how to build a success mindset

If you want to be super-successful, having a success mindset is massively important.

A mindset of success enables you to see all of the possibilities in front of you.

It allows you to see the potential positives in a situation…

…and to recognise the negatives, but to not fixate on them.

Whether it’s in business, sport, science, entertainment…

…some people just seem to be able to figure out how to get things done and make stuff happen.

Sometimes despite seemingly impossible odds.

We all know of real-world examples where people have overcome diabolical odds to achieve huge success.

Undoubtedly these people have a mindset of success.

But why them, and not others?

What Is a Success Mindset…Exactly?

I have spent a ton of time thinking about this.

Because without doubt…I was not born with a mindset of success.

No way.

But, I have always been highly motivated to succeed.

So it's often been a battle.

On the one hand, the motivation to succeed…

…but on the other, the mindset of a natural born pessimist.

photo of banksy artwork girl letting go of red baloon

At my core, there will always be the pessimist with the fixed mindset.

But, with work, I have managed to develop a success mindset.

And it is something that I have to keep working on.

Because my natural born pessimist is always in the wings, eager to take centre stage again, given half a chance.

As you would expect…

…it's not just down to one particular trait being present, that means someone has a mindset of success.

It's a whole bunch of traits.

And these are what I believe them to be…

Traits Of A Success Mindset

  • A ‘growth' mindset, not a ‘fixed' mindset
  • Ability to see positive possibilities, not to fixate on negatives
  • Accountable and responsible, not a victim of circumstance
  • Perseverance – the ability to see problems and setbacks as temporary
  • Belief in abundance, not scarcity
  • Prefer to say ‘Yes' rather than ‘No'
  • Focus on a clear long-term vision of success, not only short-term goals
  • Action oriented – No procrastination

Lets slice and dice each of these.

So we can get a better understanding of the different elements that combine to produce a mindset of success.

1. Growth Mindset

You've no doubt heard the phrase before…a ‘growth' mindset.

Dr. Carol Dweck first coined the terms growth mindset and fixed mindset roughly thirty years ago.

The terms are used to describe the different beliefs people have towards their own learning and intelligence.

It all started when Carol Dweck and her team became interested in the differing attitudes towards failure that they were observing in students.

They noticed that when some students encountered a setback, or some kind of failure, they were utterly devastated and defeated.

But when others encountered almost identical disappointment, they just brushed it off and instantly rebounded.

This basic difference in how resilient someone is to setbacks, problems, failures, can shape a persons education and ability to learn for life.

Because it creates either a vicious, or virtuous cycle.

Those who experience a strong feeling of defeat when something goes badly for them, are likely to reject further similar experiences, like the one that led to the setback.

While those that rebound quickly, will happily go again. Generally leading them to greater success and achievement.

The good news…

You can change from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset…with a little work.

2. Positive Possibilities

If you are a natural pessimist, you definitely want to put some work in on becoming more optimistic.

But, you don't want to go too far, because apparently, being cautiously optimistic is the best way to be.

Mistaken expectations, whether overly optimistic or overly pessimistic, are not good.

But, if you can move yourself into the camp of ‘realistic optimist' you will have just about cracked it.

That's because positivity breeds positivity.

A positive frame of mind will invite success into your life.

3. Accountable and Responsible

Basically, not willingly playing the helpless victim whenever something doesn't go your way.

I'm terrible for doing this.

I have to fight this one constantly.

Stand up, take responsibility for what ever is happening, own the problem and sort it out.

Do not let your mind tell you to be the small helpless victim when things don't go well.

4. Perseverance – Problems are Temporary

Even when in the middle of a swathe of problems, people who have a success mindset, tend to think; ‘all of this will pass, nothing lasts forever.'

People with the mindset of success view problems as temporary, always with an eye on the light at the end of the tunnel.

The keep moving forward. They persevere.

Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel can be hard to do when it just seems like you're on a bad run of luck.

But, if you can stop seeing problems as quite so permanent, it will have a massive impact on your overall frame of mind.

5. Abundance Over Scarcity

Ah at last some bit of this that I find easy.

An abundant way of thinking plays a big part in the success mindset.

If you spend your like worrying that you aren't going to have enough money, love, happiness, or whatever…

…you're probably driving those things away from you.

I know we're getting into Law of Attraction territory here, but, for this part, there's a truth in this.

You will find very few super-successful people with a mindset of scarcity.

6. ‘Yes' more than ‘No'

This one is as basic as it gets.

Just start saying yes to more things.

It's too easy to go through life simply saying no to whatever comes your way, especially if it's something totally out of the blue.

I know a guy who seems to always be spending his weekends doing real fun and exciting stuff. Like genuinely exciting stuff.

The reason?

He just says yes most of the time.

And it snowballs because people know he's game and will happily change his plans at the drop of a hat…so people keep his contact details to hand.

Opportunity comes his way all the time.

7. Long-Term Vision

Having a crystal clear vision of your future success is essential.

It gives you something hugely positive to focus on.

Whether times are good or bad you can keep moving towards your future, as long as you can visualise it.

Having a long-term vision, one that you can call to mind readily, will stop you getting bogged down in the day-to-day problems that you'll encounter on the way to achieving your goals.

8. Action Oriented – No Procrastination

Taking immediate action.

Striking while the iron is hot.

For some reason, these attributes just seem to drive success.

Try to stop putting things off. Stop endlessly mulling things over without ever taking action.

Opportunities will pass you by if you let procrastination rule you.

How To Develop A Mindset Of Success

If I could pluck just one thing from all of the books I've read, seminars I've attended, talks I've listened to…

…on the subjects of motivation, human psychology, success, high-achievement etc.

It would be this:

‘Know Yourself'

Sounds boring doesn't it?

But, if you understand your core personality traits, you know which areas to develop.

And if you know which areas to develop, you are well on your way.

Most people will not do this.

Most people will kid themselves along they are just the right balance of…

…optimistic, extrovert/introvert, action-taking, accountable etc.

All the good stuff. None of the bad.

Do not be that person.

Be brave enough to learn who you really are, at your core. Bad stuff and all.

So that is my number one pick on the road to developing a success mindset…

#1. Know Yourself

What we just talked about above.

#2. Define What Success Means To You

The next step to building a mindset of success, is to define what it means to succeed, to you.

Your vision of success may be a million miles away from someone else's.

Setting goals for yourself makes it easier to come up with a plan of action.

What is your personal idea of success?

#3. Surround Yourself With Successful People

Okay, so this is going to sound brutal, but…

…ditch the losers.


If you are hanging about with a bunch of losers, you're not going to be going anywhere fast either.

We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.

But, and this is important…

…it doesn't mean that someone is a loser just because they don't own their own business and have stack of dough in the bank.

It's about what's success is to them, and are they setting about trying to achieve it.

What we're saying here is this…

…you can't afford to have too many people in your life that are unambitious, unmotivated, uninspired and uninspiring.

Because if you do, they will drag you down.

#4. Keep A Positive Attitude

Never underestimate the value of a positive attitude toward achieving your goals.

It's not always easy, and in some situations there is no positive to find.

But we're not talking about life's genuinely traumatic events here.

We're talking about the day-to-day stuff.

Simply the everyday trials and tribulations of the average human, that so many people allow to grind them down.

Don't do it. Don't let trivial stuff darken your mood.

So the bottom fell out of your grocery bag…so what!

Get back to thinking about all the good stuff going on in your life, and being grateful for all of it.

#5. Put Yourself In New, Challenging Situations

As old as the hills this one.

But it still holds true.

I'm not saying you need to go and throw yourself out of plane, or anything quite that challenging

But be willing to do things that cause you to feel slightly uncomfortable, and do it often.

The more you do, the more you will grow.

#6. Be Fluid

Sometime life is not going to go your way.

Sometime pretty much everything you were planning, is going to shift.

And sometimes there will be very little you can do about it…

…except be fluid.

Growth mindset over fixed mindset as Carol Dweck would say.

Be like water my friend” as Bruce Lee would have said.

#7. Level-Up Your Passions and Skills

Take whatever you've already got in your locker, and maximise it.

Just the same as you should work at strengthening your weaknesses…

…so too should you work maximising your more natural abilities.

#8. Define Your Standards, Accept No Compromise

What standards to you need to achieve to reach your goals, your vision of success, as soon as possible?

You should know this.

And you should go all out to reach those standards whenever possible.

#9. Set Challenging, Exciting Goals

There's no shortage of words already written on the topic of goal setting, most of them by people far more articulate than me.

So I won't add too many to them.

But, to develop a strong success mindset, you will need to be able to set yourself goals that really get your juices flowing.

#10. Trust Your Gut Feeling, Listen To Your Instinct

Stay in touch with your intuition.

It's easy in modern life to get used to being able to rely on cold hard data for decision making.

It's great, it's made our lives easier, it's made complex decisions quicker and easier to make.

But, at some point in your life, you will be faced with a situation where there is no calculable answer.

Or you will need to make a decision before all the usual facts a and figures are available.

That's ‘intuition', or ‘gut feeling' time.

And the closer you've stayed in touch with your intuition, the easier those times will be.

#11. Take Action

Taking action becomes habitual.

Just as procrastination becomes habitual.

The less you do, the less you want to do.

And the opposite is also true. The more you just get on with stuff, the easier you will find it to keep taking action.

#12. Learn To Visualise

Now I know we're in slightly dangerous territory here.

We could easily end up going totally woo-woo, but don't worry, we're not going to.

Because there is nothing remotely woo-woo about visualisation.

Our minds are deep-coded to react to what we can clearly visualise.

The more you can have a picture in your minds-eye of your goals, what life is like once you've achieved your goals…

…what it feels like, what it smells like, what it tastes like…

…the more your sub-conscious mind will set about moving you towards the achievement of your goals.

How Not To Develop A Mindset Of Success

Okay so there is one big thing that is rolled out time and again when people talk about building a success mindset.

And it bugs the hell out of me.

It's this pile of BS…

‘Embrace Failure'

Do not embrace failure!

Accept it.

Find what caused it.

Take the critical points from it.

And then rebound from it…and move the hell on.

Us humans, we do not learn from failure.

Embrace success…it will serve you better.

Success Mindset – Wrapping It Up

This is a huge and never ending topic.

Personally I love finding out more and more about it.

This article has only just scratched the surface, and if you want to learn more, you'll find no end of books, blog posts and videos all queueing up for your attention.

Good luck, and feel free to post your own views in the comments directly below.

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