7 Mindset Changes Successful People Learn to Embrace
More than anything, your mindset determines your success.
If Oprah had a negative mindset, her empire would’ve never gotten off the ground, and Steve Jobs would’ve been yet another burnt out and fired founder, if it wasn’t for his determined thinking.
Granted, you’re probably not walking around like Eeyore or acting incredibly negative—but who couldn’t use some more success?
Making these simple mindset changes can help you achieve the radical success you’re after. Bonus: They’re easier to implement than you may think. Check them out for yourself:
1. Turn Envy Into Admiration
“To change bad habits, we must study the habits of successful role models,” said Jack Canfield, entrepreneur, motivational speaker, and author of The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be.
How many times have you done the opposite of this, and found yourself jealous of someone else, maybe without even realizing it?
Our natural tendency when we see people who have more success is to envy them. Sometimes this envy can turn into belittling their achievements: “She only got that promotion because she’s related to the CMO.”
Successful people, however, refuse to let envy take over. They train themselves to remember that there’s always more to someone’s story than meets the eye, and they use this perspective to feel genuinely happy for others who achieve success. Even better, they find a mentor (or a few) to inspire them to reach higher, and you can too.
2. Turn Procrastination Into Achievement
Procrastination can come in many forms and, at one point or another, we’ve all given into it. We can fall into the procrastination trap by just thinking about one word in our minds: later.
Here’s a super simple mindset shift for making yourself more successful in no time: Every day, tackle the task that you dread the most first.
If you want to become a more successful person, eliminate that word from your daily planning and decide to knock out the most overwhelming task with your morning coffee. Whatever the task is—and whatever the day is—wake up and, as Nike said, just do it.
3. Turn Gut Reactions Into Level-Headed Thinking
While many of us face the urge to procrastinate tasks, there’s a contrasting mindset that’s just as easy to fall into: Making rash decisions based on emotions.
But, as the popular saying goes: “Don’t make a permanent decision from your temporary emotion.”
In my many years in finance, I’ve seen people throw decades of financial planning out the window because of their emotions. And it’s beyond easy to do this in a stressful workplace, too.
When successful people find themselves in situations where they’re extremely angry, sad, or frustrated, they let themselves ride out those emotions without acting on them. The simple act of waiting to make a decision until you’ve returned to a levelheaded state can play a huge role in the success you achieve.
4. Turn Defensiveness Into Curiosity
Raise your hand if you just love getting feedback and critiques.
Okay, so maybe hearing criticism is a little difficult for all of us. But, in order to become more successful, it’s necessary. And, to become radically successful, you may even need to start asking for feedback.
Forbes found a strong correlation between leaders who asked for feedback and leaders ranked highest for effectiveness. Leaders who were in the lower 10% of people who asked for feedback were only ranked as 17% effective by their peers and employees. Meanwhile, leaders who were in the top 10% of people who asked for feedback received an average effectiveness rating of 83%.
Rather than fearing feedback and defending any critiques, try to be curious of how others view your performance. This curiosity and the process of asking for feedback can be difficult, but ultimately it will provide insight that could be the difference between reaching your goals and falling short.
5. Turn Talent Into Habits
Studies have found that shifting from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset results in radical success. If you aren’t familiar with these terms: A growth mindset is one that believes intelligence and skill can be developed, while a fixed mindset is one that believes intelligence and skill are static.
A person with a fixed mindset is likely to think, “I’m a naturally talented writer, so it’s likely that I will achieve great things in the writing field.” While, at first, there may seem to be nothing wrong with this mindset, it only applies to one niche. This same person’s fixed mindset will also think, “I’m not naturally talented at public speaking, so it’s unlikely that I will achieve great things in public speaking.”
Having a fixed mindset will convince you that you can’t succeed before you even try, while implementing a growth mindset will encourage you to put in the time and effort to succeed. So start shifting your thinking toward growth today.
6. Turn Tasks Into Skills
What’s a task that you hate being assigned to at work? For some people, the idea of being in meetings all day sounds dreadful (yup, I’ve been there). For others, being asked to organize spreadsheets sounds like a snoozefest.
Jeffrey Pfeffer, who has been a professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business since 1979, has something to say about this. In his article about becoming successful by changing your mindset, he talked about how being assigned complex, time-consuming, and even dull projects is bound to happen to everyone, but the difference between a successful person and an unsuccessful person is how they approach it.
Pfeffer left his readers with some advice you need to listen to: “The next time you find yourself at some meeting or event, the next time you get what you think is a boring, trivial assignment, consider how your mindset affects your approach.”
7. Turn Success Into Humility
Finally, one of the most important things you can do as you become more successful and earn more leadership roles is to channel that success into humility.
More than 50% of people have left a job because of their manager. Have you? It’s said that people don’t quit jobs—they quit bosses. If you’ve ever been in that position, consider the qualities of that boss that left a bad impression. One of the most common traits cited by people who loathe their bosses is simply a lack of empathy.
John Maxwell, leadership author and speaker, characterizes good leaders as the following: “A person who takes a little more than their share of the blame and a little less than their share of the credit.”
Remembering this perspective and adopting a humble mindset will allow you to influence others to become more successful, and it may even carve the path for others to view you as their own role model for success.
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