of time, due to inaction, due to bad habits. In other words, if you have 20 pounds, let’s say that you need to lose, if you keep eating, if you keep doing the same thing, soon, you’ll have 25 pounds, you need to lose, then 30 then 40. And on and on. 

If you’re struggling with retroactive jealousy…

And you keep asking your partner questions about their past, then you may get some momentary relief. However, doing this over and over and over is the pathway to hell. It will lead to only short-term relief, not long-term relief. And the more you’re doing this, the harder that habit becomes to break.

So remember the famous Chinese proverb, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is today.” In other words, no matter how long you’ve been struggling, you can always change.

Change your mindset quickly

The best time to get started is right now.

And the longer you put off getting started, the harder getting started will be. I’ll also mention that I think there’s a misguided notion out there, that your mindset needs to come first before your actions. In other words, “you need to have the right mindset before you can start taking the right actions.” That’s absolutely wrong. And in fact, quite often, it’s the other way around. 

In other words, let’s use the fitness example because that’s easy and easily relatable. Let’s say you want to lose some weight, you want to start going to the gym, right? You may hate going to the gym, and you may still be telling yourself, “I’m a person that doesn’t go to the gym, I hate the gym, I don’t want to work out,” whatever. There’s something you know that you need to do. And you’ve got a bad mindset. So you can literally start transporting your body to the gym and forcing yourself to work out again and again and again, over a consistent period. 

Over time your mindset will start to follow. What you’ve been telling yourself about yoursel starts to not make any sense because you’re telling yourself oh, “I don’t like the gym, and I’m not that kind of person.” Meanwhile, you’re spending several days a week at the gym. Do you see what I mean? 

So often, your actions need to change before changing your mindset. 

If you’re struggling with retroactive jealousy, and you keep telling yourself, “oh, I can’t stop asking my partner questions about their past. I can’t stop this cycle.” And then you stop asking them questions about their past, and you stop this vicious cycle, guess what happens? By changing your behavior, your mindset will follow. 

There’s that famous cliché, you know, “fake it till you make it…” There’s something to that. Literally, taking action when you don’t want to is one of the most valuable skills that anyone can learn. Because quite often, if you simply wait around and wait for motivation, or wait for inspiration, or wait for some voice from on high to force you to do what you know you need to do… If you’re waiting for inspiration, if you’re waiting for motivation, often, it will never come.

Taking action when you don’t feel like taking action. That is how to change your mindset quickly.

And finally, I’ll say, don’t buy into the lie that change necessarily has to take a long period of time.

You can change anytime you decide you’re ready to change. You can decide to change at any moment. 

And this is one of the reasons why, personally, I really like coaching as a model for healing and personal growth and transformation. Because there’s this emphasis and a lot of the coaching methodology that I follow that highlights the human ability for instantaneous change. And personally, I’ve seen this again and again in my coaching practice, as well as in my online course, “Get Over Your Partner’s Past Fast.” 

Some people who’ve been locked in awful cycles and awful habits, sometimes for decades, can change quickly. It often takes hitting rock bottom with yourself, hitting that point where it’s like “I can’t live like this anymore. Enough is enough.”

And then, crucially, taking action even when you don’t feel like it. If you combine those two things, that’s how to change your mindset quickly, your habits, and your patterns of behavior.

Zachary Stockill
Zachary Stockill

Hi! I'm a Canadian author and educator whose work has been featured in BBC News, BBC Radio 4, The Huffington Post, and many other publications. I'm the founder of, the author of Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy and The Overcoming Jealousy Workbook, and the host of Humans in Love podcast.