Walt Disney said, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” What separates those who merely dream from those who achieve their dreams? What gives us the courage to pursue what we want most? What keeps us going when we are confronted by obstacles and people who tell us our dreams are impossible?
The answer is the same whether you are talking about winning the Super Bowl, taking your company to the Fortune 500, carving a masterpiece like Michelangelo’s David, writing a book, losing weight, getting a promotion, being a good parent, or enjoying a happy marriage. With the right mindset you can be successful at anything.
What exactly is mindset? Mindset is a broad term that describes ones beliefs. No one has exactly the same mindset because different upbringing, experiences, and interpretations of the world create our beliefs. The creation of beliefs is done automatically as we live and the majority of them are established by age six. Our minds automatically attempt to make sense of our world, and we use generalizations to do so. When a concept seems to adequately explain an experience, the young mind attempts to use the same concept to explain other situations. If the concept works, repetition causes it to become a belief.
Our established beliefs can help us succeed or they can hold us back. Once a belief is created, the mind begins interpreting reality as if the belief is true. It does not matter if the belief is true or not. The mind interprets reality as if it is.
Once we unconsciously develop beliefs about the world it is difficult to perceive the world outside our beliefs. Our senses bring millions of bits of information to our unconscious mind at any given time. The conscious mind receives only a tiny fraction of the information our unconscious mind can access. The information we become consciously aware of depends on our beliefs. Information that supports our beliefs is passed to the conscious mind, but information that contradicts our beliefs is not passed along.
For example, information about jobs that would be easy will not make it through the filters between the unconscious and conscious mind of someone who believes “You have to work hard to get ahead.” Yes, many people have to work hard to get ahead. But there are exceptions—evinced by those people who seem to be lucky or blessed for whom everything just seems to come easy. Instead of looking at lucky people and asking ourselves what they do that we aren’t doing, we resent their success. If there are exceptions to the belief, it is a belief that you can change.
Changes at the level of mindset make changes to perceived identity, emotional state, capabilities, and behavior much easier.
This is a sample of a chapter in the book Success Uncovered. The chapter is written by Jeanine Joy. Click here to pick up your copy.