FFF 128: How To Nurture A Positive Mindset – with Dave Cottrell


This week, Scott and Dave Cottrell talk about his recent A Life a Day project. Learn what mindset really is and how it can shape your daily life including relationships and experiences, and what effects social media has on it. Should you be more ruthless in unfriending and unfollowing people? Let’s find out!

Dave is a mindset coach. Bullied in school for being smart, David developed an eating disorder called bulimia, eventually leading to obesity. At 14, he was diagnosed with type II bipolar disorder or manic depression. It wasn’t until his mid-20s that he took his physical and mental health seriously. He started competing in Muay Thai and really began looking at the nitty-gritty of nutrition. From a recording studio career, he shifted into personal training and nutrition coaching, and eventually, mindset coaching.

On a mission to help 365 people FOR FREE in 2018

Dave set a mission to help as many people as humanly possible by committing to doing one random active kindness every single day. Feeling he couldn’t commit to it as he was finishing a degree, he took on the Matter of the Mind project, a weekly one-hour free training. Eventually, he committed to it and what he does now is doing a one-hour chat with someone where he helps them work through anything holding them back. Next year, the project would be called A Life a Day: Pay It Forward where he will ask the person he helped to also go and do something nice for somebody else for free and with no expectations.

Launching the project has helped Dave’s self-esteem. He says we always forget the “self” part so want other people to tell us we’re doing a great job. During this process, he realized it’s not actually knowledge that’s the power, but what you do with it.

What is Mindset?

Mindset is anything you feel is blocking you or could be improved from a mental point of view. But oftentimes, people don’t realize those blocks. It’s a combination of your beliefs, your values, and identity in yourself that all drive your action. But we are critiques of our own selves and we carry them around in our head all the time. It’s about dealing with and learning the language, the things that motivate us and our beliefs that ultimately drive our actions. Dave also shares how you can actually shape your mindset.

The Effect of Social Media on Your Mindset

Instagram is there to show you what could be achieved, not should be achieved. If we compare ourselves to someone, then we find ourselves lacking and we feel bad about ourselves. It can cause pain. In fact, we even compare ourselves to our previous “best” that can potentially cause us to give up.

If something is not giving you value then don’t follow it. There’s also this negativity bias in our brain, which is the ability to notice things that could hurt us more than we notice the things that could help us. If you see something negative but it motivates you to be better then it’s a possibly a good thing for you. Otherwise, get it off your screen!

Mindset of “Best” Time for Productivity

There’s no such thing as a “magic hour.” It’s not about the time as it’s the same thing. Instead, do what you can, where you can, and when you can.

How to Get More Motivated: Slingshot vs Boomerang

Understand that motivation is a two-way relationship. Sometimes, you have to go and meet it. Just get going and the momentum will catch up with you. Then it will come and find you once you start to move. Sometimes, it won’t and that’s okay since no one can be motivated all the time. Also, we have all these barriers to doing things by looking at the work that needs to be done and the struggles that need to happen.

Just like a slingshot, we have to feel uncomfortable before we get the reward by letting it fly forward. Instead of focusing on the tension and the pressure, focus on the end result of what you’re going to get, no matter how small of a goal that might look like.

Whereas if you focus on the immediacy, you want comfort and the immediate response. This is called a boomerang. You get short-term pleasure as you throw it forward but then it comes back and hit you in the face!

Regulating Self-Care

Put yourself first. You have to refill the well first before it can supply the whole village with water. It’s the same analogy as putting your oxygen mask on first before you help others, otherwise, you can’t help anyone if you can no longer breathe. Yoga is a great thing as well because it’s an hour of enforced mindfulness.

  • Dave’s motivation to take his health seriously and really take action
  • How Dave does his mission to help 365 people for free in 2018
  • How this project has helped Dave’s self-esteem
  • If knowledge is not the power, then what is?
  • What is a mindset and ways for you to shape that
  • The impact of social media on mindset
  • The concept of negativity bias in our brain
  • Filter followers, filter negativity
  • How to get yourself to be more motivated
  • Focusing on the slingshot vs boomerang
  • The power of putting yourself first
Quotes & Take-Aways

What I could do is I could commit to doing one random active kindness every single day.

It’s not the knowledge that is the power, it’s what you do with it.

Often we meet our destiny on the path we choose to avoid it.

Instagram is there to show you what could be achieved, not should be achieved.

When your critique puts you down and makes your efforts feel small, what it wants for you is to try harder, but what it causes you to do is give up.

If something is not giving you value then don’t follow it.

There’s no such thing as a “magic hour” … do what you can, where you can, and when you can.

Connect with Dave:

Thanks for listening and the support – if you enjoyed this episode, I hope you can leave the podcast a rating and review on iTunes, and if you haven’t subscribed yet, this is the best time to do that too. This will help the show to get up in the rankings.

Scott Baptie

Scott is the owner and founder of Food For Fitness. He is a fat loss coach, speaker and fitness writer with a masters (MSc) degree in Applied Sports Nutrition.