It’s clear that life doesn’t divide up all good things evenly among all people. You can tell that just by people-watching. Some people are better looking than others. Then there are people who are richer than their peers.
There are people who come from a good background. They have a great education. They’re intelligent, well-liked, and it appears the world is theirs for the taking.
Then there are people who are average in looks. They don’t have all of the money they need, much less all that they want. They come from backgrounds full of various struggles. They may not have attended a prestigious college or even any college at all.
Yet, so many times, it’s this second group of people who end up far more successful and enjoying more personal satisfaction than the first group. The reason for this is mindset.
Remember that someone who seems to have it all doesn’t always stay that way. And what you see on the outside – the nice car, the fancy clothes – doesn’t necessarily reflect inner happiness.
It’s not enough to wake up every day and tell yourself positive things. That’s a great start, but mindset isn’t enough to change your life. You have to have an active role in taking action to leverage mindset into a new existence for you.
It’s not your lot in life that determines what you can or can’t achieve. Being successful in life is something that can happen for anyone because the key to success in business or in your personal life is having the right state of mind to carry you forward.
There are two kinds of mindsets. One of these appears successful but in the end, that success will stall out. The other mindset will pave the way to a life full of personal accomplishments, business achievements, and deep inner satisfaction.
The first mindset is called a fixed mindset. This is what people have who rely on what they know, what they’re born with, and what they believe they’re capable of currently to succeed.
They believe that they have everything they need within themselves. That sounds positive, and in some ways it is. But they run into obstacles and because they sometimes don’t see anything they currently have to handle it, they falter and fail.
But with people who have a growth mindset, they believe that anyone can work hard. They don’t have a quitter’s attitude toward achieving success. This attitude causes them to strive while others coast by and get stopped by roadblocks.
The two differences can be compared to the race between the turtle and the rabbit. This was a race between unequals. If anyone were to bet on success between these two opponents, they would have bet on the rabbit.
From the outside, he had everything. He was faster because biology guaranteed that. Surely, he would finish the race with success because he started out equipped to win.
But as everyone knows, the story didn’t end up like that. The turtle was the victor because he wasn’t afraid to keep on going, despite the fact that the odds weren’t in his favor.
He didn’t have the speed or talent the rabbit had, but he was willing to stay in the race because he knew what the rabbit didn’t. He knew that while he didn’t have the ability to run that fast, he had the ability to go at his own pace and cross the finish line.
That race all boiled down to mindset. The rabbit also got complacent and didn’t even try to create a strategy because he assumed it was a given that he would win.
Your mindset has three parts that make it work: your IQ, the behavioral patterns you’ve learned, and your abilities. In those with a fixed mindset, they think that they have the talent and behavioral patterns they were given – and it’s set in stone.
They believe this guarantees them success because of their talents. And if there ever happens to be something they can’t do, they don’t attempt to push it because they don’t believe they’re capable of doing more than they currently can.
Though people with a fixed mindset can achieve some success – and many do – the level of success has a ceiling. The kind of breakout success that they want always seems to elude them.
And it always will, because they keep on doing what they’ve always done – relying on themselves and foregoing any chance to grow so they’ll know how to be the successful person they want to be.
But in people who have a growth mindset, it means that they’re highly teachable. They’re willing to learn what they don’t know. They believe that they might have some natural ability or talent in an area, but that it needs to be cultivated.
They realize that they can always improve on what they already know. They’re not afraid to try and fail because they understand it’s a common part of learning and achieving.
People with growth mindsets are willing to put in whatever effort is needed to achieve success. They’re willing to take action that will propel them toward their goals and their dreams.
Look back on the past three months of your life. Think about whether you’ve had limited self talk that convinces you that you can’t go after something “out of your league.”
Have you quit on a project or partnership because you felt it was simply too much for you to handle? That’s a sign that your actions aren’t aligned with the positive mindset you’ve adopted over time.
Letting Go of the Wrong Mindset
If you have a fixed mindset, it doesn’t mean that you’re stuck with it. Being aware is half the battle. Your mindset is something that can be changed, depending on how you cultivate it.
First, you have to be able to identify the mindset that you have. You need to understand that your mindset can be fixed with one issue, yet be leaning toward growth on other issues.
This occurs because although there are two definable types of mindsets, you can have times where you cross the line from one to the other and your mindset then becomes a mixture of the two.
You can tell if this is what you’re experiencing by your inner thought patterns. If you feed yourself limited thoughts, then you’re in a fixed mindset. Fixed mindsets will often first focus on the negatives in any situation before they see the potential.
Fixed mindsets will close doors to opportunities while growth mindsets seek ways to open them. An example of being in a fixed mindset would be inner thoughts like, “You don’t have the right talents for this. You’re not intelligent enough. You’ll make a fool of yourself if you try.”
These fixed mindset thoughts keep many people from trying new ideas or venturing out on their own. If you’re not sure what pattern you’re in, keep a journal of your honest feelings to gauge where your head is at over the course of a 6-week period.
A fixed mindset can keep people stuck in a routine, such as giving them the fear of leaving a job they don’t enjoy when they really want to start their own business.
If people with a fixed mindset decide that they’re going to make a change and reach for an opportunity only to have it end badly, they’ll hear a round of “I told you so” thoughts.
This leads them to believe that they’re not enough and that they’re better off not trying again. A fixed mindset can keep you trapped and prevent you from developing a strong success mindset unless you decide that you’ve had enough.
To change a fixed mindset to a growth mindset, you have to stop the messages that a fixed mindset feeds you. Instead of allowing yourself to believe thoughts like, “I knew I was a failure. I blew it,” you would switch that to something like, “I know I’ll find a way to succeed. Look at all of the setbacks others had and yet they made it, and I can, too.”
Understanding mindset so that you can let go of the wrong kind is one thing, but you also have to know how to take action to support that mindset.
A Success-Oriented Mindset Requires Action
Inaction is stillness. It means that you’re not moving forward in any aspect of your life. You know you need to make some changes and know you want to put them into action, but you never actually do anything about it.
A success-oriented mindset can be harder for those who struggle with self-esteem. Maybe you had someone who told you that you couldn’t do something that you always wanted to do.
Maybe you don’t have a strong support system in your life. Or maybe you’re the enemy of your own success. That’s what you are if you tell yourself that you can only accomplish so much and you shy away from bigger goals or dreams, believing those are for others that you’ve convinced yourself deserve it more than you because you think that they’re more talented or smarter.
Or you might have the right self talk, the positive mindset, but fear paralyzes you into procrastinating on the actual action of making beneficial life changes. You have to plan for your successful outcome.
Begin what it is that you want to do, even if every move you make is screaming that it’s not going to end well. You want to do this because when you take action, your beliefs follow.
This is what trips up too many people. They think they must believe something before they take action, when it’s the opposite. Take action, then watch how much you’ll believe in what you can accomplish.
Every time you complete a task toward your goal, you gain self confidence in your abilities. This is how you develop a strong success mindset. It’s like working a muscle.
Action strengthens the belief. People who have a fixed mindset will often avoid taking action. They want to do what they know is safe and what they’re already good at, because if they take an action step and it doesn’t work out, it will make them feel as if they’ve failed. This is a hard thing for people with a fixed mindset to experience.
Some will never take that leap of faith again, while others will keep going because they want it bad enough. It’s action that takes someone with a fixed mindset and frees them up to the potential lurking inside of them.
Using Your Mindset to Define the Action You Need to Take
Too many people make sweeping statements about what they want their success to look like. They follow this by coming up with goals that are vague and out of their control.
For example, if someone were to say, “I want to make a million dollars,” that goal, while one a lot of people have, is too broad. You can’t take action if the success you want is too generic.
Making a million dollars would need to be defined by how, when, and what actions you need to take to reach that goal. If you were to say, “I want to make a million dollars on the stock market,” then that gives your action a way to focus on the process.
You need your actions to be definable in order to develop a strong mindset that takes progress toward success. You would focus making your million dollars by learning all that you could about the stock market.
You would study tutorials, read books, and maybe even take classes. You would try to find a mentor. Each of these steps moves you toward what you’ve defined as your ultimate goal.
You would analyze where you are right now in your life so that you could clearly define the action steps needed. If you want to earn a law degree but didn’t finish college, you would define one of your action steps as finishing college before you could apply to law school.
What helps when defining action is not to look down the road at where you’re going to arrive some day. You have to stay focused on the here and now. By being in the present, it’s easier to continue taking action.
Like the turtle in the race, you focus only on the step directly ahead of you. You don’t focus on how many more weeks or months or years it’s going to take you to reach the success that you’ve defined.
The reason that you don’t want to focus on the broader single goal is because that can lead to a fixed mindset. You’re in a constant state of failure until that goal is reached.
If you’re achieving mini goals on a regular basis, then suddenly the world is wide open to you because you have a growth mindset. You can see evidence of your consistent accomplishments and it reinforces your belief in yourself.
7 Habits That Lead to a Strong Success-Oriented Mindset
To get what you want, whether it’s in your personal or professional life, you have to learn to do what works. For most people, this means creating a habit. But a habit isn’t something that never changes. A successful habit is always evolving.
Habit #1 – Make sure what you want is really what you want.
Don’t do something just because you should. Check in with yourself every 30 days to make sure that the path you’re on is the one you want to stay on. Doing this prevents you from ending up with results that don’t satisfy you.
Make sure you’re not abandoning something out of fear of failure. There’s a big difference between doing what’s right for you and doing something that feels easier.
Habit #2 – Begin every day with motivation.
These are things that work to get you to take the next step. For example, if you need to go for a run to clear your head and get some time to think, then do that. If you need to use specific habits every morning in order to get into the flow, then let those habits be what compel you to get into your day.
Starting off with motivational reminders is like eating breakfast in the morning – it helps fuel you throughout your day. You also want to spend a minute or two looking back over your day and being proud of what you are accomplishing.
Habit #3 – Don’t chase success to the point that you stop dreaming.
Your success begins with an idea, a hope – a dream. If you go all out, driving hard, keeping your nose to the grindstone, you can reach the point where your mindset becomes fixed. All you can see is the end result rather than the journey.
Remember that on your way to getting what you define as success, you will never have these days filled with learning curves again.
Sometimes it becomes a chore to just blast through a task list – especially if you forget about why you’re doing everything. Make sure you routinely revisit your plans to keep you inspired with your action taking.
Habit #4 – Make sure you leave room to grow.
You need to have a mindset that keeps you learning even when you feel you’ve made it. There’s always something else that you can learn. Seek out new resources online, books, new niche leaders who teach things from a different perspective – anything that helps round your education out.
Habit #5 – Answer to someone else.
You want to have someone in your life that you’re accountable to. Make time to meet with someone who can help keep you on track for reaching your success. You want this person to be someone who can tell you when you’re driving yourself too hard and someone who can help steer you around pitfalls.
Sometimes you won’t have a specific person in your life capable of doing that. You can turn to a paid life coach or even join a forum of like-minded, positive individuals all striving for their own success.
Habit #6 – Learn to trust yourself.
When you go after what you want in life, there will always be someone waiting to tell you that something is either a good idea or a bad idea. Everyone has a built-in alarm that will sound if something is off.
You’ll feel it as knots in the pit of your stomach or as a sense of unease. When you begin trusting yourself in these situations, it helps you develop a sense of self-confidence and strength.
Habit #7 – Understand that roadblocks are going to happen.
You have to determine ahead of time that you won’t give up – you won’t surrender a growth mindset to a fixed one. Roadblocks can often be used as character builders.
They can strengthen your resolve and help you learn to become more resourceful as you find another way to do what you want to get done. If you become too comfortable with your efforts, you often don’t achieve the ultimate success that you’re after.
Having a strong mindset in life, whether for your personal or professional satisfaction, requires a combination of positive thoughts and verifiable action steps.
Whenever you do something that you start to feel a bit of shame over (like quitting on a project), ask yourself if you’re doing it because you don’t believe enough in yourself to succeed.
If that ends up being the case, take the task and break it up into micro-sized mini goals that you can work on to see if you’re capable of making progress that way. Sometimes, it’s the simple fact that a project seems too big that ruins many of the best plans.
It’s also a good idea to surround yourself with action-taking, positive people. Take inventory of the kinds of people you’re currently surrounded with. Do they always complain about everything?
Do you find yourself commiserating with people stuck in the same boat as you? If so, jump out and swim to shore because that boat is sinking fast and you don’t want to be swallowed up by the pity party they’re throwing for themselves.
Seek out motivational experts whose thoughts align with what you find inspiring. Tune in to their messages or read their books daily as if you’re taking a vitamin designed to prevent illness.
Over time, you’re going to become someone who others look to for support, and you’ll notice they may come to you with fixed mindsets. They’ll be attracted to the positivity you project. Make sure you turn their mind around rather than let their limited thoughts infect you.