How To Think Like Successful People: What Research Reveals.

The Way Successful People Think is VERY Different

How to think like successful people thinkHow to think like successful people… that is something you must understand if you want to see greater levels of success.

Here’s why this is so important: from the outside you can’t see the REAL DIFFERENCE MAKER to one’s success.

For example, if you took…

100 highly successful individuals (success defined as those reaching their goals)

– and compared them to –

100 individuals who look the same from the naked eye but who keep struggling

… is there a difference maker?

  • Both groups work hard… check!
  • Both groups are intelligent… check!
  • Both groups have talent… check!

To identify the difference, you need to go below the surface. At the core of each group is a radically different way of thinking.

  • For the one group, their foundation thinking fuels their success, gives them confidence and hope.
  • For the other group their foundation thinking dooms them to an anxious, cautious, even fearful approach to life… with subpar results.

What is this core difference in how to think like successful people?

Research reveals it is a particular mindset: how they view themselves and the world around them.

How to THINK Like Successful People (what research reveals)

What kind of mindset are we talking about? It is a mindset identified, researched and verified to help you go from mediocre results to remarkable heights (in multiple areas of life).

As revealed in this article, Dr. Carol Dweck did a series of experiments and identified two distinct mindsets in our population: a fixed or a growth mindset.

  • A fixed mindset sees the basic qualities one possesses, like intelligence, abilities or talent, as being fixed.
  • A growth mindset believes one’s abilities can be developed and improved by consistent effort over time.

For example, a fixed mindset would say “I’m no good at dancing” or “he will always be better at math than I am.”

In contrast, a growth mindset believes that virtually every area of life can be improved over time.

The Fruit that is Produced by the Right Thinking

According to Dr. Dweck’s research, the difference in the fruit produced from the growth mindset compared to the fixed mindset is remarkable:

  • Lower stress
  • Greater confidence
  • Better performance at school, work and sports
  • Higher degrees of motivation
  • Lower levels of depression
  • More enjoyment of life

Who wouldn’t want these fruit?

Why You Might NOT Be Able to Experience Your Desired Results

How to think like successful people who utilize a growth mindset isn’t as simple as you might think.

You may want to have the growth mindset, or think you have a growth mindset, but in reality your mindset is more often fixed than you realize or care to admit.

This leads to you undermining the very thing you say you want.

Here are 3 different areas where your thoughts will reveal your true mindset. Once you expose the truth, you can then work to transform your outlook… and see tremendous results.

3 Telltale Signs of Your Real Mindset

Here are 3 common situations that reveal your true mindset. As you read on, be open and honest with yourself on where you are currently. The only way to change is to admit where you are and where you need to work.

1. How You Handle A Challenge.

When you face a challenging situation (a difficult class in school, a hard project at work, or a personal goal that is hard to see progress, like losing weight), what do you say to yourself?

A fixed mindset says, “If I have what it takes to succeed in this situation, it will come easy. If it is too difficult, then it proves I don’t have the ability, the talent, the intelligence to succeed in this situation. Why continue to try?”

A growth mindset is undeterred by the difficulty of a task or situation: “All things are difficult at first. I know if I learn and grow and persist, I can see real improvement and progress in my results.” A growth mindset knows that its abilities are like a muscle. Over time it can get stronger.

A great example is confederate general Stonewall Jackson. He entered a college level institution (West Point) having never gone to school.

Can you imagine how difficult it must have been to enter college having never gone to even elementary school… and now you are being taught advanced mathematics?

In Jackson’s first year, he was academically rank dead last. However, every week he spent extra hours studying and seeking tutoring because he knew he could improve. Each year he steadily rose in the rankings.

By the time he graduated, he was ranked 17th (in the upper percentile). It was said by his peers that if he had stayed there another year, he would have graduated ranked first.

In contrast, a fixed mindset won’t make (or continue to make) the effort because their mindset by definition tells them their effort won’t make a difference in THIS area. You either have it or you don’t.

Bottom line response of the fixed mindset to challenges: quit early and often.

Is that you?

2. How You Approach New Situations.

Life is full of new situations you must deal with. How you approach these is very revealing.

A fixed mindset approaches new situations from a defensive posture: “How can I make sure I don’t put myself in a position to fail? I need to protect my reputation from being seen as inadequate or looking like a fool.“ Fear of failure (or being exposed as a failure) is the overriding emotion.

The growth mindset, in contrast, is more inquisitive and even fearless. It sees new situations as an opportunity to learn and grow. People with a growth mindset are not uncomfortable in situations that stretch their current abilities. Like exercise that pushes you to the limit, they know that it is precisely these kinds of situations that can increase their abilities.

In one experiment by Dr. Dweck, four-year-olds were offered a choice: They could either redo an easy jigsaw puzzle or try a harder one. Children who exhibited a fixed mentality stayed on the safe side, choosing the easier puzzles that would affirm their existing ability.

Children with a growth mentality thought it an odd choice to begin with. Why would anyone want to do the same puzzle over and over if they weren’t learning anything new?

In other words, the fixed-mindset kids wanted to make sure they succeeded in order to seem smart, whereas the growth-mindset ones wanted to stretch themselves, for their definition of success was about becoming smarter.

Bottom line response of the fixed mindset to new situation: place it safe.

Do you play it safe or do you stretch yourself with challenges?

3. How You Handle Mistakes and Feedback.

In another experiment Dr. Dweck brought people into the Columbia University’s brain-wave lab to study how their brains behaved as they answered difficult questions and received feedback.

What she found was that those with a fixed mindset were only interested in hearing feedback that reflected directly on their present ability. According to the brain scans, they tuned out information that could help them learn and improve.

They even showed no interest in hearing the right answer when they had gotten a question wrong.

Why? Because they had already filed it away in the failure category. To them, what’s the point of being reminded your fixed abilities weren’t enough on that question?

Those with a growth mindset, on the other hand, were keenly attentive to information that could help them expand their existing knowledge and skill, regardless of whether they’d gotten the question right or wrong.

In other words, their priority was learning, not the binary trap of success and failure.

Bottom line response of the fixed mindset: Protect the reputation or appearance of your current.

Key Research Finding On The Mindset Of Failure

Those with a fixed mindset…

    • Care a lot about whether people think they are smart or not smart;
    • Avoid learning challenges where they might make mistakes;
    • Try to hide mistakes rather than trying to correct them;
    • Believe that if they have the ability, they shouldn’t have to try hard;
    • Believe that needing to apply a lot of effort means they’re dumb;
    • Don’t deal well with frustration and setbacks, sometimes giving up or cheating.



How to Develop a Growth Mindset

If you are like me, you have a strong desire NOT to be in the fixed mindset camp.

But, if you exhibit some of the signs of a fixed mindset, are you destined to stay there for the rest of your life?

10 ways to develop a growth mindset- downloadable cheat sheetNot at all. The good news is that you CAN transform your mindset. You CAN develop a growth mindset, opening the door to a world of

    • Greater confidence
    • Better performance at school, work and sports
    • Higher degrees of motivation
    • Lower stress
    • Lower levels of depression
    • More enjoyment of life

Your Turn! Leave a comment below on where you will work first to improve your mindset and results.

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