It often amazes me how some people perceive challenges as insurmountable while successful people see them simply as obstacles to overcome. When Martin Seligman at the University of Pennsylvania studied this phenomenon, he concluded that success in life is based on one critical distinction—whether you believe that your failures are the result of personal deficits beyond your control or that they are mistakes you can correct with effort. The latter is the success mindset.
Here are four challenges that can be overcome with a success mindset.
1. Fear. Dale Carnegie once said, “Fear doesn’t exist anywhere except in the mind.” Fear is simply an emotion fueled by your imagination. Risks, on the other hand, are real. Consider someone who has a fear of flying, but lacks a success mindset—they are scared that a plane may crash, so they don’t fly. A person with a success mindset, however, would acknowledge the statistics which prove it’s safer to fly than to drive a car. They ascertain risks, which are real, to eliminate fear. Develop a success mindset by doing that which you fear, and you’ll feel more confidence with each conquest.
2. Negativity. If you’re a parent, you’ve probably told your children, “You don’t always get want you want in life,” or someone once told you the same sage advice. You can bet that life won’t always go the way you wish, however how will you use your time? We all have 24 hours each day, so instead of hemming and hawing about your latest setback, develop a success mindset by tackling the problem to uncover a solution—then move on. Dale Carnegie summed it up succinctly when he said, “When fate hands you a lemon, make lemonade.”
3. Age. Many people think it’s perfectly appropriate to tell you what you should and should not do based on your age. I recall someone imploring my husband to decline a job offer because the company’s founder was ‘over a decade younger,’ than him. Fortunately, my husband has a success mindset and was more intrigued by the sophisticated platform the millennial had developed than his age.
People with a success mindset won’t let their age hold them back because it’s just a number. Whatever you’re hoping to do, e.g. change careers which will require going back to school; quit your job to pursue an entrepreneurial project about which you are passionate, etc., don’t let your age influence your decision.
4. Toxic People. Successful people concur with renowned businessman Jim Rohn who once said, “You’re the average of the five people you spend most of your time with.” The correlation is pretty simple—great people help you attain your ultimate potential while toxic people take time to drag you down with them. Develop a success mindset by distancing yourself from negative people, or limit as much contact as possible. When you’re forced to listen to complainers, cut through their negativity by asking how they plan to resolve the problem about which they’re complaining.