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 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, too 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 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 though there are two definable types of mindsets, you can have times where you cross the line from one to the other – and your mindset 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 do” thoughts.
This leads them to believe that they’re not enough – 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 – 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 have to know how to take action to support that mindset.
A Success 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 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.
You believe those are for others. The 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 – 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 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 you 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.