Thomas Oppong
Feb 27, 2017 · 6 min read

If you’ve ever failed at reaching any goal in life, the problem could all be in your mind. That’s how important your mindset is. Your mind is your most powerful force. The stories you tell yourself and the things you believe about yourself can either prevent change from happening or allow new ideas to blossom.

A mindset is a set of assumptions, methods, or notations that is so established that it creates a powerful incentive within you to continue to adopt or accept prior behaviours, choices, or tools.

It’s so powerful that it affects every decision making processes. It predetermines your responses and interpretations of situations.

You can’t outsmart your mindset!

An effective and success driven mindset is one that makes the best use of all your available resources — your time, energy, opportunities, etc. A positive mindset can translate into a world of difference regardless of the goal you seek.

“If you imagine less, less will be what you undoubtedly deserve,” says Debbie Millman, artist, strategist, and interviewer.

Some people believe their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.

Others believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They also believe that talent alone creates success — without effort. Instead of developing their talents, they spend their lives documenting and proving themselves.

This is the growth versus fixed mindset, first discovered by Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck. She explains:

For twenty years, my research has shown that the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life. It can determine whether you become the person you want to be and whether you accomplish the things you value.

Cultivating a growth mindset can help you focus more on your most desirable goals in life. It may influence your motivation and could make you more readily able to see opportunities to learn and grow your abilities.

The mind is your battleground

“Today, you have the opportunity to transcend from a disempowered mindset of existence to an empowered reality of purpose-driven living. Today is a new day that has been handed to you for shaping. You have the tools, now get out there and create a masterpiece.” — Steve Maraboli

Your mindset can influence your reaction and response to the many opportunities and obstacles s you encounter in your lifetime.

Author Wallace D. Wattles may have put it best when he said, “Whatever you habitually think yourself to be, that you are.”

You can succeed in changing your mindset. But it takes hard work. And it is time well spent. Mind is a flexible mirror, adjust it to see a better world” says Amit Ray.

Bruce Lee once said “success comes to those who become success-conscious. If you don’t aim at an object, how the heck on earth do you think you can get it?” If you have nothing to think about, or no imagination of what you expect in life, you won’t go far. You will merely exist, doing what others expect of you.

Napoleon Hill was right when he said, “There are no limitations to the mind except those we acknowledge. Both poverty and riches are the offspring of thought.”

That quote brings to mind what Henry Ford also said “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right.” Your mind is as good as the limitations you place on it.

Put your self-talk on steroids

“I truly believe in positive synergy, that your positive mindset gives you a more hopeful outlook, and belief that you can do something great means you will do something great.” — Russell Wilson

A massive new research published in 2016 in the journal Frontiers of Psychology has revealed the most effective motivational technique for improving performance.

In conjunction with BBC Lab UK, Professor Andrew Lane and his colleagues created an extensive study to find out if one motivational method is most effective for improving performance.

The study used over 44,000 volunteers to test three motivational techniques for improving performance:

  1. Self-talk (saying to yourself “I can do better”)

2. Imagery (imagining yourself doing something better)

3. If-then planning (for example, “If I start to doubt myself, then I will remind myself that I have the skills!”)

In the study, all three techniques improved performance, but the most effective one was self-talk.

According to the study’s results, thinking and saying to oneself “I can do better next time” increases the intensity of effort people put into an activity. It can also improve performance on any given task.

Pay attention to your self talk and consider making changes if necessary. This is the “can-do” talk that may have a positive effect if you open yourself up to it. It might be worth a try when you consider steps for changing your mindset.

Your mindset can make or break you!

People with a growth mindset believe that they can improve with effort. They outperform those with a fixed mindset, even when they have a lower IQ, because they embrace challenges, treating them as opportunities to learn something new. — Travis Bradberry

You can change your brain’s patterns once you start to consistently feed your mind with new empowering messages. And guess what, once the pattern changes, everything on the outside will change with it.

When you begin to master your mindset, you will be able to make new healthy choices, embrace a positive outlook in life, commit to goals and atcually get them done and you will most likely finish what you start.

You can never change your results with the same mindset that got you stuck. In the words of Lyndelle Palmer Clarke of the Dailygreatness:

“Stating you intentions for how you wish to think, feel and act is the beginning of upgrading the neurological pathways in your brain that eventually shift your behaviours to those that support your life, instead of repeating behaviours that keep you stuck.”

Bruce Lee’s ten-year plan!

Bruce Lee wrote the following mission statement in January of 1969. He died four years after writing this letter but he work hard and achieved all his goals.

My Definite Chief Aim

I, Bruce Lee, will be the first highest paid Oriental super star in the United States. In return I will give the most exciting performances and render the best of quality in the capacity of an actor. Starting 1970 I will achieve world fame and from then onward till the end of 1980 I will have in my possession $10,000,000. I will live the way I please and achieve inner harmony and happiness.

Bruce Lee
Jan. 1969

This simple shift will prepare your mind for greatness

“You will not do incredible things without an incredible dream.” — John Eliot

Changing your mindset about your ability in a certain skill may mean mastering it through disciplined practice. But anything that requires change may take some time to develop. It takes conscious effort to transform and have a positive mindset geared towards success.

Make a specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound life-list of everything you want to achieve. Limit yourself to just five.

Set small goals each day and week to achieve them. There is a power to breaking things down, and to working towards them little by little vs getting overcome by the idea of the completed goal you want.

Realise it’s possible, instead of telling yourself why you can’t.

Become aware of your self-talk. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones.

Use the skills you already have. Focus on your strengths, build upon it and improve with time.

See failure as a set up for a come back.

Keep moving even if you make baby actionable steps.

And remember what Wade Boggs said:

“A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst and it sparks extraordinary results.

One more thing…

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Thomas Oppong

Written by

Founder at AllTopStartups | Author | Creator of Thinking in Models and Kaizen Habits | Featured at Inc. Magazine, Business Insider, Forbes, Entrepreneur, etc.

A network of business & tech podcasts designed to accelerate learning. Selected as “Best of 2018” by Apple.

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