What is the ultimate Mindset for Success, or better still, what is a mind, set for success, and how do we create one? While there is no one definition, I will share my version. Firstly, let’s look at the definition of a Mindset. Mindset (noun) from the Oxford Dictionary is a set of attitudes or fixed ideas that someone has. Moreover, it is often difficult to change as it is a person’s way of thinking and opinions. This means, essentially, the foundations of a Mindset for Success lie with what you are thinking and what you believe. Furthermore, what you value, what you say, the words you use and the intention behind the words.
Consequently, when you work on cultivating the essential ingredients of Mindset for Success you are more likely to achieve the success you crave. Moreover, it could be to become a better you, accomplish more, improve your relationships, health or finances. With that in mind, let’s take a further look at the ingredients that make up a Mindset for Success.
Mindset for Success and Growth Mindset
Probably the closest to a mindset for success is a growth mindset, a term popularised by Carol Dweck in her book, ‘Mindset the New Psychology of Success’.
A growth mindset contains the core belief that you are in control of your own ability and take responsibility for your results. Hard work, effort, learning and persistence are important skills to embrace. Furthermore, having an underlying belief that you are responsible for your results is key. Finally, your thoughts and beliefs influence and shape your results in the outer world. So, when you shift a belief or change your thoughts you can transform your life.
“In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.” – Dweck, 2015
Your thoughts shape your future
Let’s dig a bit deeper into beliefs. Your thoughts, which create your beliefs influence your feelings. Both your thoughts and feelings influence your actions and behaviours and vice versa. Simply stated, your results are shaped by:
- First, what you think and believe.
- Second, how you feel.
- Third, the actions you do or don’t do consistently.
- Finally, your predominant thoughts, feelings and behaviours become your habits
- Your habits lie at the foundation of your success or lack of success.
Consequently, any negative thinking, stress, anger, frustration, or worry are contrary to creating a Mindset for Success. Furthermore, your mind is like a muscle. Just as you work out in a gym to build your muscles, your mind requires consistent work to create and sculpt a mindset for success. The phrase, ‘use it or lose it,’ holds true for your mind exactly the same as working your body in a gym. Equally as important, is understanding and learning how to program your subconscious mind, the powerful part that runs your life.
The essential ingredients in a mindset for success
Here are ten essential ingredients for creating a Mindset for Success. Furthermore, embracing them will help increase your overall happiness and satisfaction in life:
- Desire to learn and grow
- Positive focus
1. Awareness is the first ingredient of a mindset for success
Without self-awareness, you cannot change. You won’t be able to identify your habitual patterns of thinking, feeling or doing. The key here is to start paying close attention to your thoughts and how they influence your feelings. Furthermore, many of your thoughts are repeated ones which have become habits. As habits occur outside your conscious mind, you will have to pay attention and become aware of them to be able to change them. Simply become interested about what you habitually say to yourself. Please do this with kindness and within a mindset of curiosity. When you are aware you can then choose to let them go and replace them with more helpful and positive words and statements. Ones that support the results you want.
2. A desire to learn and grow is an essential foundation of a mindset for success
Without a desire to learn and grow you won’t create a winning mindset for success. No growth happens in your comfort zone. Furthermore, as you are a creature of comfort and hard-wired to be kept safe at all cost, you must cultivate curiosity in order to grow. Likewise, a desire to see the world from different perspectives is essential. This can only happen when you decide and believe that learning and growth are important to your mindset and your results.
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“You cannot create the new by remaining immersed in the old. It is when the going is rough that you may crave the so-called good old days and want to go back. There is no going back in this life. A chick cannot return to its shell or a butterfly to its chrysalis. Life cannot go backwards, It has to go forward, always forward.” Eileen Caddy
3. A Positive attitude is always important in creating a mindset for success
Humans tend to have a negativity bias. This means your brain is built with a greater sensitivity to unpleasant news. As a result, most people ruminate over past problems or unintentionally worry about things that haven’t happened yet. Importantly, in changing or challenging times, keeping a positive outlook is vitally important and there are specific actions you can take. Further to this, Martin Seligman, a pioneer in the field of positive psychology, reveals that optimism is important, and something we can learn. Once more, this starts with being aware of what you are thinking. Choosing a more positive meaning and one that helps you not hinders you. Most noteworthy is that five decades of research have found that optimism is a potent health tonic. Consequently, people who are more optimistic remain healthier longer and live longer.
“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” – Epictetus
Your brain is a goal-seeking organ, and linked back to a desire to grow is the desire to accomplish something worthwhile. Years of research on goal setting has proven that people who have clearly defined goals achieve more. Athletes are a great example of this. They have clearly defined goals in the form of competitions and races that drive their efforts.
Athletes are committed to their success. Moreover, working on creating a champion mindset is an important part of their training in their quest to achiever their goals. Imagine taking this attitude into business, where your daily goals become as important as key races and you celebrate your wins along the way. As you build on each win, acknowledge and tick off each win. As this signals success to your brain, it will release a shot of serotonin. Furthermore, this explains why it is so important to take small steps and acknowledge each small win. Each win compounds and the actions that create results help you build your muscle of confidence. As you feel more confident it becomes easier to take that next step.
5. Pleasure is a key driver for wellbeing and a happy life
We are fundamentally driven by our emotions. You are motivated away from pain and towards pleasure which is why, when faced with a complex task it’s easy to allow distractions to hijack your attention. Similarly, if you find yourself scrolling through social media instead of tackling your challenging project you are probably seeking an instant good feeling. Importantly, staying focused and finding other ways outside work to enjoy yourself will help you develop your mindset for success. As success builds success you will learn to become more disciplined to do things whether or not you feel like doing them.
Finally, setting a reward at the completion of a task or a productive week is a great strategy. Because there is much research on the positive benefits of joy, fun and positive emotions, make sure you schedule some fun into your life regularly.
6. Choosing the meaning you put on an experience is a skill that can be developed
One of our greatest attributes is that with our sophisticated cerebral cortex we can choose the meaning we put on our experiences. Therefore, by changing the meaning of an event you can transform how you feel, what you think and do. Victor Frankl illustrated this clearly in his book, ‘Man’s Search for the Meaning of Life.’ Whatever the situation you have the power to choose the meaning of your experience.
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” Victor Frankl
Tal Ben-Shahar, the author of the book, ‘Happier,’ summarises the importance of both pleasure and meaning. He states that happiness is created through a combination of experiencing pleasurable moments and finding meaning in our lives. Most noteworthy, he suggests we should ask ourselves, ‘How can I be happier?’ rather than ‘Am I happy?’ The first question opens up the possibility of finding a different meaning.
7. Connection is a vital component of wellbeing and success
One of our core needs is connection. Connection with people, nature and with ourselves. Is it any wonder that with our digital world where much of our communication is via a gadget, loneliness and isolation are on the rise? To ensure you maintain your mindset for success, take time to connect with friends and building meaningful relationships. Furthermore, social interaction is a key component in research done into longevity. Dan Buettner and National Geographic researched areas in the world where people lived measurably longer and healthier lives.
As a result of their research, they came up with five areas with the highest number of octagenarians. They called these areas blue zones. Connecting with nature and exercising outside is an essential ingredient for a healthier life. Furthermore, time in nature is great to keep your mind clear, re-energise your body, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Laurens van der Post sums up our deep connection with nature beautifully in this quote:
“What wilderness does is to present us with a blueprint of what creation was about in the beginning. This blueprint is still there, and those of us who see it find an incredible nostalgia rising in us, an impulse to return and discover it again. Through wilderness, we remember, and are bought home again.”
8. Develop empathy
Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Success in life and work is about building effective relationships. Furthermore, success in relationships is about demonstrating empathy. For that reason, it is a critical skill for all business interactions today. Brené Brown is a master of this topic and communicates it wonderfully. Check out her books, ‘Daring Greatly,’ and ‘Braving the Wilderness,’ to delve deeper into the many layers of empathy, vulnerability and its counterparts.
“Empathy is connecting with the emotion that someone is experiencing, not the event or the circumstance.” Brené Brown
9. Flexibility is synonymous with a mindset for success
Because life doesn’t always go according to plan it is essential to be flexible and open to change. Furthermore, the rigidity of thinking, fixed beliefs and established patterns of behaviour stop growth and opportunities. Moreover, even though we often link Darwin with the phrase, ‘survival of the fittest’, it is actually being adaptable to change that is more relevant today.
“It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.” Darwin
10. Develop an attitude of Gratitude
Finally, probably the most important feeling to cultivate for a mindset for success is to develop an attitude of gratitude. In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Above all, gratitude helps you feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. The heart math institute has proven that people who practise feeling gratitude tend to live longer, have fewer heart attacks and are generally happier. Because of its importance to a mindset for success, here are three ways to work on building an attitude of gratitude.
- Find three things you are grateful for every morning and evening and write them down
- Give appreciation to your loved ones
- Remember to thank your friends, co-workers and staff more often.
In summary, a mindset for success contains a collection of thoughts, beliefs, attitudes shaped by your responses, the meaning you put on experiences, the behaviours and actions you take or don’t take. It’s about choosing to have a positive and solution-focused approach where learning, growth and change are key focus areas and skills to develop. Finally, its about your relationship you cultivate with yourself first and then others.
A mindset for success is always evolving
You can’t see what is in your mindset, yet the unseen can be incredibly powerful. However, like all success, developing a mindset for success requires discipline, effort and time. Yes, it takes work to create one. Furthermore, the energy of the mind is attention, so where you place your attention energy flows. Moreover, it is exactly why positivity, optimism, solutions and flexibility are so important. And of course, they all start with what you are thinking.
We only have to look towards the genius, Albert Einstein for proof that this is so:
“Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not a philosophy. This is physics.”
Finally, your mindset is powerful and it’s up to you to commit fully to working on cultivating your own mindset for success. And with a better mindset you are better equipped to do the things you know you should and achieve more of what you want.
About the Author
Mandy Napier is a Global High Performance Mindset Coach who is dedicated to supporting high achievers fulfil their potential and achieve extraordinary results professionally and personally. Transformations are the norm, and results guaranteed.
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