Since our first course concerns changing your mindset from being an employee to becoming an Entrepreneur I thought we should start out with some information about mindsets.
Any Success in Life Begins with the Right Mindset
Why is it that some people achieve great success in life while others with the same talent never reach the same heights of accomplishment? Could it be something as simple as mindset? Believe it or not, your commitment to maintaining a positive mindset during good and bad times can have a potent influence on how successful you are at what you do.
What is the Meaning of Mindset?
Mindset is values, attitude, and beliefs. Your mindset determines how you respond to various aspects of your life including the decision to grow personally and professionally. Your mindset about your strengths, weaknesses, and past experiences dictate how well you respond to setbacks, failures, stereotypes, successes, and triumphs.
What is the mindset that successful people have in common? According to Inc.com, aside from any magical, daily regimens or predictable habits, successful people have a growth mindset. Further, they believe that with perseverance, you can expand your intellectual prowess, increase your skills, enhance your character and overcome obstacles.
These individuals are looking for ways to improve themselves through growth and problem-solving. Their counterparts, on the other hand, avoid new situations and rarely if ever step outside of their comfort zone. When we purposefully change our mindset to that of growth we in effect make a conscious decision to transform our lives (Success.com).
How to Improve Your Mindset
You may very well have the talent to be successful, but how do you change your mindset to achieve success? To obtain a growth or positive mindset, you must take action to change the way you approach decision-making practices and life in general. Once you alter your way of thinking, you will see other positive changes take effect.
Here are five things you can do to achieve a growth mindset.
Surround Yourself with Others Who Have a Positive Mindset
It may seem cliché, but there is value in choosing to be around others who have similar goals and a growth mindset. These people will be there to offer positive affirmations and to encourage you to challenge yourself in life.
They will seem like a breath of fresh air and ultimately contribute to your successes. Meanwhile, your goal should be to replace the negative people in your life as they may hold you back from changing your way of thinking.
Learn from Your Mistakes
Your natural inclination might be to run away from your mistakes or bury your head in the sand to hide from failures but the best thing you can do is to learn from your mistakes. Identify what went well and what contributed to the failure and look for opportunities to establish best practices for what not to do next time.
Know Your Strengths
People often talk about knowing your weaknesses and looking for ways to improve them but knowing and owning your strengths and how to leverage them for success will support your growth mindset and trigger positive energy.
Set Goals and Achieve Results
To achieve a growth mindset, you should establish measurable goals. Next, take the necessary steps to complete them. Talking is easy but taking action will go a long way to steer you in the direction of success.
Soliciting feedback may generate negative thoughts, but it should not generate negative energy. You will want to don your armor or Teflon vest and get ready to receive input and look forward to improving performance.
This particular action can be especially potent in the workplace when you solicit feedback from a leader in your organization. You can use the input to seek growth opportunities at your company and for the entrepreneur to improve quality of service and profitability of your business.
Your Mindset Is Critical For Success
A quote commonly attributed to American automobile tycoon Henry Ford is that “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.” This fun little quote reminds us of the reality that how we approach our goals is key to not only whether or not we achieve them, but what that achievement means to us.
Where does Motivation Come From?
There’s a theory in psychology and education that holds that motivation exists on a scale from intrinsic to extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation means that we want something for ourselves. This is often the source of our hobbies or projects. These are things that we do because they somehow enrich our lives.
On the other end of the scale is Extrinsic motivation, which is when we don’t really want to do something but someone else is making us. For many of us, this end is closer to where we are when we are at our jobs. Our degree of passion for our job may vary, but the real motivation for most of us to keep doing it is the money that we make.
Obviously, extrinsic motivation can get a job done, but it isn’t often very rewarding, so we tend to work harder and get more out of tasks that we are genuinely interested in – tasks that we are intrinsically motivated to do.
Balancing Internal and External Motivation
This theory of motivation seldom suggests that we are at one extreme or the other. When we do most things, we are both externally motivated to do it to some degree as well as inwardly motivated to some degree.
If we didn’t have any extrinsic motivation to go to work, most of us probably wouldn’t. Also, while our work takes lots of time and energy, we probably wouldn’t do it if we didn’t have any intrinsic motivation either.
This balance of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation can also be helpful in terms of goals that we set for ourselves, largely because our moods can change. One day we may set a goal for ourselves when we feel particularly intrinsically motivated but a few days later we don’t feel so motivated anymore. In cases like these, it is good for us to have some kind of extrinsic motivation as well.
This isn’t likely to be someone paying us, like it is with our work, though some people do find that setting up a reward system can help them to keep on track. For others, having a friend, family member, or group with similar goals can help for us to stay on track, as these people can help to encourage us to pursue our goals even on days when we don’t particularly feel like it. Both of these are kinds of mild extrinsic motivation.
Is Motivation so Important?
In 2008 academic Malcolm Gladwell popularized the 10,000 hours rule, stating that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to master a skill. The concept began running into flack in 2013 when writer David Epstein wrote that genes play a more significant role than practice. This has led many to abandon the 10,000 hours rule, which is unfortunate. Gladwell responded in an article in The New Yorker that the 10,000 hours rule is meant to apply to cognitive skills rather than strictly athletic skills.
Whether you agree with Gladwell or Epstein, few would disagree that it takes time and effort to develop a new skill. Perhaps fewer would disagree that putting in that time can be hard. Knowing how to keep your eye on the ball when we lose our sense of motivation can be very important to achieving a goal. Things like losing weight and building muscle, learning a new language or learning an instrument take time and it is best if we do them every day.
Isolate Yourself from Negativity
You might have heard how negativity is a bad thing when it comes to having the right mindset for success. It’s true. Negativity is one of the biggest things that can derail any attempt at success.
The reason that negativity can keep you stuck, holding you back from obtaining goals and changing any part of your life, is because negativity wipes out motivation.
It’s hard to feel motivated about anything when your head is full of negative messaged. What happens is that you’re fired up, ready to charge ahead with reaching success, when along comes someone who says that you don’t have the talent, the knowledge, the money, the support or the courage to make it happen.
Before you know it, that negativity has seeped all the way into your inner mind and you find that the self-doubts are multiplying. You begin to believe they’re right.
You don’t have the talent. You don’t have the knowledge and the next thing you know, you’re not even trying to move forward anymore. When negativity destroys your motivation, it destroys your confidence.
It’s not a matter of whether or not you’re going to encounter this negative response, but when. Because many people just have a damaging outlook and they spread that negativity.
It’s second nature to them, but it doesn’t have to be accepted by you. You can reject their negativity. Who’s destructive in your life? First, it’s usually always going to be family.
Under the well-meaning guise of trying to be helpful and not wanting to see you get hurt or fail, they’re going to try to persuade you that what you’re trying to do can’t be done.
Next, it will be your friends. Many of your friends probably have their lives already mapped out right through their retirement years and you can bet it doesn’t involve stepping out and running their own business.
Friends often play it safe and so they want you to do the same. It’s true that being an entrepreneur means there will be some risk. There will be long hours. There will be trial and error.
But that’s not a bad thing. It’s just part of the process and you can’t let friends influence you to give up. You’ll find on your entrepreneurial journey that there are even some fellow marketers who are negative.
These people whine about how difficult it is. They point out the pitfalls, they talk about the downside and it seems like they do nothing but discourage others and themselves.
They’re almost constantly griping about stuff and comparing themselves and you to success stories. They’ll even point out how they and you will never reach that same level of success.
If you really want to be a success, you have to isolate yourself from negativity. If you don’t, eventually, you will start to believe this negative feedback. As a result, your motivation will either suffer or disappear altogether and eventually, you’ll give up.
What you need to do is to surround yourself with people who are positive. People who look forward to challenges and see setbacks as opportunities to learn from rather than as signs to give up.
Being around positive people will be a support team for you and help you keep your motivation high when you do reach places that are hard as you try to build your career.
Learn How to Motivate Yourself with Mantras
This section may be a little difficult for some of you, it was for me. I would not understand how telling myself things I already knew could help but, it does. So, if you are an old schooler like me read this section with an open mind then put it to practice.
Motivation is something that we all have certain tasks, but it’s not always a given. The truth is that many of us can have our motivation wane. When motivation dwindles, it can be difficult to push yourself to do anything much less have the desire to strive for success.
Motivation goes hand in hand with achieving success, but you can’t always expect motivation to come from outside sources and you shouldn’t rely on that anyway.
Outside sources, such as a friend who cheers you onward and helps you feel inspired, might not motivate you the next time. What gave you a burst of incentive one day might not be available the next and that’s why it’s so important that you learn how to encourage yourself.
When you feel motivated, you’ll be able to find the willpower to keep on reaching for your goals. And when it’s within you, you can tap into a well of enthusiasm that will keep you going regardless of what you come up against.
The key to self-motivation is to find a mantra that you can use. Mantras are words or phrases that you can repeat to yourself. What these mantras can do is they can help you keep a confident outlook.
Your mindset will be focused on the positives, which in turn help your motivation. In our subconscious minds, we’re not geared toward the positive. We’re not automatically geared toward success.
The brain and the body both want the path of least resistance because it’s a survival technique. We walk away from the things we view as mentally or physically difficult or frightening, especially if it makes us feel stressed.
With being an entrepreneur, your subconscious mind is one of your best tools for being successful. But if your subconscious is fixated on the negative or what hasn’t worked for you in the past, this can be a stumbling block.
Fortunately, your subconscious can be retrained to think differently, to have a success mindset – and the way to do that is with mantras. By using mantras, you’ll also feel better emotionally.
What you have to do is to pick a mantra that’s geared specifically toward success. Success mantras help you to be mindful of the positives in your life every day and it creates a mindset of gratitude.
Mantras can change your perspective and help keep you motivated through to an optimistic attitude. You can use mantras for, such as “My goal for success today is_____” or “I have the ability to succeed.” Mantras not only strengthen your outlook, but they also help you feel stronger and have better self-esteem. They also help keep you focused when you start to drift away.
Do Your Actions Support a Strong Mindset?
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 your 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 your 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 unequal competitors. 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 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 negative 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 so” 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.
7 Habits That Lead to a Strong Success 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 success 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 business models 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 did accomplish.
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. If your goal is to live on the beach in a nice home, make sure your routinely revisit those plans to keep you inspired with your action taking.
Habit #4 – Make sure you leave room to grow.
You need to have a success 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, book, 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 come to you with fixed mindsets. They’ll be attracted to the positivity you project. Make sure you turn their mind around, rather than letting their limited thoughts infect you.