What actually is a Mindset for Success?
What is a 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 and that is often difficult to change. 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 and the language you use. Consequently, when you work on embracing the essentials you have the keys for your success. Whether it’s to be better, accomplish more, improve relationships or improve your health. Let’s take a further look at what is inside a Mindset for Success.
Mindset for Success and Growth Mindset
Probably the closest to a mindset for success is a growth mindset, a term made famous by Carol Dweck in her book, ‘Mindset the New Psychology of Success’.
A growth mindset contains a core belief that you are in control of your own ability, similarly as does a mindset for success. Hard work, effort, and persistence are all important. What is more important is having an underlying belief that you are in control of your own destiny. What you choose to think and believe has the potential to change your results and 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. Your feelings influence your actions and behaviours. In conclusion, your mindset is made up of these components. First, what you think and believe. Second, how you feel. Third, the actions you do or don’t do consistently your habits.Your thoughts influence your feelings and your feelings influence your behaviours Click To Tweet
This means negative thinking, stress, anger, frustration, worry and depressed feelings negate a Mindset for Success. Because your mind is a muscle it requires consistent work to keep it active and functioning as 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.
The essential ingredients in a mindset for success
Here are ten essential ingredients for creating a Mindset for Success. Furthermore, they will help increase your overall happiness and satisfaction in life:
- Desire to learn and grow
- Positive focus
Awareness is the first ingredient of a mindset for success
Without self-awareness, nothing changes. 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 for the reason that they influence your feelings. Furthermore, your feelings tend to drive your behaviours and your habitual behaviours shape your results. Above all, as your habits occur outside your conscious control, most of the time you aren’t conscious of what they are. Therefore, awareness is the key ingredient to bring them into your consciousness. Even more importantly, you can then start to change your habits for better habits and new results.
A desire to learn and grow is an essential foundation of a mindset for success
Without a desire to learn and grow you don’t have a 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.
A desire to learn and grow is essential for creating a mindset for success Click To Tweet
“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
Positive focus is always important in creating a mindset for success
Humans 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. Neither of these is conducive to a mindset for success. Martin Seligman, a pioneer in the field of positive psychology, reveals that optimism is 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 and working on creating a champion mindset is an important part of their training and in their accomplishments. Imagine taking this attitude into business, where your daily goals become as important as key races and you celebrate your wins along the way. Consequently, ticking off each one signals success to the brain, so it sends you a shot of serotonin. As a result, it’s important to take small steps and acknowledge all your accomplishments to build confidence and momentum. Moreover, serotonin is the fuel for motivation.
Humans are fundamentally driven by their 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, you find yourself scrolling through social media for a good feeling moment instead of tackling your work. Moreover, finding other ways to enjoy yourself helps you build your mindset for success and create more discipline 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.
Meaning is a key skill you have and one that enhances a mindset for success
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.
Connection is helpful to build and maintain a mindset for 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 reserach, 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 also 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.”
Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Success in life and work is about building effective relationships. Success in relationships is about demonstrating empathy. For that reason, it is a critical skill for all business interactions today. Brené Brown has mastered 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 and it’s counterparts.
“Empathy is connecting with the emotion that someone is experiencing, not the event or the circumstance.” Brené Brown
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
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 it’s 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
- 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 having a positive and solution-focused approach where learning, growth and change are embraced and skills developed. It’s about your relationship with others and yourself. How you treat yourself and how you treat 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 a muscle, it requires work to create one; gentle discipline, kindness and nurturing. 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.”
Lastly, it’s up to you to now work on your mindset for success to equip yourself with the essential ingredients so you can do the things you know you should and achieve more of what you want.
Mandy Napier BSc
Mandy Napier is a Global Mindset & Performance Coach coaches people to P.E.R.F.O.R.M optimally and produces breakthrough results personally and professionally. Ultimately to tap into and harness their full potential. As an authentic, and inspirational coach and speaker, she partners with professionals and teams to create transformations and lasting results.
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