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THE STORY BEHIND MINDSET DAD

Hi, I’m Steve, the founder of Mindset Dad.

Steve Bradshaw, Founder of Mindset Dad

I had looked forward to having children all my life. I would say it was my main purpose in life and something that I felt would come very naturally to me. In 2015 I was lucky enough to become the father to a baby boy! The ultimate dream come true! Without doubt, one of the proudest moments of my life.  

There was a feeling that something incredibly important had happened and I was obviously extremely happy. However, this very quickly descended into a state of anxiety, loss of confidence and loss of control. In fact, I became a nervous wreck!

It was a tough delivery, 36 hours of seeing your wife in pain is a pretty helpless position to be in. This was followed by 5 days in hospital because he needed antibiotics. When we were allowed home, I couldn’t sleep through fear that he would stop breathing in the night. I worried for my wife because I saw how difficult it was for her, particularly with postnatal depression.

I later became anxious at work and in social situations, something I’d never experienced before! I was trying to be the best dad I could be, but I had no idea that it was going to be this hard! Add in 12 months of sleepless nights and you have someone on the edge of shutting down.

A few months before my boy was born, I had started a high-pressured job – perform or you’re fired type job – so I had no stability at home and none at work! As it unfolded, I was actually made redundant 3 times by the time my boy was just 2 years old. This added immense pressure and a feeling of worthlessness as a father.

It was at this point that I made a conscious decision to draw on all my resilience to learn how I could shift my confidence and mindset to become a better dad.

I reached for every self-development resource I could find and the turning point for me was when I really adopted the growth mindset to fatherhood.

Bearing in mind I was a dyslexic boy growing up in the ’80s when growth mindset wasn’t even a thing, I now feel I have completely transformed my outlook on life and fatherhood and the result is a 180-degree switch of my mindset and confidence. So much so that we had our second child in 2018, a girl, and I can actually enjoy the experience 100% this time around.

On speaking with hundreds of dads to understand more about their journeys, it transpires mine was far from extraordinary. I therefore felt compelled to raise awareness so dads wouldn’t feel so alone and helpless.

I created Mindset Dad as a community where dads can gain support from other dads experiencing similar challenges and difficulties. With all the increased awareness around mens’ mental health, I am a strong believer that men need to speak to each other more. I think the Mindset Dad Facebook group is a great place to start.

It’s taken me several years of research to construct a formula of mindset strategies for modern dads. I have drawn on my personal experience as a father and within a sports setting, my time studying with The Coaching Academy and my 20+ years in the working world.

I have a keen interest in neuroscience and psychology, and I’ve combined my reading around these subjects to help dads feel more relaxed, confident and happier within themselves.

I’m just a regular dad with a loving wife and two kids, striving every day to be the best dad I can be.

Hopefully that means that you can relate in some way to all my challenges because they will most likely be the same challenges you face.

The Dad Mindset is:

  • The realisation that you are growing into the role; it doesn’t happen overnight.
  • You ARE in control.
  • You ARE good enough.
  • AND you HAVE all the tools you need to be a great dad!