How Mindset Affects Success Photo: iStock

How Mindset Affects Success

Many times it may seem like no matter what you do, success seems to evade you. Whenever it feels like you are just steps away from achieving it, failure seems to follow. To succeed in any aspect of life, what you need is a change of mindset that will open your eyes to possibilities and opportunities. It’s important to remember that if you don’t know how far you are from where you want to be, the harder it is to get to the destination. Let’s take a closer look at the mindset that separates people from success and defeat.

Fixed vs. Growth Mindset

Carol Dweck, a psychologist from Stanford University, in her book Mindset, explains that there are two types of mindset– fixed and growth. Usually, most people hold both mindsets depending on the circumstances given. Understanding the difference between the two can help one understand if they have the right mindset for success. Here are the two explained:

  • If you trust that talent alone is the key to one’s success, then, generally speaking, you have a fixed mindset. Those who hold this mindset believe that their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort. These types of people feel defeated after a failure and step away from challenges outside their comfort zone. 
  • In contrast, a growth mindset is when you believe that success can be achieved through learning and persistence. They believe that the most basic of abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. A developmental mindset makes it possible for one to improve or enhance abilities through dedication. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. These types of people view challenges and failures as opportunities to learn and grow.

Changing your mindset is not enough, changing one’s attitude is also necessary, as it shapes our mindset and affects how much energy we put into achieving our goals. Here is a look at why the two attitudes matter:

Negative vs. Positive Attitude

Think back to when you last failed in something and pay close attention to how you reacted. It shows you how mindset affects actions, whether you had a positive or negative attitude towards your predicament. 

  • A negative attitude towards failure means your perspective in life can be full of hopelessness, failures, and disappointments. When dealt with an obstacle or difficulty, a person with a negative mindset immediately feels defeated or even victimized for the situation. Rather than using that failure as a motivational source, they use it to justify why they are unsuccessful. 
  • In comparison, a positive attitude lets you overcome these challenges and hardships a bit easier. Rather than letting failure stop you, you use it as the driving force pushing you forward. You see failure as a stepping stone that realigns your path to success. 

Results of Changing your Mindset

We all hold both growth and fixed mindsets, depending on the situation. A change in mindset affects success because it transforms your perspective and attitude towards challenges and letdowns, in addition to giving you the confidence to pursue new ideas. It gives you the motivation to improve yourself to be able to succeed. Overall, having a growth mindset makes one an overall positive person. If you think about it, everyone likes to be around positive people rather than someone who victimizes themself and is negative. Opening yourself up to changing your mind to adapt to a more constructive mindset will inevitably impact your work, relationships, and more for the better.