Developing a winning mindset is the key to creating what you want in your life and in your career. It really is all in your head.
“I think anything is possible if you have the mindset and the will and desire to do it and put the time in.” – Roger Clemens
While I’m not telling you that if you change your mindset, you will make millions in a week or be the first person to land on Mars by Spring, I am saying that by developing a winning mindset, you can create a better life for yourself and start meeting your goals and achieving your dreams.
How to develop a winning mindset
1) Develop a growth mindset
Carol S. Dweck, author of Mindset: Change the Way You Think to Fulfil Your Potential said:
“What allowed me to take that first step, to choose growth and risk rejection? In the fixed mindset, I had needed my blame and bitterness. It made me feel more righteous, powerful, and whole than thinking I was at fault. The growth mindset allowed me to give up the blame and move on.”
What is a growth mindset? With a fixed mindset, people believe that they’re good at what they’re good at and that you can’t learn and improve on the things you aren’t good at. With a growth mindset, people believe that they can learn. They can improve and build on their skills and natural talents. They can get better.
From What We Know About Growth Mindset from Scientific Research by Carissa Romero, the Mindset Scholars Network:
“…students with a growth mindset view effort and struggle more positively. They see effort as a way to learn and develop their intelligence, and they understand that struggling with a task they haven’t yet mastered is the only way to grow. Because of their interpretations of effort and struggle, students with a growth mindset are more likely to thrive in the face of challenges.”
From the same report:
“Students who held a growth mindset were three times more likely to score in the top 20% on the test, while students with a fixed mindset were four times more likely to score in the bottom 20%.”
It’s easy to see which approach will give you better results. The truth is that the human brain is malleable and it is entirely possible to keep growing and learning. Don’t limit yourself before you’ve even begun. If you’re stuck thinking you can’t learn, why not try and see what happens? You might surprise yourself.
2) Take action
You can undertake all the learning in the world, but if you don’t take action and put into practice what you’ve learned, you’ll never get anywhere. Yes, you might make the wrong decision and choose an action that doesn’t work, but at least you’ve moved forward.
Moving forward, even with small steps, builds momentum and leads to big results over time.
3) Be positive
If you’re always expecting the worst, not only won’t you enjoy the journey on the way to success, but you’re less likely to succeed too.
Your attitude and approach really do matter. They make a difference to you because you’ll feel more positive about your life and your career. They also make a difference to everyone else around you. You’re far more likely to attract happy, positive, supportive people into your life with a good attitude.
“It’s sort of a mental attitude about critical thinking and curiosity. It’s about mindset of looking at the world in a playful and curious and creative way.” – Adam Savage
4) Don’t compare yourself to anyone else
If you’re constantly worrying about what other people have achieved and what you haven’t, you’ll never be happy. The only comparison you should make is whether you’re better today than you were yesterday. That’s it!
Here’s the thing: You don’t know if that person you’re jealous of has spent twenty years getting to where they have. You don’t know the sheer amount of work that went into their success.
Especially if you’re just starting out, don’t compare where you are to where other people are on the journey.
5) Don’t be afraid to fail
“There is no failure. Only feedback.” – Robert Allen
Failure is really not the end. Nobody likes to fail, but it really is one of the best ways to learn. There’s nothing like the practical experience of finding out something doesn’t work to teach you great life lessons.
And, to paraphrase Thomas Edison, now you’ve found another way that you can’t make a lightbulb (whatever your lightbulb is to you), and you’re that much closer to finding out how you can.
There’s no shame in failure, so don’t be embarrassed. Just pick yourself up and try again.
6) Be flexible
In your life and your career, you’ll come up against problems that might seem to stop you in your tracks. If you can’t achieve your goals one way, then pivot and try a different way. Being flexible and adaptable, rather than falling down at every hurdle, will help you reach your goals and achieve success.
7) Don’t think you have to do it all by yourself
Steve Jobs didn’t build Apple all by himself and Space X is run by more than just Elon Musk. They had help, and you will need help too. Just as there’s no shame in failing, there’s equally no shame in needing and asking for help.
Going through life with supportive friends, family, and co-workers is so much more enjoyable than trying to struggle through everything by yourself.
8) Be willing to learn
No one knows everything and there’s always something more to learn, even if you’re an expert on a particular subject. Being willing to learn is another part of developing a growth mindset and being positive. It allows for the belief that the brain can learn and change, and that we can achieve more as we grow.
We learn and add to our skills at work and we can learn how to have better and deeper relationships throughout our lives too.
9) Build your self-confidence
There’s nothing worse for holding you back in any area of your life than a lack of self-confidence. If you’re struggling to believe in yourself and to think that you deserve happiness, work on this. Take a confidence course and get help from a counselor if you need to.
Again, there’s no shame in needing help, so don’t suffer in silence. While being arrogant isn’t what’s needed, you do need a level of self-confidence in order to achieve success.
10) Set goals
You’ll get further in life and in your career if you know where you’re going and what you’re aiming for. It’s okay to set huge goals for yourself, goals that stretch you and get you excited. You deserve to win at life and to succeed.
Make sure your goals are realistic and actionable and set time limits on when you will achieve them. You can’t tell if you’ve achieved success unless you know what that means for you.
11) Reward yourself
It’s vital to plan celebrations even for small achievements along the way. Decide what you’re going to celebrate with at each stage of reaching your goals. It’s exciting and motivating to see something you enjoy coming closer as you work to achieve your goals.
Whether it’s a meal out or a weekend away, a spa break, or a night at the movies, you know what motivates you. It’s all part of getting momentum and keeping your mindset positive.
12) Find inspiration
The world of work has been around for a long time and there are many people who’ve got to where you want to be. Find inspiration from leaders at work and from friends and family members that are doing well. Look at leaders in your field and learn from them.
Read inspiring tales of success to get yourself excited and see how others have achieved what you want to achieve. It helps to keep you motivated and taking action.
13) Cheer others on
Other people are not your competition. It’s been said before, but life is not pie. There isn’t a finite amount of success out there and other people succeeding doesn’t take anything away from you.
Enjoy other people’s success. Cheer them on. It’s proof positive that what you want is possible.
14) Show up and do your best
You won’t always like everything about your life or your career, but even on bad days, you can show up anyway and do your absolute best. Doing so shows that you have a good attitude and that you can push through and overcome problems. Not only will you know that you’ve done your best, but you’re likely to impress people above you in your company who may well take note.
15) Put in the work
No one else is going to pick up your metaphorical shovel and start doing what’s needed for you to succeed. You have to be there and put in the effort, whether it’s for work or your general life and relationships.
Every one of these tips will get you on the way to developing a winning mindset and making a real difference to your life.
“Changing your mindset is a game changer.” – Frank Sonnenberg