Developing the right mindset is really crucial to succeed in anything. When I was switching my career in 2009 from my co-founded company to my new personal business, I knew that there was a way for me. I kept looking, getting educated, testing, optimizing – and I knew it would pay off eventually. I had a gut-feeling of it. And it did. I was on the right path. I had developed the right mindset (more on that in my newsletter).
What is a Mindset?
Your mindset is the sum of your knowledge, including beliefs and thoughts about the world and yourself in it. It is your filter for information you get in and put out. So it determines how you receive and react information.
It’s often used for a specific part in your life, as in “the mindset of an entrepreneur” or “the growth mindset”. And having the right mindset for what you go for is often the biggest factor.
Developing the right mindset is then the way learning something new and strip out the most relevant information. Then you develop the beliefs that are most helpful for where you want to go or how you want to be. This belief-system is then your mindset.
And I think a good mindset will reflect reality and will help you. But not in that order. I think the order has to be like this:
- Find the beliefs that are most supportive
- Check if the beliefs are in harmony with (a potential) reality
You want to use your mindset to make a positive change. That’s why your beliefs don’t necessarily have to reflect your current reality. But of course the reality you believe in should be possible. That’s like a catch-22, but not really.
If you believe “I am a successful entrepreneur”, you will act in that way.
If you believe “I want to be a successful entrepreneur”, you will act in this way too: like you are NO successful entrepreneur.
I personally found adopting beliefs that seem slightly out of reach is very powerful. Because it changes your mindset and therefore how you behave. For the better. It let’s you grow.
How to Change Your Mindset
The following list can help you to develop the right mindset for your situation:
1. Get the Best Information Only
Try to find the very best information in your field. Then focus on learning this information only. I personally learned that in any worthwhile field there is more information available as needed, especially in the internet. You have to narrow down the information input to the most effective. I personally believe that one of the critical personal skills today is not to find information, but to select the best information and avoid the rest.
The Good: Reading great books/information products and some great blogs. Everything else is a waste of time.
The Bad: Mostly not worth it are forums, getting books/information products without researching the field, 90% of blogs. From my personal experience, those are usually things that support procrastination and information overload. The reason is that only a tiny fraction of the information out there is taking you really forward. You have to develop the skill of identifying this kind of information. We are talking about the right mindset here; part of it is not to get sucked into the mediocre area. You want to align yourself with the best out there.
2. Role Model the Best People
Similar to #1 look for the best people in your field and try to model what they did right. Adopt their kind of thinking and mindset. Follow them. Of course, keep and only add what you think is right for you. That way you can actually improve and personalize their mindset to fit perfectly for you. It’s never copying, it’s taking what works for you by getting inspiration and quality input.
Now I realize that you can’t look into the minds of the best people in your field. But you can get plenty of information about how they are thinking, their advice, what they did. For instance if you are an entrepreneur or self-employed, here are the people that I role-modeled to a certain degree: Stephen Covey, Steve Jobs, Anthony Robbins, Michael Jordan (find more here). Reading biographies of people who inspire you is a great way to start.
3. Examine Your Current Beliefs
Examine your mindset by looking at your current belief-system. Are these beliefs supporting you? Or are there self limiting beliefs? You have to identify those possible blocks and turn them around. Because whether you know about limiting beliefs or not, they are working in your subconscious mind.
To uncover your beliefs ask yourself the right questions about where you want to go and what is standing in your way right now. The key then is to turn those beliefs around by declaring supportive statements on the same belief. To internalize these new supportive beliefs you can make use of affirmations.
4. Shape Your Mindset with Vision and Goals
A proactive approach to build your mindset is to clearly see where you want to go. Seeing a vision, images describing your end result clearly in your minds eye, will create a strong pull towards this end result. Then go on and break your vision into goals. It will shape your mindset to become conform with your vision.
Learn and adapt from your own experience and always try to look deeper for the real reasons why you get the results you are getting.
5. Find Your Voice
One of the most beautiful things is when you find your very own way, something what you could call finding your voice. Stephen Covey wrote a book about that and called it The 8th Habit (see a post from him about finding your voice):
To help you find this, answer these 4 question.
- What are you good at? That’s your mind.
- What do you love doing? That’s your heart.
- What need can you serve? That’s the body.
- And finally, what is life asking of you? What gives your life meaning and purpose? What do you feel like you should be doing? In short, what is your conscience directing you to do? That is your spirit.
Your voice is what you express 100% authentically, it is the unique thing that you can add to the world, because you are who you are. A great way to success and to develop the success mindset. Looking to find what is really you and being critical about every input you get should be part of your mindset. Stay open and flexible in your mind. Don’t judge too soon. It gives you something unique and helps you to build integrity.
6. Protect Your Mindset
One thing you have to do is to protect your mindset against the naysayers and people who want to drag you down. You also have to protect it against bad information and against overload (see #1). Keeping your confidence is a big thing. So please stay on the right path, look to improve yourself and to help others along the way. You can’t go wrong with that.