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The Biggest Misconception About The Success Mindset

The Biggest Misconception About The Success Mindset

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.

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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.

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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:

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  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.

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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!

More by this author

Kirstin O´Donovan

Certified Life and Productivity Coach, Founder and CEO of TopResultsCoaching

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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