Dawn Fletcher is an entrepreneur, performance coach, and speaker. She is the creator and head coach at Driven Mind previously known as Mentality WOD, a company that offers mental training for athletes and driven-individuals who want to optimize their performance and life. Fletcher is the only coach in the world who has a Master’s in Kinesiology with a focus in Sport Psychology and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with a Level 3 CrossFit Certification.

Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?

I was an Army brat born in Indiana, then Germany, PA, before going to college in MD. I believe that moving around, and traveling at a young age helps me to be more personable, adaptable, relatable, and accepting of diversity.

What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?

That we are ever-evolving beings and no one has it figured it. Just try to learn as much as possible instead of trying to perfect it, or achieve X.

What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

“Toughen Up” in a way that it promotes people not to deal with and learn how to handle challenging emotions. I prefer to teach people healthy tools to understand themselves and what they’re feeling.

Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?

I had very bad anxiety and panic attacks from 19-23 or so and kept it mostly to myself – which was the worst thing I could do, I was so angry that I was experiencing it, and instead of accepting it and sharing it – which would have made it better…I fought it, hid it, and went through some really dark times with what I was experiencing.

What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?

Grow, constantly. I put myself in situations that are going to help me grow physically, mentally, and spiritually – on purpose, with the intention to grow, learn and evolve. I do A LOT of things that others wouldn’t be willing to do because they’re uncomfortable. I seek that discomfort and get curious about it.

What is your morning routine?

Wake up at 6:30 ish mostly without an alarm these days – thank god first and foremost for life and breath and what I have, drink warm water, lemon, and Himalayan sea salt, get exposed to sunlight, stay off the phone for 30 min – 1 hour, have decaf coffee, pray, read something that contains wisdom, write an intention for the day on my arm, do some gentle yoga flow or breathwork and either get outside or start work around 7:30 depending on the day

What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?

Eating real food. I did my first whole30 challenge in 2009 or so, and it drastically changed how I ate, now 90% of what I eat is real food only, and I love it because I feel great, perform better, and am overall as healthy as I can be.

What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?

Making lists and prioritizing those tasks, setting timers when I do things, eliminating all distractions, I am a big minimalist and essentialism helps me to stay focused on what’s important to me. I try to match my habits to my goals and my goals to my values. I use google calendar and my task list on my phone and implement the daily tasks to my calendar to keep myself on it as an entrepreneur!

What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?

Anne Lamott – Help, Thanks, Wow: Helped me to realize these are the 3 words and methods that can most drastically change my life. Ask for help, give thanks, be in wow of the beauty in the world.

Tim Ferriss – 4 Hr Work Week: Helped me to move to a more efficient, online business and pursue my dreams.

Brene Brown – All of them, but probably Daring Greatly: Influenced me to be my truest self.

Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?

“Be brave because you are a child of God, be kind because so is everyone else” – Glennon Doyle and “Love, period.” by Jacqui Lewis