We have all wondered it. What on earth makes highly successful people so….. successful? Growing up, I honestly thought that some people were just really lucky in life and others weren’t. I was an unlucky duckling… or so I thought.
No one told me otherwise and since it’s what I told myself every day as I looked at the lives of other people on television and through social media, I figured it was true.
It wasn’t until recent years that I discovered the truth… Anyone can be successful with the right tools and that starts with learning how to change your mindset for success.
Why having the right mindset for success is important
Just about every highly successful person, I have ever read, listened to, or spoke with has in common: their mindset.
Although it may differ from person to person, one thing is for sure, they have chosen to change their mindset when it comes to the way they think about…. Well, just about everything.
What I have discovered through studying successful people, is that the outcome of everything you go to do is affected by mindset.
Which ultimately means: Mindset is Everything.
It affects how you relate to everything and everyone, and just as importantly, how everyone and everything relates to you.
One of the principles Josh and I live by is that you can’t get to where you want to go until you leave where you are.
If you’ve been feeling stuck in life, take some time to really analyze your mindset and consider whether or not it’s holding you back in life.
If you’re not sure what to look for, I’ve outlined some key traits of a successful mindset further down this post.
How to Change Your Mindset for Success
Being that success often feels like an elusive magical force of some sort that manages to escape the presence of most of us, having a successful mindset can feel like an unnecessary effort.
However, if everything begins with your mindset, then so does your success.
So how do you obtain this mindset for success? With the following steps…
Step 1 – Make an Intentional Decision to Have a Growth Mindset
A growth mindset is literally just the idea that you are always striving to grow as a person; always seeking self-improvement and personal development.
The opposite of a growth mindset is a fixed mindset. You can usually find a fixed mindset in people who are very proud of themselves as is, unusually set in their ways, and willing to fight you for the sake of their pride. They refuse to grow and improve as a person and can be unpleasant to be around.
Making the decision to have a growth mindset can be life-changing. I used to have a pretty fixed mindset in high school. I realize now how unpleasant that made things for myself and others. Because I didn’t allow myself to consider the fact that there was room for growth in my life, I severely hindered my own potential.
Thankfully, I switched to a growth mindset and can see how every single area of my life has improved because of it.
Related Post: How to Have a Growth Mindset When You are an Adult
Step 2 – Search Out Resources
Having the tools and resources to help us in changing and growing our mindsets is an important step!
If we already knew what we needed to know, we’d be where we wanted to be.
Since very few of us are currently where we want to be in life, we need to continue to seek out the knowledge of others.
Granted, you can always choose to learn things yourself, but why learn things the hard way when you can expedite your success with the things others already know?
There are endless amounts of resources out there in the form of books, podcasts, courses, blog posts, and videos, just to name a few.
If there’s a specific topic you want to know more about and become more successful in, search out resources in that topic and learn as much as you can!
Step 3 – Take a Little Action Every Day
I think a common misconception is that when change happens, it needs to be this huge, grand, noticeable thing.
But it really doesn’t. In fact, it rarely is.
Just a little action every day, a little bit of change, will make a difference over time.
In fact, just a 1% change each day, will make you 37 times better in a year. (source)
Can you imagine being the kind of successful mindset you would have in a year if you just changed 1% every day?
Key Traits for a Successful Mindset
I’ve done some research and pulled together a list of the top characteristics for having a successful mindset.
Below I’ve laid out a few action points to help you get started!
Learn More About Yourself
Seek out self-knowledge to discover and strengthen your self-improvement capabilities. If you hang around here much, you’ll see that I’m a pretty big proponent of this.
The better you know yourself, the whys of how you function, the better you can understand how to go about improving an area of your life.
Related Post: How to Start a Life-Changing Self-Improvement Plan
Start Your Day with Self-Care
When you start your day off taking care of yourself, you have a much larger capacity for taking care of other people and tasks throughout the day. You’re also better prepared to tackle any unexpected issues that may arise.
Plus, when you take care of your personal needs first thing in the morning, you don’t feel as much of a need to take advantage of those random distractions that arise during the day and act as mini-breaks from your stresses.
Jim Kwik, leading expert in brain optimization and learning, talks more about this on Episode 16 of the Kwik Brain Podcast.
He says that “self-care and self-love are not selfish”.
So often we feel guilty about taking time away from work and family to spend on ourselves but I want to encourage you that doing so, doesn’t make you a terrible person, it makes you a more present one!
If you take the first hour of the day to make sure you are healthy then it is so much easier to handle the tasks and the stresses that the rest of the day throws at you.
Related Post: Morning Routine Habits of Successful People
Be Open to The Idea of Change
I know, isn’t this exactly what we’re talking about already?
Well not exactly. You see, you can like the idea of changing, without being open to or willing to change.
So what’s the difference?
The hardest part about changing is that you have to be willing to admit, that there’s a better way. Which also means, having to admit, that you’re wrong at times.
This is hard and it’s okay to admit that.
Being willing to take constructive criticism or analyze a statement that feels like a low blow from someone, is a key in active change.
We have to be able and willing to question what we’ve always known or thought in order to find better.
Acknowledge the Pain
You will probably find that when you start to seek change and growth, a moment will arise when something strikes a chord with you or makes you feel really uncomfortable or embarrassed.
What happens is that as we begin to grow, our insecurities start to get uncovered and that feels really painful so we allow the protector of our insecurities, pride, to rise up.
This is a perfectly normal response, as it is a self-coping mechanism to help cover our embarrassment. However, it’s also a very hindering response.
I know it’s painful, but in order to grow, sometimes we can’t give into our pride.
However, ALWAYS take note of when this happens, the areas that feel the most sensitive, are often the ones we need the most healing or growing in.
Resilience is a mindset in itself. It’s often confused with pride but actually is rooted in the opposite of perspectives.
Pride is the protector of our insecurities; resilience is the root of our emotional stability.
Pride is reactive; resilience is proactive.
When we take the steps to heal, grow, and strengthen our emotional health, we become resilient.
Seek Out Those Who Are Better
Find people, either in person or online that you can follow and learn from.
People who truly inspire, encourage, and challenge you! People who are at a place in life you would like to be someday.
I’m not saying to compare yourself to them, but to glean from them.
Masterminds are a great resource for this, Facebook groups might also be a good option, as well as just a group of people in your area that are from different walks of life, different success levels, and who are all for sharing their knowledge.
Jim Rohn says “that your life mirrors the people you are closest to” which is why this is such an important point.
It can feel a little uncomfortable at first, especially if you feel like they are way out of your league, but if your goal is to get better, never be embarrassed by where you are.
Everyone has to start somewhere.
Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
If I’m being completely honest, I love my comfort zone. It’s so comfy, and cozy, and nice, and safe; like a warm blanket.
I used to live 100% in my comfort zone and if you tried to push me even a little towards the edge of it, I’d probably start crying. Like seriously crying.
Once, when I was ten, I thought I would be brave and do the zip line at camp. I climbed to the top of the pole (shaking the whole way, I might add) and promptly forced them to lower me back down not even daring to overcome my fear of fast zippy things.
Oh yeah, “adventure” was a four letter word in my mind. The only reason my parents even got me to go to camp was because they were some of the counselors.
When I met Josh (my husband), he was the exact opposite; backflips off sand dunes and skydiving kind of adventurous.
It seriously forced me out of my comfort zone and quickly made me learn a method for overcoming my fears. Which, I’m happy to say, I am a thousand times better about now.
In fact, besides skydiving, I love a good adventure these days. I’ve lived in China, spent a year living out of hotels with no home at all, and have even gone snorkeling in the Dominican Republic.
Adventurous things may not be outside of your comfort zone, but something is, and I promise you, that when you step outside of it, there’s a whole new world of opportunity waiting for you!
Rethink The Definitions of Succes and Failure
Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt like a failure….
I know you can’t see, but I’m metaphorically raising both my hands and a couple toes.
I don’t know why or at what point it became the norm, but we often judge people by their ability to make something work rather than their perseverance to keep going when something doesn’t work.
Successful people aren’t any less human than you or I. In fact, they aren’t successful because they haven’t failed. They’re successful because they didn’t stop trying until they found something that did work.
I guarantee you that they’ve done something in life that didn’t work the way they wanted it to.
The difference is that they didn’t let that stop them. They just considered it a way not to do what they were going for and moved on.
When we start to reframe the way we view success and failure, we change our propensity for success.
Don’t Give Up But Know When to Quit
There’s a big difference between giving up and quitting something.
You’ve heard the phrase, originally coined by Albert Einstein, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”
I like to say it this way, “if what you were doing was going to work, it would have already.”
If there’s something you’re putting effort into that just isn’t working it a can often be really helpful to take a good analysis of the situation and figure out what needs to change.
AKA: quit what you’re doing.
Keep in mind, however, that this is very different than giving up.
When you quit what you’re doing, you’re stopping or changing an action to get a different result for the same goal.
When you give up, you’re walking away from potential success.
Ditch the Victim Mentality
With all the negativity out there, it is sooo easy to feel like life is out to get you (or at least very specific people… That’s not just me, right?)
Josh and I have both found areas in our life that we do this. Something isn’t quite the way we want it to be, so we blame the outside factor: work, our busy schedules, a lack of money, etc.
We make excuses for why we aren’t going after our goals or do other things we’ve been dreaming of and we blame it on outside life factors.
The other day, Josh and I sat down and had an in-depth discussion about our dreams in life. We discussed what was holding us back and what we could do about it.
We came to realize that a lot of the things we thought were holding us back, were just excuses. We had victim mentalities that led us to believe everything but our own actions were holding us back.
The truth was that we just needed to look at things from a different perspective. We could go after our dreams despite our current circumstances. It would just be a little different than our original expectations.
You can do this too! Whatever your dream is, you may not be able to go after it fully yet, but can you educate yourself on the topic? Can you increase your skill set? Can you find your tribe?
Set Goals The Right Way
People with a successful mindset know the direction they want to go in and set goals to get there.
When you have a successful process for setting goals and mapping out an action plan, achieving success changes from an issue of confusion to an issue of timing.
I know setting goals gets a bit of a bad rap, but I’m pretty convinced that most people don’t set them correctly. It’s not about setting out to do some lofty thing, it’s about creating a roadmap to help guide you to your destination.
Related Post: The Ultimate Setting Goals Guide to Unlock Your Dreams
Value Your Time
Every single person’s time is worth something. Every time we go to work, we are trading our time, for a price.
People with a highly successful mindset, know the value of their time and the potential value of their future time.
They understand that putting the time in now, will often lead to greater things and more added value.
They also understand the value lost by wasting hours. Such as, on angry birds, Facebook, or Netflix just because they don’t feel like doing anything else.
This isn’t to say they don’t ever enjoy themselves in life, but that they are very intentional about it.
Setting aside downtime is an absolute essential to life but always choosing to chill for the sake of being lazy, is a mindset you will find in very few successful people.
Don’t Rush Into Things
In the instantaneous, get everything as fast as you can, world we live in today, we often feel pressure to do things as fast as we can.
We make big life decisions that bind us into multiple years and sometimes multiple decade contracts without giving it real intentional thought.
We feel rushed to always be headed in the direction to bigger and better things that we sometimes fail to take a moment and really think about the consequences.
This was a big trait pattern I saw when examining the mindsets of highly successful people; they don’t rush into anything.
Even things that seem like a great deal or opportunity at first. If they don’t know much about it or aren’t educated on it, they don’t do it.
Chris Hogan says, “grab the opportunities in life and avoid the chances.” He has a really great article about that which you can read here.
It’s really all about making smarter more informed decisions. Don’t let the urgency of living a fast-paced life, pressure you into anything.
Remember to always do everything with intention.
Dave Ramsey often points out that the turtle always wins the race. No matter how many times you read the book, the hare never wins.
If you’re a natural fast mover or feel pressure to always be pushing yourself, I encourage you to take the time to slow down a little, think things though, and be more intentional in everything you do.
Creating a mindset for success isn’t an overnight thing but it absolutely is possible!
No matter where you are starting, where you came from, or what your current circumstances are, you have the power to change your mindset and create a better life. It starts with your mindset and it starts with you taking action, even just a little action every day.
I truly believe that making the decision to grow and change is one of the best things you can do for your life.
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