The way you think has a significant impact on the way you live. It’s possible to improve your everyday happiness by changing the way you act—starting with the power of mindset. Your mindset is simply an established set of attitudes you hold, and those attitudes influence the choices you make.
While the concept of “you can do anything if you believe” can be misleading, it’s worth exploring the power of mindset. You can make a massive difference in your career, your relationships, and your total well-being by changing your attitude, or your mindset.
Why is your mindset so powerful?
The power of your mindset can extend to your immune system along with your choices in terms of how you build your life. Research has shown how holding various types of mindsets can affect your well-being and happiness, so it’s worth taking the time to examine your mindset.
Your mindset impacts your actions
Mindsets can play a big role in determining what happens in your life. It’s not that changing your mindset by itself causes things to go your way, but that your mindset impacts your actions.
For example, if you believe that you’re not good with money, you might be more likely to spend frivolously. You could justify overspending by thinking, “Well, I’m just bad with money, and that’s the way it is.”
But if you tell yourself you’re great with money and you make smart financial decisions, you’re more likely to actually be that way. Funny how that works, huh?
Mindset can refer to how much time you spend thinking about a certain part of your life. The power of mindset can extend to how you pursue career growth, religious beliefs, family connectedness, and more.
Although changing your mindset doesn’t mean believing something false, you do need to retrain your brain. If you’re deep in debt and need to manage debt stress, don’t ignore the problem. Use the power of mindset to decide how you’ll get out of debt and take action.
You can leverage your mindset to achieve success
As writer James Clear writes in his book on habit change, Atomic Habits, identity is key to success.
He describes how creating a new identity in your mind can influence your actions. “What you do now is a mirror image of the type of person you believe that you are,” he explains.
What Clear is talking about is part of the power of your mindset. It’s not that money magically falls into your lap if you just believe you can earn a lot of money.
Instead, the belief is what drives your actions (starting a business or changing your exercise routine, for example).
It’s clear that while mindsets are what we call “established” attitudes and perspectives, we can change our mindsets. You don’t have to remain trapped in a cycle of whatever mindsets you’ve built over the years.
Mindsets can actually impact your reality. As Stanford University research notes, “Science is just beginning to validate the power of the mind-body relationship.” It’s amazing what the power of mindset can do to help you find success.
The different types of mindsets and how to leverage them
There are different types of mindsets. The most common are the following, which we'll go over in detail below:
- Growth mindset vs fixed mindset
- Abundance mindset vs scarcity mindset
- Success mindset
Growth mindset vs fixed mindset
Two popular types of mindsets people like to contrast are fixed mindsets and growth mindsets. Psychologist Carol Dweck shone a light on these two important types of mindsets in her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.
What a fixed mindset is like
Essentially, a fixed mindset is what it sounds like. You might believe that your skills and future are fairly fixed or set, and that you can’t change them.
Much of the research on fixed mindset focuses on education and how children learn. While some students believe they can improve, others believe their abilities are fixed, or unchangeable.
Having a fixed mindset can lower your motivation
Think about how a fixed mindset could be detrimental to your success. If you believe your abilities are already set in stone, why would you even try something new? Doing things differently might seem out of reach.
Take someone who grows up in poverty. They might have learned that their circumstances are fixed and they’ll never become wealthy. By believing that, they might not be motivated to work hard in school or pursue good career opportunities.
If you have a fixed mindset, you’ll shy away from changing your life in positive ways. You might not bother exercising because you think you’ll never be an athlete. Or settle for an unsatisfying job because you don’t believe you deserve better.
A fixed mindset could also stop you from taking risks
Along the same lines, the power of mindset affects whether you’re willing to take calculated risks. While you should always practice safety precautions to avoid getting hurt, there are certain risks that could propel you to achieving your goals.
An example of a risk that could turn out to be valuable is taking out a small business loan with a strategy in place to pay it back.
Many small businesses only grow and thrive because they have access to capital or get others to invest in them. You need to be willing to assume some calculated risk if you want to grow.
That fixed mindset could also cause you to avoid good opportunities out of fear. Maybe you struggle with the fear of having a child, fear of pursuing a promising relationship, or fear of changing careers. Sometimes facing your fears is the best decision you could make, so a fixed mindset isn’t ideal.
What a growth mindset is like
The flip side of a fixed mindset is, of course, a growth mindset. By developing a growth mindset, you can tackle some of life’s biggest challenges and accomplish your goals.
Use a growth mindset to persevere through hard things
First of all, having a growth mindset is an excellent way to learn how to face trouble and hard times. No one gets through life unscathed, so we need to be prepared for tough stuff to happen.
If your mindset is fixed, you might be unwilling to work through tasks that are hard for you. A growth mindset enables you to persevere when you have to try something new or difficult. It shows you that you can improve and become a better parent or a faster runner or a more compassionate boss.
Perhaps you have a money mindset that is stopping you from asking for a raise or sticking to a budget. Fortunately, you can work on that growth mindset to shift your perspective. Decide that you don’t have to be the way you’ve always been, and commit to working through challenges.
Focus on life’s journey to cultivate a growth mindset
A big part of cultivating a growth mindset comes down to the fact that life is a journey. As tempting as it may be to think that life will always continue as it has, you know that’s not the case.
You’ll enter different phases of life, and having a growth mindset can help you to navigate each of those phases. As things change, you’ll adapt and adjust.
You probably won’t have the same exact priorities in your twenties that you will in your forties. And it’s key to accept that troubles will come, and while much of life is outside your control, the power of your mindset is in your control.
Abundance mindset vs scarcity mindset
Next, here’s another set of opposing types of mindsets: scarcity vs. abundance. Do you gravitate toward a scarcity mindset or an abundance mindset?
Characteristics of a scarcity mindset
When looking at the power of mindset, pay attention to whether you’re a “scarcity” or “abundance” mindset person. Scarcity indicates that there are limits to things (love, money, resources, etc.).
If you tend to believe that if you have a lot of something, there’s less for others, that indicates a scarcity mindset. Do you become envious of a friend when she gets a big raise? A scarcity mindset tells you—falsely—that you probably won’t get a raise now.
When you think that everything in the world only has a fixed amount to go around, you won’t encourage others. You might hoard your own wealth or believe that you could never increase your income.
Characteristics of an abundance mindset
By contrast, an abundance mindset has so much more to offer. The power of mindset when you have a mind of abundance is that the sky’s the limit.
Believing that there is more than enough to go around—money, love, fulfillment—can change your actions. You’ll be more ready to say “yes” to new experiences and take on challenges.
If you build an abundance mindset, it won’t instantly give you everything you want. But you can stop focusing on what you don’t have, and instead focus on what you do have. You can believe in the power of possibility.
Opening up your mind to abundance could make you more willing to try learning new skills or developing relationships. Having an abundance mindset can help you to create a bigger, richer life.
Another of the best mindsets is a success mindset. This is a general attitude that you can and will be successful.
A success mindset goes hand in hand with other positive mindsets like the growth mindset and the abundance mindset. Each of these helpful mindsets can lead you to success.
Belief in your ability to succeed is key
Your ability to succeed depends a lot on what you believe about yourself. It’s weird, but in a way, positive thinking about success does help you to become successful.
A success mindset goes beyond mere positive thinking, though. It includes not only the belief that you can succeed but also the belief that you deserve success.
Too many of us have spent years disparaging ourselves or engaging in negative self-talk. If you constantly tell yourself negative things like “I’ll never succeed” or “This dream was too big,” how are you going to succeed?
Instead, you need to work on the power of mindset by practicing affirmations. Money affirmations and other affirmations about what you deserve and what you can have will help you to gradually start believing the best.
As we’ve established, mindset is key in determining your actions, which also impact what you’re able to achieve. So start believing that success is indeed possible and that you are worthy of success.
Use a success mindset to set good goals
A great way to use your mindset is by setting good and effective goals. Developing a success mindset can help you to set big goals that are also achievable.
Part of a success mindset is that you learn what your priorities are. Focusing on the major areas of life, such as family and career, may help you to accomplish more. It’s key to get clarity to achieve goals, rather than drifting along with no clear objectives.
If you use the SMART framework to set specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely goals, that may increase your odds of success.
How to develop the best types of mindsets for yourself
When you’re focusing on your mindset, be sure to consider the best mindset for achieving your goals.
There are many ways you can think, but some of the most influential are the growth mindset, abundance mindset, and success mindset.
Build a growth mindset to help you never stop learning
With a growth mindset, as you’ve seen, you don’t have to let troubles get you down. You can rise up above challenges and setbacks because you expect them and are prepared.
With your growth mindset (instead of a fixed mindset), if you think you’re weak in a certain area, you don’t have to stay that way. You recognize that you can learn anything. You can develop money-making skills, learn how to do your own taxes, or whatever doesn’t come easily to you.
A growth mindset can help you to pick yourself up after a failure. Don’t assume that your business idea is terrible if it fails. There are many factors you could change to improve your chances of success, and each failure is a chance to learn.
Focus on an abundance mindset to invite good things
Rather than dwelling on any scarcity of your past, try to build an abundance mindset for today and the future. Believe that you are deserving of all the great things in life.
Whether you feel lacking in love, respect, money, career, or any other part of life, start to build an abundance mindset. Repeat positive affirmations that encourage you to reach for what you want.
It’s amazing how just saying phrases to yourself over and over again can help you to believe them and act on them. Use language that drives you to work harder and have confidence. Here are a few financial affirmations to get you started:
- Money is an abundant resource that I can earn.
- I can use money to improve the world.
- I am becoming wealthy.
Let your success mindset lead you to success
Finally, a success mindset can be so powerful. Deciding to believe that success is coming may be the most important mindset shift you’ll ever make.
To have a success mindset, you must truly believe that you are capable of success, deserve success, and are moving toward success. What good does it do you to wallow in self-pity, assuming nothing good will ever happen to you?
Look at the people you admire who are successful. What do you admire about them? You can try to emulate their choices to some extent.
Be sure to focus on a success mindset. Recognize that other people are no more deserving of success than you are.
Start using the power of your mindset to make progress toward your goals!
It’s important to focus on not just a positive attitude, but an effective mindset that gets you where you want to go.
The power of mindset can teach you to be more resilient, more positive, and more confident in your abilities. You deserve to achieve your goals.