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Mindset And Success


Close your eyes for a moment….take a deep breath and say the word “SUCCESS” slowly and with great deliberation! S..U..C..C..E..S..S. Did that feel good? What is it about success that sends our blood rushing through our veins and makes us feel so elated? What image do you get in your mind when you say this word? For me, it is often the image of a mountaineer at a summit or a sprinter breasting the tape ahead of the rest of the pack.

What do you believe is the single greatest contributor to a person’s success? Some of you might say luck, while others might say hard work, and some might attribute success to sheer fate. Isn’t it incredible how some people seem to find success very elusive, while others seem to have the Midas touch, with success literally stalking them at every turn? It is very difficult, if not impossible, to put a finger on it and come up with one single factor that is a determinant of success. But it is widely believed that what comes closest to being THE most common factor for success is MINDSET.

What is Mindset?

The dictionary definition of mindset is “the established set of attitudes held by someone”. It is effectively the sum of your beliefs, thoughts and opinions about yourself and the world around you. You could think of mindset as the lens of your mind through which your reality is filtered. The “set” in the word suggests that your mindset is your disposition, so it is “fixed” and dictates how you approach any situation or event in your life. But do you feel that is strictly true? Is mindset really so deeply ingrained that it is impossible to change?

Our mindsets are generally shaped by our early environments, education, faith and upbringing, and since they have formed over an extended period of time, they are generally fairly rigid and not easily amenable to change. But mindsets are not impossible to change. Author Steve Maraboli says “Once your mindset changes, everything on the outside will change along with it”.

Mindset types

A common classification of mindsets is Fixed and Growth Mindsets which can be defined as:

A Fixed Mindset is the belief that talent and IQ are qualities you are born with and cannot be enhanced.

A Growth Mindset is the belief that intelligence can be enhanced through effort, time and experience.

Let us expand this broad classification to delve a little deeper into the most common types of mindsets that we might encounter in our daily lives. Try and think of which of these mindsets might apply to you and what is that mindset doing to you. Is it helping you or harming you?

1. Always Right Mindset – How often do we find ourselves encountering a mindset (might be our own or another person’s) that simply cannot accept being wrong? The desire to always be right sometimes leads to confirmation bias, where people clutch at straws to prove their point.

2. Victim Mentality Mindset – People with this mindset consider themselves to be victims of fate or destiny, taking no personal responsibility for their problems. They play the victim card to such an extent that they actually start enjoying their victimhood! Whatever unpleasant situation they might find themselves in, they always blame someone or something else for their woes. And they revel in the sympathy of others for their plight.

3. Insecurity Mindset – Some people view everyone around them as threats. Sharing knowledge simply doesn’t come easy to people of this mindset, as they feel by giving another person the knowledge, they endanger their own positions as they have the habit of always looking over their shoulder and considering everyone as competition.

4. Comparison Mindset – Without realizing that every person on this planet is walking their own unique path, people with comparison mindsets are constantly comparing their life situation to others and inviting emotions such as jealousy, envy and arrogance into their lives.

5. Optimistic and Pessimistic Mindsets – The glass half-full and the glass half-empty mindsets, leading to lives filled with either gratitude or dissatisfaction.

6. Rear Mirror Mindset – Some people find it very hard to let go of the past. Being stuck in the past denies them the opportunity of enjoying their present or planning for the future. “You do not move ahead by constantly looking in a rear view mirror. The past is a rudder to guide you, not an anchor to drag you. We must learn from the past but not live in the past” – Warren Wiersbe.

7. Avoidance Mindset – Every time they are faced with a challenge, the person with an avoidance mindset puts the issue in the “too hard” basket and ignores it, hoping it goes away!

8. Comfort Zone Mindset – The mindset becomes so risk-averse that the mind begins to see danger in every opportunity. Fear becomes the first reaction to any situation where action outside the normal routine is needed.

How many of the above mindsets seem disturbingly familiar to you? I must confess that I have been guilty of having a few of these mindsets myself, during different phases of my life. How about you? Did you read any of these mindsets and immediately think of a person you know that fits it like a glove? 😊

Mindsets can be changed, but it takes time, patience and perseverance. Since they take a long time to develop, they also take time to change. Think of a mindset as a tree that has grown over a long period of time. The roots will obviously be deep, so you will need to allocate time and effort to start effecting a change. It all begins with recognizing your mindset that needs changing and putting an action plan together to start making the change. It might involve some serious effort, but it is definitely worth it!!

I would love to hear from you!! Hit me with a reply on what you think about the relationship between mindset and success.


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