Unlock Your True Potential
You are powerful beyond measure, you just need to believe it. Cut out the negative in your life and seek out what inspires you.
Every business owner, marketer and entrepreneur is in a relentless pursuit to grow their business. They usually do this by looking at external methods, such as outsourcing key tasks like accounting or installing automation software to take care of mundane tasks so they can focus on more important matters. They may try out new marketing tactics or sales strategies as well.
All of these external measures can make a tremendous difference in your business. But we often forget about internal factors, such as beliefs, attitudes, opinions, or habits of thinking, which have a massive impact on your business’ success. In fact, these internal factors are instrumental in determining the success of your business.
What Is Mindset?
The concept of mindset was first formulated and popularised by Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck. Dweck’s research focuses on the field of achievement and success. Her theory states that factors like intelligence and ability, while important, do not guarantee success. Rather, our mindset and our beliefs about our abilities play a key role in fueling or dampening, our success.
All of us know someone who is incredibly intelligent or gifted but somehow never realised their potential. Think of a valedictorian who ends up working a dead-end job or a gifted athlete who gives up a sports scholarship in order to stay closer to home. These people seem stunted somehow and it’s a great shock that they don’t pursue their potential. It’s easy to see that there’s something holding them back that has nothing to do with ability or talent.
In the simplest terms, your mindset is a collection of beliefs. It includes beliefs about basic qualities like intelligence, talents, and personality.
For example, you might have a certain view regarding your own intelligence. You may believe that you aren’t ‘smart’ because you didn’t perform well in school, as it’s widely believed that school performance equals intelligence. This may manifest itself in thoughts like, “I’m not smart because I didn’t get good grades. Only smart people are successful. I am not smart, and therefore my business will never be very successful.” This negative thinking ignores the fact that intelligence means so much more than just school performance, and that many who did poorly in school went on to be great successes in their field.
Or you may have a negative mindset about your talents. You may be asked to speak at an event that could lead to great opportunities for your business, but you decline because of a self-limiting belief. You may think, “I’m not a good public speaker. When I presented my thesis in college, I choked. I couldn’t remember words and I was too nervous to perform well. I’m just not a public speaker.” However, public speaking is a skill that anyone can learn through practice.
Whether conscious or unconscious, these mindsets can directly impact your success. We’ve considered two examples that show how a negative mindset can impact your success, but a positive mindset can also help you activate your potential and reach heights of success you never imagined.
The Inner Critic
Your mindset and beliefs can be totally unconscious. It’s not always easy to identify them, but that’s what must be done in order to draw them out. For many people, a negative mindset manifests itself as an “inner critic.” This is an inner voice or private conversation that occurs in your mind on continuous repeat mode behind your conscious thoughts.
Your inner critic tells you that you’re wrong, you’re bad at the task at hand, you’re inadequate, or you lack the worth you see in other successful individuals. It acts as a judge, condemning you to failure at every turn.
Some people are aware of this inner critic while others aren’t. Even if you’re aware of this voice, you may be at a loss for how to deal with it. Many people believe that the inner critic is themselves talking. They mistakenly identify with it and this is why it’s so good at sabotaging your life and thwarting your chances for success.
All of us have an inner critic. The first step to cultivating a mindset for success is to become aware of these negative thoughts and the impact they have on you. Once you’ve become aware of this inner voice, you’ve taken the first step toward releasing its grip on you.
The wonderful thing about mindset is that it’s malleable. It can be developed or evolved. The negative mindset that’s holding you back was shaped through experiences in the past and learned habits of thinking. Through even the smallest shifts in awareness or thinking habits, you can make profound differences, and eventually take control of your mindset and steer it toward positivity and success.
Tips for Adopting a Growth Mindset
It’s important to recognise that you have the choice to adopt the growth mindset and leave the fixed mindset behind. Making that decision is the first step to making change.
Find a Role Model
Look towards someone in your industry, or that you can relate to. Watch and learn how their mindsets function. Talk to them if you can and ask them about the process of implementing their own growth mindset.
Invite a ‘Guest Speaker’
Having a positive voice in your head to counteract your fixed mindset with comments such as ‘Yes, you can’ when you’re feeling like you can’t do something will go a long way to cementing your growth mindset.
Knowing what you want and the direction you want to take will create natural magnetism towards that. Focus on the end goal will help your mindset adapt accordingly.
Protect Your Mindset
Learn which pieces of information to take in, and which to discard. You’ll find some external negativity might be strong enough to rock your mindset – it’s important that you do what you can to protect yourself from that.
Refine Your Voice
Your ‘voice’ is the authentic you. Listening and developing this voice will help you figure out the right direction, and keep your mindset on track. Be careful not to confuse your voice with your ego!
Giving yourself small, completely achievable goals will boost confidence and positivity when you surpass them. You can extend your goals as you get further along towards your ultimate vision.
Prepare for Failure
It will happen. It always does. To Everyone. But giving yourself the permission to fail, understanding that it doesn’t mean the end, and picking yourself up and carrying on could mean the difference between ultimate success and staying stuck in that fixed mindset.
How to Develop an Entrepreneurial Mindset
Self-Assessment & Tips for Growth
The following is a list of the key traits of entrepreneurs. For each item, rate how well you exhibit it, with 1 being “This isn’t me at all” and 5 being “Absolutely! That’s me!”
When you’re done, review your ratings and use the tips that follow the assessment to work on the areas where you’re a little weaker.
|Positivity||1 ☐ 2 ☐ 3 ☐ 4 ☐ 5 ☐|
|Nurturing the ability to see the best in any situation. Turning issues into challenges and opportunity for growth.|
|Learn From Failure||1 ☐ 2 ☐ 3 ☐ 4 ☐ 5 ☐|
|Being able to take a step back from experiences that didn’t go to plan, and understanding how to avoid making the same mistake again.|
|Perseverance||1 ☐ 2 ☐ 3 ☐ 4 ☐ 5 ☐|
|Keeping goals in mind and working towards them, against all odds.|
|Delegate to Others||1 ☐ 2 ☐ 3 ☐ 4 ☐ 5 ☐|
|Knowing when to give others the opportunity to take something off your hands, and realising the right person for the job.|
|Love of Learning||1 ☐ 2 ☐ 3 ☐ 4 ☐ 5 ☐|
|Nurturing a need to develop your skills, beliefs and knowledge through a variety of methods.|
|Intuitive||1 ☐ 2 ☐ 3 ☐ 4 ☐ 5 ☐|
|The ability to listen to your subconscious and to understand what’s really driving you when it really matters.|
|Follow-Through||1 ☐ 2 ☐ 3 ☐ 4 ☐ 5 ☐|
|Taking the time to reach out to others and maintain connections, as well as building on relationships.|
|Flexible||1 ☐ 2 ☐ 3 ☐ 4 ☐ 5 ☐|
|The ability to make alternative plans when issues arise in the most effective way possible.|
|Non-Conformist||1 ☐ 2 ☐ 3 ☐ 4 ☐ 5 ☐|
|Knowing when to adhere to your own principles instead of beliefs or limitations that have been impressed on you.|
|Goal Setters||1 ☐ 2 ☐ 3 ☐ 4 ☐ 5 ☐|
|Maintaining a vision or ‘End Game’ to work towards and remain driven to achieve.|
|Good Company||1 ☐ 2 ☐ 3 ☐ 4 ☐ 5 ☐|
|Realising your own potential and making your skills desired by others.|
Now look back at each trait and at your ratings.
Think about the ones you’d like to work on first.
Then, review the following tips and write down the actions you’ll take right away to develop that aspect of the entrepreneur mindset.
Top Tips for Developing Your Entrepreneur Mindset
Nurturing the ability to see the best in any situation. Turning issues into challenges and opportunity for growth.
One of the most powerful methods of increasing positivity is expressing gratitude. Figure out what you consider to be positive in your life already, whether it’s your family, health, or any other successes and say a quick ‘thanks’ a few times a day. Keeping a list of these points will help you remember what you’re working for.
Learn From Failure
Being able to take a step back from experiences that didn’t go to plan, and understanding how to avoid making the same mistake again.
Go back and re-evaluate every step of what it was that didn’t work out, from preparation to execution. Try and take an objective view of the situation, or ask someone else for their perspective. Making a note of the bits that didn’t go to plan will help you to prepare for them in the future.
Keeping goals in mind and working towards them, against all odds.
The key to perseverance is maintaining vision. Remember what you’re working towards and keep that as your main focus. Even if some of the smaller steps towards your goal don’t work out, keeping the end goal in mind will push you forward.
Delegate to Others
Knowing when to give others the opportunity to take something off your hands, and realising the right person for the job.
The most important part of delegation is clarity. When you pass work on to someone else, make sure you’ve clearly outlined the objectives, constraints, deadlines and anything else you think is important. This process will also bring any other key influential factors to your attention before they get in the way.
Love of Learning
Nurturing a need to develop your skills, beliefs and knowledge through a variety of methods.
If you’re lacking in a desire to learn new things, try to focus on what it was that drove you as a child. Perhaps you spent more time creating or outside playing. Start implementing those childhood motivations into your daily routine wherever you can to encourage your mind to open a little and look for inspiration.
The ability to listen to your subconscious and to understand what’s really driving you when it really matters.
Intuition is not an easy thing to learn. The best place to start is to identify your core beliefs. Write them down and keep them at the forefront of your mind when you’re making decisions or at important points in your day. You’ll find the things that are most important to you will push you in the right direction.
Taking the time to reach out to others and maintain connections, as well as building on relationships.
Set aside some time each day to focus on the follow-through. This means sending emails, making phone calls or meeting face-to-face with clients, partners, or other important people. If you allocate time each day to get this done it will soon become an essential part of your routine.
The ability to make alternative plans when issues arise in the most effective way possible.
Flexibility is another difficult skill to actually teach yourself. In order to be flexible, you need to make planning your top priority. Prepare for issues to arise and create contingency plans to work around them in the instance that they do.
Knowing when to adhere to your own principles instead of beliefs or limitations that have been impressed on you.
You need to once again return to your core beliefs to achieve effective non-conformity. Focus on what really matters to you and develop the confidence to work towards that, especially when it means going against the grain. Push yourself to step up and disagree when something doesn’t cohere to what you think is right.
Maintaining a vision or ‘End Game’ to work towards and remain driven to achieve.
Having a clear idea of what your goals are will help you with every other trait mentioned here so make identifying them a top priority. Write down your long-term goals, and the short-term goals you need to achieve in order to reach them. Then write them down again. And again. And keep going…
Realising your own potential and making your skills desired by others.
Perhaps you’re just not the kind of person that people warm to in social settings – that’s ok. You can begin to work on this by establishing what your unique value is, and bringing that to the table when you’re around others. Be careful to maintain the line between being interesting and a show-off!
Your Action Plan
Highlight which aspects of the entrepreneur mindset you’re going to work on, along with the actions you’ll take.
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