“An established set of attitudes held by someone.” Other words to describe mindset are beliefs, frames of mind, mental state, and perspective on things.
Mindset is also now referred to as the new psychology of success; the principle is simple and easy to understand:
By making small changes in your belief system, you improve every aspect of your life, as we all have an internal set of beliefs that determine how we think and act.
Henry Ford is attributed for introducing the Model T automobile that revolutionized transportation and the American industry. As the Ford Motor Company owner, he became one of the richest and best-known people globally. He said:
“Whether you think you can or think you can’t — you’re right.”
There are two types of mindset:
1- The fixed mindset: Believes that character and intelligence cannot change and that success is a measure of basic intelligence.
2- The growth mindset: Believes in change and sees failure as an opportunity to grow.
Since we were small kids, we have been operating in one or the other format; it affects how we relate to success and failure and influences our capacity to be happy. As a person, this view of yourself, your personal story, what you believe, and how you see yourself will determine everything about you.
The good news is that you can transform your fixed mindset to a growth mindset and learn to believe that you can be and do better — by learning to use failure not as a life sentence but as a stepping stone to greater things.
As you strive to succeed, you will face numerous challenges in the path of life, and these are the times when a strong mindset is vital for your success.
A strong mindset is key to self-esteem, the tool you use to feel good about yourself. This internal dialogue determines your ability to feel capable of great things. It also gives you a healthy perspective on life since the meaning you ascribe to what happens to you greatly affects how you see the world.
Why it matters?
Those who believe in their abilities approach challenges with courage and persist despite failure. Think about mindset as the lens through which you perceive the world.
This view also affects the choices you make, the way you live, and how you act and think. It is the difference between your success and failure in life.
Mahatma Gandhi said: “Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, and your values become your destiny.”
Statistically, 98% of the population seems happy to live in their comfort zone, playing it safe and enjoying being like everyone else. Most people are terrified of taking risks and usually settle for less in life because the fear of losing is greater than the excitement of winning. They are content to just “get by.”
In contrast, two percent go for their dreams with confidence; they choose happiness, explore new things, embrace the unknown, live life without limits, and act despite fear.
But the truth is that twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than by the things you actually did.
It is important to understand that most challenges people face are not about strategy, but about mindset or the belief that says: “I don’t think I can do it.”
I always say: “What good is a strategy if it doesn’t get implemented?” — and what stops you from implementing those brilliant ideas and strategies?
Think about it; tactics, formulas, frameworks are everywhere! Anything you need to know, you can Google it, and you will get millions of hits on ideas and formulas for how to solve your problems. So what are the obstacles then?
Usually, the answer revolves around fear, uncertainty, lack of self-confidence, laziness, and procrastination — all qualities of a poor and weak mental state or mindset. So if we don’t get this right, nothing else really matters: Knowing something intellectually is not the same as doing it.
Knowledge is not power. It is only the execution of an idea that makes knowledge powerful. If you know how to do something, you become happy and fulfilled when you do it, not when you just think about it.
How to strengthen your mindset:
Can you go to the gym once or twice and expect to be fit for the rest of your life? It doesn’t work that way. It takes time, discipline, commitment, and desire. You have to go every day if you want to see and experience real change.
You cannot read one book or article, learn one principle and think that boom! You got it! You are ready! There has to be consistent action, day in and day out. People buy programs on losing weight in three weeks or making a million dollars in three months. Why?
Because everybody wants to know the “secret” to happiness, success, money, and good health, well… the secret is an unstoppable mindset! None of the fixes or schemes that abound on the internet today, get rich or lose weight quickly, can really work without real effort and long-term commitment.
How you experience the world, and your ability to succeed within it, constantly changes based on your mindset. If you do not get the mindset right, nothing else matters. When you learn to control your mind, you start to execute and create results in your life.
At the same time, your mind is always ready to stop you! But condition a new emotional state, and you will show up differently! You will take a different action to create new results to take your life to the next level because you think differently.
Once you overcome something difficult, you will feel ready for even more significant challenges. With faith and the proper emotions, you can develop an unstoppable mindset that never gives up, no matter how hard the test, problem, or obstacle.
Your mental state changes as you conquer your fears. If something does not work, change your approach until it does. And when you succeed, your confidence grows as a result because it comes from within.
When your psychology and state of mind are strong, you have sheer determination to succeed; then add skills and abilities to your arsenal, and you become a lethal combination.
Your inner self:
Who you are on the inside and is made of three components: 1- Self-Talk. 2- Self Image. 3- Performance and Behavior.
We all talk to ourselves. The questions are: What kind of conversations are you having? What thoughts go through your mind when you’re alone with yourself? Whatever you say reinforces your positive or negative outlook on life.
Self-talk influences your self-image, which determines your performance and behavior. If it is positive, you will reflect confidence and behave accordingly.
If your self-talk is negative, your self-image will be marred by low self-esteem — which will cause you to behave poorly and reinforce your negative talk and limiting beliefs.
It works in all situations, positive or negative, depending on the internal conversations you are having. It is fundamental as it guides what you are focusing on. One of the keys is to be conscious of the words we use to optimize the results we want to gain.
Make a conscious effort to stay in a higher vibration and focus on what is right: the opportunities, the good you have already accomplished, your strong points — and be grateful for all that is right in your life.
It consists of four stages: 1- Potential. 2- Action. 3- Results. 4- Certainty or belief.
Human beings have incredible potential, and they can do things that seem impossible! See Guinness World Records, where you will find human talent and skill to its maximum.
Carlton Williams did 2,220 pushups in one hour. The oldest professional club DJ is 83 years. A Japanese chef made a noodle that was 183 meters long. Cesar Cielo swam 50 yards in 18.47 seconds. Just to name a few.
There is a question for average human beings: Do the results in your personal lives reflect your true potential? The answer is… probably not. We are capable of doing a lot, but what we usually do can be disappointing- why?
Fear of failing, fear of rejection, and fear of others’ opinions are some of the most common reasons. Other causes are negative self-talk, low self-esteem, lack of motivation, limiting beliefs, procrastination- and the list goes on… So what do you do?
Start by creating a sense of certainty in your life. You need to train yourself to believe in your abilities and your potential. Your mindset is crucial- because if you are in a high and positive mental state, you will have more certainty and faith in your abilities.
Tap into your potential and take powerful actions towards your goals. It creates positive results that reinforce the belief in yourself and your capabilities, strengthening your certainty, resolve, and self-confidence.
Then you do it again- you take new and more potent action, get still better results, your self-confidence grows, and the process repeats: this is how you create momentum.
Momentum is like a train, a big and powerful vehicle. If it is standing still, it doesn’t help anyone. But when it starts going, slowly but surely, as it rolls and starts to gain speed and strength, it becomes an unstoppable force.
To build that momentum, we need to start step by step, breaking the little obstacles on the way, till we reach that state when we become a force of nature.
But the opposite is also exact:
If you lack self-confidence, you will not reach your potential- your actions will be weak and produce poor results. When that happens, your confidence falls even lower- you stop believing in yourself and go back to making excuses, blaming others, and recalling your self-limiting beliefs.
There is a saying:
“Nothing succeeds like success, and nothing fails like failure.”
Vocabulary is what helps us to express and describe ourselves — our situation, feelings, and emotions. But what most of us don’t notice is that vocabulary has the power to change the intensity of a feeling.
Using words that intensify negative emotions will only make you feel worse. So, choose how you communicate wisely.
Words play a huge role in how you feel. When something happens, the first thing that controls us is the way we’re feeling already. If you’re in a crappy state, you will be in a lousy emotional state if your body is under stress and react accordingly.
Watch the words you use to describe your circumstances in any given situation to train your thought process to create the conditions you want.
We all have big powerful words to describe our bad situations: I am overwhelmed! I am so sad! So stressed! I am not good enough!” These are lower-vibration words that cause you to struggle to make changes and achieve your low-energy position goals!
What is the opposite of that? “I am brilliant! Did you see the solution I just found? The great thing I created? What an extraordinary human being I am!” How often do you use these powerful words to describe yourself? You must learn to empower who you want to become.
Use power words as a transformational tool in your life and your development as a leader! Use power words to describe all that your life touches. The words that we use are real and have the power to lift you or bring or down!
The words you use to describe yourself create your reality and your experience in life. The meaning you give to things starts in the emotional state you live in most of the time and is expressed and felt by your words.
Your comfort zone:
The comfort zone is a psychological state. In it, you feel safe, secure, and in control of your environment, so you experience low levels of stress as a result. In this zone, you are used to being a certain way. I am this or that, and it becomes like your thermostat.
Comfortable is the word you use to describe it. You want more, but you are used to where you are, and it is easier to stay in your familiar surroundings. But to grow as a human being, you must seek change and be willing to go through the discomfort that change brings.
Inside of you, there is a voice sabotaging your success, telling you to stay safe, and keeping things comfortable and predictable. The problem is that success and growth happen at the edge of your comfort zone. This voice means well — it is trying to protect you — but it gets in the way of your progress.
Sometimes the avoidance of pain is more destructive than the endurance of it. This is why your comfort zone can be a dangerous place to live as it prevents you from improving, achieving, and doing what you are capable of.
As a young adult, I learned that we all have the ability to change our lives for the better, simply by deciding to do so. And I soon realized that life begins at the end of your comfort zone. It means that if you think you are a winner, you win, and if you think you are a loser, you lose; it is just as simple as that.
Since the strongest force in the human personality is to be consistent in defining yourself, you basically have to challenge your identity to bring it to the next level. You need to get out of your comfort zone by doing the uncomfortable over and over. It’s not easy. But it works.
Daily, you make three decisions about what to focus on. You need to learn to focus on what empowers you and not on what disempowers you. Answers these questions:
- Do you focus on what you have or on what is missing?
- Do you focus on what you can control or what you cannot control?
- In which “time zone” do you spend most of your time: the past, the present, or the future?
Learn to focus on what empowers you! 90% of people focus on what is missing. If you don’t focus on what you have, you will not have the joy, energy, and gratitude to enjoy a great life. The brain freezes you in focusing on what you don’t have.
Make a list, what is magnificent in your life? Don’t focus on what you cannot control; you will get frustrated and depressed. Focus on what is under your control. Focus mainly on the present. The past is history, and the future is a mystery.
Focus only on what you want precisely and clearly. Don’t put your energy into what you don’t want, because wherever your focus goes, your energy flows!
Shifting your focus from the problems to the solutions, from your weaknesses to your strengths, changes your mental state. Don’t think about what can go wrong, but what can go right!
Be careful — for whatever you focus on most; you will attract. Have a clear vision in your mind of what you really want, and think about that. Think of it constantly and invest your energy and resources to its achievement. This act alone will define your future.
Your brain’s reticular system filters what you focus on and helps you pay attention to the relevant things. That is why when you want something intensely, you begin to see it everywhere, even though you hardly noticed it anywhere before. Your brain knows the outcome and looks for ways to get you there.
We all have our doubts. Confidence is seldom something you have, but rather something that you must create. An essential part of your growth as a human being is learning to develop that feeling of certainty to accomplish whatever you set your mind to.
Learn to take the persistent action that is often required for the attainment of your goals. You will grow in determination as you think of the person that you intend to become. And never stop trying until you have developed sufficient courage to become self-reliant on your path to success.
When fear is the dominant force in your life, you have low self-esteem and a lack of self-confidence. You have probably heard this phrase many times: “Courage is not the absence of fear.” It means that you are afraid, but you do it anyway.
Face your fears and have a clear distinction between what is real and what is imagined by cowardice. Courage grows secure with confidence, and this is critical for your success.
It allows you to pass over your doubts, to stop doing the things that damage your self-confidence, and to do the things that build rock-solid determination.
With a confident personality, you can do what others cannot do. It is vital to have conviction and strong confidence in your abilities because we cannot be effective if we operate in a state of uncertainty, doubt, and fear.
There are different levels of confidence. You can be confident and still have fears and doubts. But confidence is the magic that allows you to do great things and perform at your peak.
Many people practice affirmations as a way to build their self-confidence. It works by repeating a positive phrase or statement daily — as if a concrete goal has already been achieved.
Techniques like this help you change significantly in specific areas of your life as it programs the brain to understand what is important for you and leads you to focus on the execution of your goals.
Affirmations are more useful when they are mixed with feelings, emotions, and passion. They lift your morale and assure you. When your self-image is secure, you will act with confidence.
Tell yourself the right things, but then you need to act upon them. An affirmation without action or discipline is just the beginning of a delusion.
Develop high self-confidence, face your fears, and challenge yourself beyond your comfort zone by taking risks and committing to progress and growth.
“Believe and act as if it were impossible to fail.”-Charles F. Kettering.
Take a pen and paper and write down three of the good things you have in your life right now that perhaps earlier seemed just a dream. Take the time to remember how it all happened. You will find common denominators in each win.
Probably you were obsessed, took action, and executed your ideas. Or you had a bit of luck; your prayer was answered. Perhaps you just refused to quit and persevered until you got it done.
If you have done it once, you can do it again — and that is confidence.
Believe it is possible:
Belief is one of those “invisible emotions” that rules the world! We cannot imagine an uncertain military general winning a war or an uncertain businessman taking a risk. Faith, confidence, determination, and courage are the right foundations for a successful life.
“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” — Napoleon Hill.
A requirement on your part is actually to believe that what you want is possible.
The problem we face is that we have been conditioned since childhood to believe a certain way. We actually achieve exactly what we anticipate, determined by the conditioning we had growing up.
Your job is to replace negative or limiting expectations with more positive ones. How do you do that? By believing in yourself and your abilities, by having the courage to go for whatever you desire in life. You must believe that you can make it happen.
Believing is a choice. It is an attitude that you can develop. It may take time, and you can start now. If you can see yourself and visualize your life as you want it to be, take it to heart, and practice this book’s principles, you will succeed.
We believe that only talented people can win. Still, in reality, victory always goes to the most persevering, and most importantly, to those who believe they can. Your inner drive and faith in yourself are compelling.
But the opposite is also true. If you believe something is impossible, you will not do what is necessary to achieve it. It will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Every day, every hour, every minute spent believing you can’t do something is a waste of your precious time! Don’t wait until you are 60 to decide you can do something. Decide today what you want to do and start working towards it now.
Many millionaires and billionaires, some of the greatest musicians and athletes, are college dropouts or started from nothing. The main point is that you can be in any situation and create a successful life, as many others have done.
Follow your heart, and do not worry about what people will think of you. Do you know the 18/40/60 rule? At 18, you think everyone is thinking about you; then at 40, you don’t care what people think about you; finally, at 60, you find out that nobody was thinking about you.
Exercise: Take a piece of paper and make a list of all the things you think you can’t do: I can’t find a job- I can’t find the money- I can’t get the interview- I can’t pass the test, etc. Then take the paper and burn it! Watch it go up in flames and let your self-limiting beliefs burn as well.
Be aware of the enemies of a strong mindset:
1- I am not good!: How do you know if you don’t try? Is it fear plain and simple? You keep trying till you succeed.
2- I can’t learn: Yes, you can. If you stop learning, you stop living; with the internet, you can learn anything, any time.
3- Why try if I will fail? Failure is the best opportunity to grow and learn. You only fail if you stop trying.
4- Criticism: It may not be a personal attack. Focus on the lessons and not criticism.
5- I struggle: The limits we impose on ourselves are real. Rather use that energy to improve.
6- Threatened by others’ successes: Celebrate instead. If they did it, you could do it too.
7- I can’t make it better: Yes, you can; there is always room for improvement.
8- I know! No, you don’t. Have you decided to stop growing? No matter how smart you are, there is always something new to learn!
9- They told me I couldn’t: Understand that someone else’s opinion doesn’t have to be your reality. You can change those beliefs.
10- Fear: There is a lot of fear in the world today. What keeps you from having what you deserve is the inability to see it as it is and how fear stops you from taking the steps you need to succeed.
11- I can’t: This short word has the power to disempower you and make you weak. Refuse to accept it.
Have you ever heard of Mel Fisher? He was an American treasure hunter. In 1985, he and his team discovered a treasure from the sunken ship Nuestra señora de Antocha; they found silver, gold, and jewels worth 450 million dollars.
It’s a great story of a strong mindset, vision, persistence, and resilience, which I share with you in this chapter. His motto was, “Today is the day!” And on July 20, 1985, he found the treasure after 16 years of searching for it.
He failed again and again! Who would go for so long? What made him succeed in the end? He had three beliefs:
1- There is a treasure out there.
2- I will find it.
3- It will be worth it.
The only limitations we face are the ones we place upon ourselves.
You can read his story on Wikipedia: Dreams of Gold: The Mel Fisher Story — Wikipedia.
So what about you and your life? Make those three beliefs yours as well: There is a treasure out there- I am going to find it- It is worth it!