Leadership

Tony Robbins: To be truly successful, avoid these 3 mental traps

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Taylor Hill | Getty Images

The most painstakingly crafted plans are useless if we can't manage to act on them.

That's why entrepreneur and bestselling author Tony Robbins says that success is achieved through a plan that is 80 percent psychological and 20 percent strategic. First and foremost, your mind has to be set.

"What we really have to do is get ourselves to follow through, and the reason why most people don't follow through is because their psychology is messed up," Robbins tells CNBC. "How do you change your psychology? I don't mean be positive, I mean be smart."

Identifying unconscious mistakes we might be making is key. In his new book "Unshakeable," Robbins lays out some of the most common mental traps and presents a blueprint for avoiding them.

"Psychology either makes or breaks you." -Tony Robbins, Author, "Unshakeable"

In most cases, Robbins says, our challenges are born from inaccurate recollections and false beliefs. Some of the biggest issues he sees among his clients are confirmation bias, recency bias and loss aversion. Here's how you can learn to overcome each.

  • Confirmation bias, or a pattern in which individuals seek only information that will reaffirm what they already believe to be true, can be countered by asking challenging questions of yourself and others and seeking out informed individuals that disagree with you.
  • Recency bias is the belief that current trends, good or bad, will continue. Robbins says the solution is to create a checklist of all the steps you're taking towards your goal and refer to it frequently. That will help you stay on track, whatever current conditions may be.
  • Loss aversion is the tendency to recall negative experiences more readily than positive ones and to let those darker memories shape your expectations for the future. This can be overcome, Robbins says, by actively planning in advance for challenges and setbacks. These bumps in the road are inevitable and don't need to be feared.

By identifying the ways in which psychology can work against you, Robbins says, you can establish a healthier outlook. That makes executing a smart strategy far simpler.

"Psychology either makes or breaks you," Robbins writes, "so it's imperative to have a robust system that enables you to stay on target."

Also: When Tony Robbins needs inspiration, he turns to these 3 books