The Success Mindset and the #1 Skill You Need to Achieve It
The Key To Success
“Action is the foundational key to all success.” - Pablo Picasso
“The path to success is to take massive, determined actions.” - Tony Robbins
“Achievement seems to be connected with action. Successful men and women keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.” - Conrad Hilton
You get the idea! Many successful people attribute achievement and success to consistent action, and they should know.
Even without supporting quotes from famous successful people, it’s unlikely that any of us need more convincing on the benefits of taking action.
When it comes to actually taking action though, a lot of us tend to struggle.
Even if we agree that it’s important to act, we’re not always able to. If we do act, we are sometimes unable to sustain it. Occasionally, a setback might even paralyze us and undo some of the progress we’ve made.
So, what determines whether you or I will act, and what the quality of that action will be?
What determines whether we do the work repeatedly, until it becomes a habit?
What determines if, and how soon we’ll get back up when we fall?
What determines whether we will eventually succeed?
If you answered, "Mindset or thoughts, beliefs and attitudes", you are correct.
The Success Mindset
Psychologists effectively use the Cognitive Triangle to illustrate how our thoughts, emotions and behaviors influence one another. Research in the field has found that changing the thoughts we have results in changes in feelings and behaviors.
If thoughts are the main determinant of our actions and our actions lead to success, it makes sense to carefully choose our thoughts, doesn’t it?
I have found, that the thoughts that influence us typically fall into two broad categories - thoughts that keep us stuck and thoughts that move us forward.
Having a Success Mindset means habitually choosing the thought that moves you forward and to act as if it were the truth, no matter what you believe.
Having a Success Mindset means adopting beliefs that expand your possibilities and embracing attitudes that keep you open to learning and growth.
When you are committed to your success, you don’t see it as a choice. There is only one category of thought that contributes to your progress and following that becomes automatic.
We have approximately 80,000 thoughts a day and for most of us, identifying a specific thought that leads to action or lack thereof, is difficult.
We might only be aware of its consequences - momentum following a constructive thought and lethargy following thoughts that are unhelpful.
STRESS is typically how we feel the effect of debilitating thoughts that we’ve adopted over time. We might experience it in the form of frustration at the workplace, disappointment or embarrassment when faced with a setback, lack of patience with partners or spouses, distracted when with children, a lack of belief, a lack of physical energy, and so on.
So, if you are not currently filtering your thoughts, does this mean you are doomed to fail? Absolutely not! As with adopting any new habit, it takes learned skill, time, and effort.
The first step towards building a Success Mindset is developing the non-negotiable skill of Self-Awareness.
Building a success mindset begins with identifying a thought, examining the nature of its potential consequences, and then accepting it or replacing it with another.
Your ability to accomplish this depends on your awareness of the experience, awareness of your values and your desires.
Self-Awareness, simply put is a knowledge of the self.
According to research done by Organizational Psychologist, Tasha Eurich, there are two types of Self-Awareness:
internal self-awareness representing how clearly you see yourself
external self-awareness representing your understanding of how others see you
Internal self-awareness is a consciousness of your values and beliefs, desires and goals, your strengths and weaknesses, your behavior, and the impact it creates.
When you have greater internal self-awareness, you can choose thoughts that reflect your values and desires and subsequently follow them up with actions that are meaningful to your progress. The outcome is a greater sense of control, reduced stress and anxiety and higher life satisfaction.
External self-awareness is your ability to see how others view you and what they believe your values or strengths to be and their response to your behaviors.
When you have increased external self-awareness, you are able to put yourself in another’s shoes and understand their experience and point of view, a valuable skill in relationships and in leadership.
How to Cultivate Self-Awareness
Mindfulness – is the practice of being fully present, aware of where we are, what we’re doing, how we’re feeling, what we’re thinking. It is an observation of ourselves in the moment, without judgment. Effective methods to practice mindfulness can be a daily meditation session or regular pauses through the day to breathe and intentionally bring your attention to the present moment.
Journaling – is a great way to explore your thoughts and feelings to gain clarity on any experience. According to research on the introspection habits of highly self-aware people, when trying to understand a particular feeling or behavior as you journal, a “What” question is more productive to ask than a “Why” question.
For example – instead of asking yourself, “Why did I behave in that manner”?, you could say “What could have led to my actions?”.
The first question might provoke an answer that leads to a judgment of yourself as incapable or inherently bad, whereas the second question is a true exploration of cause and might provide insight, treating you the person, and your behavior as separate entities. A productive solution then, can entirely focus on changing the behavior.
Feedback - Sometimes it becomes helpful to get the feedback of others. If the source of your feedback can be objective, honest, and kind, what they say can teach you more about yourself and the impact you have on others.
In closing, I will lean on the words of more famous successful people to encourage your journey into self-awareness and developing your Success Mindset.
“We see the world not as it is, but as we are.” – Anais Nin
“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change “ - Wayne Dyer