success and positive thinking

Whether you’re already working towards your goals and feeling a little stuck, or you’re searching for the right path and feeling a bit lost, how you think can have a lot to do with it. Are you thinking of success or are you worried about failure? Are you searching for your passion or begrudgingly looking for something to get you by?

“Mind over matter” has been a popular expression for decades and there is a reason for that. The mind is a powerful thing and can help you control the outcomes in your life more than you think. Here we will tell you exactly how to change your mindset to be more successful.

What is a Mindset?

In science theory, a mindset is a set of notions, methods, philosophies or assumptions held by one person or a group of people. To put it simply, your mindset is considered to be your overall attitude. While our mindset can help us spot and take advantage of opportunities, it can also get us stuck in negative, self-defeating cycles. 

World-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., wrote a book called Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. In this book, Dr. Dweck discusses how your mindset plays an important part in your success. The most groundbreaking work in this book talks about the two different mindsets; a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.

Those who have a fixed mindset believe that their abilities are innate or fixed. Therefore, a failure can literally shake them to their core as they begin to doubt their talent. Whereas those with a growth mindset believe that you can learn new abilities and your talents are not fixed. When these types of people experience failure, they try to grow and learn from it so they don’t repeat it again in the future.

Dr. Gary Klein, a psychologist and research scientist, published his thoughts on this theory in Psychology Today. He stated, “People with a fixed mindset are out to prove themselves and may get very defensive when someone suggests they made a mistake; in other words, they measure themselves by their failures. People with a growth mindset, on the other hand, often show perseverance and resilience when they’ve committed errors; they become more motivated to work harder.”

Do Positive Thoughts Create Positive Outcomes?

Change your mindset

Yes, they do! Positive thoughts create positive outcomes. A revolutionary research study was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in 2011. The main focus of this study was to see if positive thoughts had an influence on positive outcomes. Participants were assigned into random groups with one group being asked to practice at least one hour a week of loving-kindness meditation.

Results showed that the group practicing this meditation experienced more positive emotions each day. This, in turn, produced positive results for the participants in a wide range of personal resources.

This included feeling they had a purpose in life, increased mindfulness, more social support, and decreased symptoms of illnesses. As a further result, these growths in personal resources increased the participant’s overall life satisfaction and reduced depressive symptoms.

In the end, the researchers concluded their findings quite well:

By random assignment, one group of individuals began a mind-training practice that increased their positive emotions and, in turn, their personal resources and well-being. When people open their hearts to positive emotions, they seed their own growth in ways that transform them for the better.

How to Change Your Mindset to Be More Successful

After understanding how powerful positive thinking is, you might be curious about how to change your mindset to be more successful. The key can be found in optimism. From the two mindsets we discussed above, you want to have a growth mindset. You have to take on the attitude that you can discover and learn new skills and abilities. You then have to remember, when a failure does happen, that it is an opportunity for growth and understanding. 

People who practice meditation and/or use positive affirmations are more successful people. Research has proven that those who think positive thoughts have more positive outcomes. Keep reading more below about how you can harness these two important traits.

Positive Affirmations for Success

Positive affirmations are simple things you tell yourself on a daily basis. They are positive thinking statements that can help you overcome negativity and self-defeating cycles. By repeating certain affirmations to yourself every day, you will feel more motivated and even start to reshape your beliefs. Don’t be afraid to make up your own or use a variation of some of the suggestions below.

Examples of Positive Affirmations:

  • “I am an intelligent, confident person. I am in control of my life and my destiny.”
  • “I have the power to create the success I deserve.”
  • “I believe in myself and my ability to succeed.”
  • “I will achieve my goals today. I am motived, confident, and powerful. I have the ability to make my dreams come true.”

Meditation for Success

There are many different forms of meditation you can practice to achieve success. The meditation that was the focus of the study we discussed above was Loving-Kindness Meditation. This meditation practice comes from Buddhist traditions. It involves mentally sending kindness and warmth towards others by silently repeating a series of mantras. It helps to boost well-being and reduce stress. 

The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley offers a wonderful guide that you can use in just 15 minutes each day. There you will find a guided meditation created by researcher Emma Seppala, Science Director of Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education.

Visualize Your Goals and then Achieve Them

As you’ve learned by now, science and the medical community have confirmed the power of positive thinking. By visualizing your goals, you are then able to achieve them. Positive thoughts produce positive outcomes.

We hope we’ve helped you with how to change your mindset to be more successful. Your mind is a powerful tool and now you can learn how to use it in your favor!