If you were to play a word association game and “success mindset” came up, what are the first words that would come to mind?

For many people, “positive thinking” would probably top the list.

While the success mindset does include approaching things with a positive attitude, associating the mindset with being positive is actually a misleading idea that usually leads to people failing to achieve meaningful, long-term results from their self-development programs and efforts.

In order to get a firm grasp on the success mindset (and to be able to reap its benefits), it’s important to have a clear understanding of what it actually is and how it differs from you simply being positive a couple of times a week.

What’s The Difference Between Being Positive And Having A Success Mindset?

Being positive involves looking at the bright side of things. People who confuse positive thinking with having a success mindset quickly discover that being positive simply isn’t enough to get them the results they’re looking for. This is because you could decide to think positively about certain things, but if you don’t address the automatic thought patterns, attitudes, and beliefs that may be limiting you (aspects of your mindset), your results are likely to be superficial and short-lived.

This is why positive affirmations alone don’t really do much for someone in the long term, as these are more like a short dose of motivation and encouragement.

Achieving permanent results involves a lot more work as well as creating the right kind of mindset that allows for the nurturing of patterns of behavior that are known to contribute to success. A mindset is a set of attitudes, beliefs and values that translate into patterns of behavior, habits and routines.

A success mindset, therefore, is a set of beliefs that result in patterns of behavior that lead to success.

What Does The Success Mindset Consist Of?

In order to benefit from the success mindset, you need to automatically be able to think (and subsequently act) like a successful person. This won’t come automatically at first; but start to practice and ask yourself for example, what would Richard Branson or Tony Robbins think about this and how would they react to it? How a successful person might react to a situation can be determined by looking at aspects of their mindset such as their:

  1. Habits
  2. Sources of motivation and willpower
  3. Attitudes
  4. Beliefs
  5. Inclinations/disposition

As you study the mindsets of successful people, you’ll probably notice that while many of them choose to have positive outlooks on certain things, they can also be realistic (and at times even cynical) about others.

So the key to having a success mindset isn’t being positive, but rather taking a deeper look into how you really think in order to change yourself from the inside out, rather than simply focusing on the surface issues! You can’t expect your thoughts to lean towards one direction and your life to lean towards a completely different one. Remember, your external world is a reflection of your internal one – fixing your internal world will automatically change your external world, it just doesn’t work the other way around!

Remember that building a success mindset doesn’t happen overnight. It requires constant awareness of your habitual thoughts and the effort and commitment to challenge the limiting ones and replace them with ones that will support your success.

Be aware of the questions you ask yourself – this is a great place to start. As Tony Robbins says, the quality of your life is related to the quality of the questions you ask.

You can only change your mindset, in my opinion, if you get really serious and clear about how you want to be thinking instead and then, every day, being conscious of your thoughts and actions and making sure they are aligned with the mindset you want to have. Consistency is key in changing your mindset and, for me, that is a 24-hour effort. Yes, it isn’t easy, but success isn’t easy – that is why only those people who put in an enormous effort experience success.

Positivity Is Not The Enemy

Just because having a success mindset involves a lot more than positive thinking, it doesn’t mean that being positive about certain things will hinder your success! You should still see opportunities instead of obstacles and not be obsessive about the bad things going on, for example.

Approaching life with a positive attitude is a great start and will help to give you the momentum needed to kick-start the success mindset as well as the motivation needed to maintain it long-term!

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