Ep 191: Pushing Teens to Their Full Potential

Anthony Lynch, author of No Limits,  comes on the show to explain how the right mindset can help teens reach their full potential. Plus, how teens can find their purpose and passion.

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Full show notes

Kids tend to have big dreams…but are constantly told to be more “realistic.” When they say they want to be an astronaut, pop star, or professional athlete, we might lightly suggest they pick a safer option. Have they thought about accounting? What about coding? Maybe they should just stick with something stable and consistent, and stop trying to disrupt the status quo.

But what if we could step outside of our limited way of thinking to see infinite possibilities for our teens? What if, by striving for the seemingly impossible, our teens may just exceed everyone’s wildest expectations? If they’re dedicated, persistent, and hardworking enough, they may be able to accomplish something extraordinary. This week, we’re discussing how letting go of limits might be the key to truly successful teens.

Joining us is Anthony Lynch, author of No Limits: How to Build an Unstoppable Mindset. Anthony is a certified fitness professional who focuses on youth athletic performance training, as well as a bestselling lifestyle and fitness author. In his work he helps both kids and adults reach mental, physical and financial prosperity. In our interview, he’s helping parents see how a strong mindset can propel teens into the life of their dreams!

In the episode, Anthony explains why it’s critical for your teen to have a “high-agency mindset.” Plus, we discuss why physical health is a jumping-off point for success in all areas, and how we can help teens grapple with big dreams and find their life’s purpose.

Why Mindset Matters

When teens have big, wild ambitions, people tend to try and talk them out of it…parents included! Of course we want to see our teens successful, but we’re also scared to see them fail–so we encourage them to stick to safe and small goals, for fear that they’ll bite off more than they can chew. But Anthony says that it’s the teens who can strive for what they want despite naysayers that will truly find success.

 He calls this a “high-agency mindset”– the idea teens might trust their dreams more than their critics. When someone tells these teens their ideas are impossible, they don’t just give up and go for something simpler, they continue to work towards their goal in spite of others’ opinions! The teens who choose to persevere are the ones who’ll really find success, says Anthony. While most people allow fear of failure to hold them back, those with a high agency mindset rise to the challenge.

However, some teens have the confidence to defy critics…but lack the clarity, Anthony explains. They want to aim for greatness in something, but they’re just not sure what they’re passionate about yet! Without passion, people tend to get bored, disengaged or frustrated with their goals, leading them to give up at the first sign of trouble. But if teens are working towards something they truly care about, they’ll have a reason to show up everyday to do the work!

If teens want to cultivate a strong mental capacity, Anthony believes that they’ll have to simultaneously build up their physical strength! In the episode, we’re talking about how we can get teens off their phones and out the door to get some exercise.

How Physical Wellness Creates Mental Stability

When we watch Olympic athletes dominate the competition, we know that it's more than just brute strength that makes them such good players. It’s also mental power–how they use strategic information and determination to masterfully defeat their opponents. Anthony explains that life works the same way. Being mentally strong helps us strategize and conquer life’s challenges, but being physically active helps us stay happy, confident and focused. By combining the power of both, we can reach our full potential.

For some teens, physical activity isn’t exactly the top priority. They’re more concerned with scrolling on Instagram or playing games on Discord than they are with their physical health! With the pandemic forcing us all to stay inside, teens have become a bit more inclined to lie in bed on the weekends when they could be out in the world, riding a skateboard or hitting the gym. In the episode, Anthony and I discuss how annoying it can be for parents to constantly beg teens over and over to get out and get some exercise.

Anthony recommends helping teens find some kind of physical activity that gets them excited! For some teens, it could be hiking, for others, it might be playing basketball with friends down the street. These activities won’t just help teens be physically healthier, but also encourage them to set new goals, like winning a weekend pickup game or setting a personal best! When they put in the hard work to achieve these goals, they’ll learn an important lesson about what it takes to go above and beyond in the quest for greatness.

So your teen has cultivated the physical and mental strength that’s necessary for success…but do they know how to set a goal or what steps to take to reach the top?  Anthony and I are talking about how we can help teens orient themselves by asking the right questions and setting concrete goals.

Setting Their Goals in Motion

To help teens define their goals, Anthony recommends asking them some big questions. Questions like: if you could change one thing in the world, what would it be? Or: if you had all the money, time and resources possible, what would you do? These questions help teens begin thinking about who they are and what they want to accomplish in their life. Anthony encourages you to sit down and do this with your teen, asking yourself the same questions! It might bring the two of you together–and help teens see that they’re not the only ones still figuring it all out.

In the episode, Anthony and I talk all about creating vision boards, and how you can do it with your kids at home! This involves taking a piece of cork board or poster board and putting pictures, quotes, inspirational people and more on the front. These boards are a way for your teen  to visualize and materialize their wildest ambitions, and then have a physical reminder of them everyday! 

But how can teens take these general ambitions and turn them into reality? Anthony suggests starting with a mission statement. This is a direct statement of what exactly your teens’ plan is and how they intend to go through with it! For example, if your teen plans to lose weight, their mission statement might state how many pounds they aim to lose and in what time frame. They could add specific actions they’ll take to do it, like running twice a week or eating less junk food. This propels teens from just dreaming to actually doing!

In the Episode….

Anthony’s perspective on motivation is fascinating, and can be helpful to both teens and parents! On top of the topics discussed above, we also talk about:
  • Why we should reject conventional wisdom
  • How we can encourage teens to dream in a realistic way
  • Why it’s important for teens to fail
  • How we can ditch negative self-talk
If you enjoyed listening to this week’s episode, you can find him on his website anthonyjlynch.com, or on Instagram @anthonyjlynch. Don’t forget to share and subscribe and we’ll see you next week!

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Creators and Guests

Andy Earle
Andy Earle
Host of the Talking to Teens Podcast and founder of Write It Great
Anthony Lynch
Anthony Lynch
Best Selling Author/Crypto Juggernaut • I Write About Physical, Mental, and Financial Excellence (Kindle • Medium • SubStack) • Matthew 5:16
Ep 191: Pushing Teens to Their Full Potential
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