How to improve Your Life Quality with the Sovereignty Mindset

23 April 2024
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Where does my story begin? Well, where does anything begin? At the beginning, of course, and where is that?

For me, it all started where it ended. With a transition I ignored, an ending I didn’t honor. A gentle push, an unfilled gap, a void that yearned for something more.

Then came the giant breakdown.

Everywhere I looked, there were signs telling me it was time to change the way I lived.

I had been walking in circles, stuck in a never-ending loop of routine, with no idea where I was heading.

“Is this it? Is this everything that life has in store?” The reflection in the mirror asked me.

My life was a series of aimless pursuits, chasing temporary highs, and avoiding uncomfortable truths.

Every day, I woke up to a new fire to put out, a new crisis to tackle and new arguments threatening my relationship status. A constant battle balancing on life’s edge.

The very idea of change terrified me, mostly because it meant admitting to myself that half my life had slipped through my fingers. I wasn’t ready to bear the weight of that reality.

I was playing a game of hide and seek with myself. Mindlessly chasing the next thrill, searching for a fleeting burst of anything to avoid feeling the chaos inside of me.

When silence fell, I’d find comfort in a chocolate bar or a bag of chips. Anything to divert my attention would do.

The very next day, I’d find myself back at square one, caught in the same routine.

Running after momentary pleasures kept me from confronting the fact that I was squandering my time.

If time is the ultimate luxury, I was living in poverty.

If success meant investing time wisely, I was a failure.

Year after year, I found myself stuck in the same loop. I’d set a goal, take the first step or two, only to be knocked down by failure. Each fall left me feeling defeated.

For years, I used fabricated stories as a shield, protecting my fragile self-image. But, as nights turned sleepless, a nagging question echoed in my mind.

Am I capable of summoning the courage to dive into the deep end? To confront the many layers of self-made barriers I’d placed in my path?

In this article, I will share how I did to break free from stagnation and start moving towards a more fulfilling life. Something I call a “Sovereignty Mindset.”

What Does it Mean to Have a Sovereignty Mindset?

Having a sovereignty mindset means taking control of my mindset, breaking free from both external influences and the internal limitations of my thinking. With this mindset, I can decipher and make sense of the occurrences that take place on my toughest days.

Change requires conscious choice of thoughts, attitudes, and actions. It isn’t about suppressing emotions or ignoring external factors; but choosing how to respond, how to grow, what to appreciate, and how to find joy.

A Sovereignty Mindset is based on self-ownership. It is an empowering supreme authority of my reactions that allows for internal control.

Since adopting the sovereignty mindset, my life took a turn for the better. Each day, instead of allowing external influences to control me, I actively guide myself towards purpose and fulfillment. My growth and joy, once elusive, is now a solid ground I stand on.

I’m not just existing; I’m living.

Although it’s a challenging mindset to adopt at first, it is a powerful stepping stone to personal growth and genuine happiness.

How a Sovereignty Mindset differ from other Mindsets

While many mindsets aim to influence behavior, the sovereignty mindset stands out because of its unique emphasis on self-ownership and internal control, which have become the foundation of my happiness.

Sovereignty Mindset vs. Behaviorism

Behaviorism focuses on External Control. With a behaviorist perspective, the promise of a treat or the fear of a stick shapes my motivation and actions. I behave like a trained dog, where I reduce each interaction with the world to a transaction.

Sovereignty Mindset focuses on internal control. I make conscious choices aligned with my values and goals. I am driven by a strong sense of self- efficacy. Confident in my ability to exert control over my motivation, choices, behavior, and personal environment.

I now tackle tough tasks willingly, pouring more effort into them, and sticking it out even when things get rough.

Behaviorism and goal-oriented mindsets lead to temporary fixes that don’t last when external motivations fade or unexpected challenges arise.

For many years, I tried to lose weight by going on a crash diet. Yes, sometimes I saw results quickly, but they never lasted, but the moment I stop my diet, I was back to square one. More disappointed than ever.

When I changed to approach my weight with a sovereignty mindset. I lost 70 pounds and have kept it off for 19 years by adopting sustainable lifestyle habits instead of dieting.

Sovereignty Mindset vs. Compliance-Based Mindsets

In the past, I adhered to a Compliance-Based Mindset. I followed established rules and guidelines without questioning them. I didn’t make my own choices or decisions, but complied with standards, norms, or expectations set by others.

I’ve followed the well-trodden path of consumerism and societal norms, without questioning. This mindset led to a lack of personal autonomy and creativity.

Then I discovered another path. Less traveled, wilder, but with the chance to create my way, to explore and learn new things. This is the path of a Sovereignty Mindset.

On the path of sovereignty, I create my own my values, purpose, and way of living,. I question the ‘why’ at every crossroads, making conscious choices based on my understanding and needs. I am the one steering my journey.

If I blindly follow the crowd without questioning why… Can I claim to be living life according to my own rules?

Sovereignty Mindset vs. Goal-Oriented Mindset


Both the Sovereignty Mindset and Goal-Oriented Mindset highlight the importance of setting goals and taking action.


Living life with a Sovereignty Mindset, I’m a mindful traveler. I carefully evaluate each step I take to ensure it aligns with my values and purpose, asking “why” before proceeding.

When I stumble, I show kindness to myself, learn, and adjust my both the journey and the destination.

When I had a Goal-Oriented Mindset, the focus was on reaching the finish line, often overlooking why I was doing it. If I stumbled, I judged myself harshly and rarely adjusted my approach. The moment I crossed one finish line, I was already setting up the next.

The Sovereignty Mindset vs. Fixed Mindsets

With a Sovereignty Mindset, I see every obstacle as an opportunity to broaden my awareness.

I firmly believe in my capacity to change and develop, no matter the circumstances and welcome challenges, and thrived on them.

When I had a Fixed Mindset, I avoided stepping out of my comfort zone. I believed I couldn’t change my abilities and intelligence. I avoided any discomfort and challenges, easily got demotivated, ignored valuable feedback, and felt threatened by others’ success.

Every tiny defect or imperfection felt like a lifelong devaluating, forcing me to abandon my aspirations.

Why We Don’t Adopt a Sovereignty Mindset

In the past, I agonized about what others thought and did anything to fit in.

Focusing on feelings of inadequacy, helplessness, or past failures created limiting beliefs. These beliefs prevented me from exploring new opportunities, reaching my goals, and embracing a Sovereignty Mindset.

Research strongly suggests the stories we tell ourselves have a significant impact on our ability to change.

The well-established existing conventions, norms, or expectations often view deviators from the norm as a red flag, an unwelcome challenge.

Regardless of culture, social group, or gender, people often value conformity highly and reject anything that deviates from the norm.

Rosa Parks challenged the norm and the comfort of the status quo by sitting in a seat reserved for white people. What sets her story apart is her incredible courage in facing her fears head-on.

I learned two valuable lessons from Rosa Parks that have stayed with me:

  1. It’s not the group I fear, but the discomfort of sitting with my self-judgment..
  2. Only when I stop judging myself will no one else’s judgment touch me.

Heroic acts aren’t the only form of courage. Sometimes, it’s an Albanian-Indian Catholic nun, less than 5 feet tall, named Mother Teresa.

After Mother Teresa passed away, they found a message written on the wall behind her bed that revealed a lot about her mindset:

People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered;

forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;

be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;

succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;

be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;

build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, there may be jealousy;

be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;

do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;

give the world the best you’ve got, anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God;

it was never between you and them, anyway.

I have tattooed the highlighted sections of Mother Teresa’s words on my forearm as a reminder. They signify the ultimate purpose of my life: to do good for others, stay true to my values, and remain undeterred by obstacles or challenges.

It took me 30 years to overcome my fears, jealousy, comparison mindset, and worries before I adopted a Sovereignty Mindset.

Sometimes, I’m asked, “how did you change?” This is the wrong question. We should examine why change is so challenging.

According to psychology, we humans resist new ideas and mindsets for a few reasons:

  • Cognitive Dissonance: The human brain craves consistency and stability. Novel ideas challenge our existing beliefs and create discomfort (cognitive dissonance). We reject the idea to maintain mental and emotional comfort.
  • Confirmation Bias: We prefer information that reinforces our existing beliefs while downplaying contradictory evidence. The challenge lies not just in recognizing the worth of a fresh viewpoint, but also in understanding that it is the primary catalyst for our pain.
  • Fear of failure: The brain, driven by fear of failure, categorizes anything new as a potential risk. We fear looking foolish or failing if the alternative approach doesn’t work perfectly.
  • Deeply rooted habits: Most of our habitual responses are identity based**.** Changing a habit challenges our identity.
  • Social Influence: As social beings, those around us influence us. If we notice others not accepting a new idea, we can become less inclined to embrace the idea, even if we find it intriguing.

The Core Principles of a Sovereignty Mindset

At the heart of the sovereignty mindset are resilience, growth, personal freedom, and self-belief. This mindset is like a tree, with roots in stoicism and a growth mindset, branches reaching towards existentialism, minimalism, and leaves filled with self-efficacy and inner control.

The sovereignty mindset aligns with several key concepts in psychological neuroscience. It’s a dance between thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, where the three elements interact and influence each other.

Here are some key principles that I have found to be the linchpin in the sovereignty mindset:

Harnessing the Power of the Prefrontal Cortex

In the “Principle of Psychology,” published more than a century ago, William James introduces a revolutionary idea: our brains can change.

Little did he know that in later half of the 20th century, scientists would be able to measure the brain’s ability to change and adapt, even when we’re adults! Also, called neuroplasticity.

It all clicked into place in an instant – the triggers, the emotions, and the profound consequences of my procrastination became clear.

I understood the reasons for change, what needed to be changed, how to make those changes, and when to take action. This allowed me to navigate life with greater purpose.

My prefrontal cortex (PFC) was where I began my journey of self improvement and personal growth.

The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is a part of the brain at the front, behind the forehead. It’s responsible for higher-order cognitive functions, such as decision-making, self-regulation, introspection, and metacognition.

The PFC helps in analyzing and interpreting information, regulating emotions, making well-considered decisions, and understanding our own thinking process.

Strengthening the PFC enhances self-awareness, foster emotional regulation and improves decision making.

My PFC had been asleep for way too long. That’s why I kept getting lost in made-up stories and going down the wrong paths.


A weak Prefrontal Cortex (PFC) struggles to gather and analyze relevant information before deciding. By strengthening my PFC, I improved my ability to reflect on my thoughts and feelings — a crucial aspect of self-awareness. I started distinguishing between essential needs and values and transient wants.


For a bigger part of my life, emotions like anger, frustration, and sadness overwhelmed me and make setting and achieving goals difficult.

By strengthening my PFC, I became better at keeping my emotions and behaviour in check.

Today, I manage my emotions and adapt my behavior effectively.


Irrational and detrimental decisions driven by fear once ruled my life.

The pursuit of immediate gratification took precedence over analyzing long-term consequences because of overwhelming emotions.

My decisions were based on “rules of thumb” and “common sense.” This help me make sense of the world, but also led to faulty reasoning and poor decision-making.

Developing my prefrontal cortex (PFC), I learned to identify cognitive biases, assess information, contemplate consequences, and avoid destructive actions.

The ripple effects of improved decision-making process propelled my life forward at an unprecedented pace.


In the past, it was mostly hitting my head against a brick wall, trying and trying, but never really learning or changing, which only led me to feeling drained and eventually burning out.

Once I started working out my brain’s “command center” (the PFC), my “thinking about thinking” ability grew.

Being aware of how my mind works has made a world of difference in practically every part of my life.

The proof of my efforts can be seen in the work I do, the connections I maintain, and, above all, the daily improvement in my well-being.

How to Improve Your Life by Strengthening Your Prefrontal Cortex

Guess what? I told my six-year-old; the brain is like Play-Doh! It stretches, changes, and forms new connections throughout our lives, thanks to neuroplasticity.

Neuroplasticity, a fancy term, basically means that with some effort, I can grow and strengthen my brain because it isn’t fixed.

“I know, Dad,” he replied. “I feel my brain growing every day.” Of course, he knew. On average, a child asks about 300 questions each day, while adults ask between 15 to 20 questions per day.

So, this is what I did … I became a child asking questions, challenging the status quo, and the accepted understanding of everything.

Here’s how I do it:

  1. I identify my problematic thoughts, patterns, and behaviors, such as the constant stream of negative self-talk that fills my mind. I diligently list these experiences in my journal. By writing my thoughts and feelings, I identify patterns or recurring themes.
  2. I analyze the accuracy of my thoughts by asking ask myself: Is this thought based on facts or feelings? Is there any evidence to back up this line of thinking? Is it possible to perceive the situation in a more positive light?
  3. I replace negative thought patterns with constructive ones. I replace negative thoughts with constructive ones once I find a better perspective. I find it helpful to have a predefined detailed plan I stick to when ever my body goes into fight-or-flight mode.
  4. I practice mindfulness to strengthen my PFC. Stories that empower help strengthen neural pathways for constructive change. By focusing on the present moment without judgment, I train my brain to observe my thoughts and emotions with greater awareness.
  5. I practice self-compassion training to reduce self-criticism and increases self-acceptance. Instead of berating myself for mistakes, I’ve learned to be more forgiving. Rather than resorting to harsh self-criticism when I mess up, I choose to offer myself kindness and understanding. I’ve found this approach to be much more effective in promoting positive change.
  6. I review my progress regularly. Research strongly suggests that regularly reviewing progress increases our likelihood of achieving goals.

I review my progress for two main reasons.

First, I see a reduction in negative thinking and an improvement in my overall mood and level of stupid choices.

Second, tracking my progress allows me to identify areas where I’m excelling and areas that need adjustments. This allows me to adjust and improve my strategies to stay on course.

The Benefits of a better working prefrontal cortex

I’ve noticed some exceptional changes thanks to an improved prefrontal cortex:

  • I make smarter decisions — it’s like having a compass that points me towards my long-term goals.
  • I’ve become better at managing my emotions — I no longer let my emotions hijack my behavior!
  • Stress and anxiety — Increased self-awareness allows me to identify and address the root causes of stress and anxiety. I now confront them directly without relying on dysfunctional coping mechanisms.
  • I’ve learned to be kinder to myself — understanding my thoughts and emotions has taught me to be more accepting of myself.
  • Improved Decision-Making — I make choices based on reason and long-term goals rather than impulsive reactions.
  • Reduced Stress and anxiety — Greater self-awareness allows me to identify and address the root causes of stress and anxiety.

Final Thoughts

Where does your story begin?

Which chapters resonated with you so far, and which ones do you need to rewrite?

In what direction do you envision the narrative of a better life unfolding?

Embracing a Sovereignty Mindset isn’t about discovering who you are, but shaping who you want to become.

Embracing discomfort, questioning the norm, tables you to carve your own way. It’s not comfortable to deviate from the norm. It requires effort, but the sense of fulfillment is unmatched.

Take control, shape your destiny, one decision at a time.

Before you dive in, here’s something to keep in mind:

People don’t remember articles or books. They remember memorable sentences. So do you.

Incorporate and expand upon interesting ideas. Be patient, take your time to write and revise, and never forget…

The words in your mind and the stories you tell yourself must inspire and impart wisdom.

Use every beginning, every transition, and every ending to interact to learn and be better.

Life will keep challenging you, but you’re never a victim.

When you depart from this life, each chapter should leave behind practical wisdom and helpful insights.


Books to dwell deeper: