The Top 6 Mindset Shifts You Need for Success

Marvin Gaye: [singing] “Cause baby there ain’t no mountain high enough/ Ain’t no valley low enough/ Ain’t no river wide enough/ To keep me from getting to you babe.”

Marvin Gaye actually wrote this song about his plans to succeed in the music industry. The general public thought it was a love song, but to him it was an anthem, a beautiful and inspiring war cry that nothing would stop him from reaching his dreams.

There are so many examples from music and the movies, and real life as well, where people refuse to give up, are determined to fight, and continue to get up even after being knocked down.

This is a winning approach and I want to encourage you to adopt this mindset shift.

Now, having a success mindset won’t prevent you from experiencing obstacles and failures, but it will guarantee that you keep getting back up after each take down.

Furthermore, it attracts happiness, health, fulfilment and success. But what is a mindset, really?


What’s on Your Mind?

A mindset is a person’s established set of attitudes that are based on their assumptions. These assumptions predetermine a person’s reactions to and interpretations of any event, environment or situation.

Whether positive or negative, a person’s mindset is engrained, habitual and affects all aspects of his or her professional and personal life.

But it can be changed. In fact, you really can change just about anything in your life if you can shift your mindset. And this applies in your personal life, as well as in your business or professional life. As far as I am concerned, mindset is everything!

As a mindset coach, I see the results of this daily. I take people who are thwarted by the wrong mindset, and show them they can turn everything around just by adopting the right mindset. A whole new life can be possible simply by targeting negative thinking, limiting beliefs or a bad attitude.

You just have to look to the tennis, and see the turnaround in Nick Kyrgios’ performance and results over the past couple of months. Deeply affected by the Australian bushfire crisis, he found something bigger than himself to play for, and realised that, through his tennis, he could make a massive difference. Suddenly, he stopped with the negative attitude and adopted a winning mindset. His talent and ability haven’t changed – but his mindset has and now he is winning matches and earning respect.

For more on Mindset, check out my previous article on the 6 Most Common Mindset Traps and How To Avoid Them


Kelly Clarkson: [singing] “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger/ Stand a little taller/ Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone/ What doesn’t kill you makes a fighter/ Footsteps even lighter/ Doesn’t mean I’m over ’cause you’re gone.”


Is Your Mindset Working to Your Advantage or Holding You Back?

So, be honest, when facing a new challenge, do you react with confidence, knowing that with time, effort and practice you can succeed? Or do you find yourself questioning your abilities, talent and motivation?

Do you view failure as simply part of the process? Does it make you want to work harder and become better?

Or do you avoid challenges in order to preserve your pride? Do you notice your motivation decrease when the going gets tough? Perhaps you start thinking, “Maybe this isn’t for me” and start looking into other options that might be easier…

When you encounter setbacks and criticism, do you recalibrate and persevere or simply give up to save face? Are you more concerned with looking good and competent at all times, or are you happy to openly struggle, ask for help and fail again, in order to get better?

In short, how a person interprets and answers these questions gives insight into what type of mindset he or she has. Take a moment to reflect on an answer these questions for yourself and see what it tells you about your own mindset.

In her book Mindset [1], Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck identifies two general mindsets: fixed and growth.

Let’s explore the difference between these 2 mindsets:

Fixed Mindset

  • Talent and intelligence is static
  • It’s better to avoid challenges
  • It’s okay (even preferable) to quit before failure
  • Effort is pointless
  • Ignores useful criticism and feedback
  • Views success of others as a threat

Growth Mindset

  • Talent and intelligence can be developed
  • Embraces challenges to grow
  • Failure is an opportunity for learning
  • Effort leads to mastery and success
  • Uses criticism and feedback to improve
  • Finds inspiration and learning from the success of others


Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


It’s easy to tell someone to develop a growth mindset, but, if mindset is so deeply engrained, how does a person change it?

Here are six ways to begin:

Simple Mindset Shifts to Improve Success

1. Enjoy failure instead of avoiding it

There is something very important you must understand. The faster the failure, the quicker the learning. Certainly, every path you take will result in some failures. But failures are the stepping stones to growth, and growth is what leads to success. So make the mindset shift to enjoy and look forward to failure, because that means you are on your way. Don’t give up when you fail. Keep going even more strongly.

For example, before starting his auto manufacturing company, Henry Ford failed at his first several businesses. Not his first business – his first several businesses. What would the industrial landscape look like had he given up after his first try?

Likewise, J.K. Rowling’s pitch for the Harry Potter series was rejected 12 times before she finally caught someone’s attention. Imagine if she had given up. To sum up, it takes mental toughness to keep going after failure, but remember that embracing failure also means success can arrive that much sooner.

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” – J.K. Rowling

For more help with the mindset shift of enjoying failure, check out my article called: 8 Ways To Fail Fabulously


2. Think abundance instead of scarcity

When people allow themselves to dream, they will often stop themselves short with a scarcity mindset – this is where your thoughts focus on what you do not have, rather than on what you do have. Examples of the scarcity mindset include: “I can’t afford it” “I don’t have the time to chase my dream.” ‘What if I waste my time and fail?”

Instead of focusing on what you lack, focus on what you have. Build from your strengths, not your weaknesses. As Tony Robbins says: “It’s not resources you lack, it’s resourcefulness.” 

In addition, adopt the approach that you will find a way, that you will attract the resources you need, that you can make it happen on a shoestring. Don’t let your current circumstances dictate your future possibilities. Above all, invest in yourself, and you will develop a strong belief, and that will attract even more to you in terms of time, money, energy, support.


3. Reframe challenges as opportunities

People who have a mindset of “growth” realise that challenges are just opportunities in disguise, and they choose to actively seek them out. Honestly, when I was younger, I was a bit of a perfectionist, and I was resentful of challenges. I liked it when things went to plan, and wasted too much energy being upset about difficulties I experienced. I slowly made the mindset shift as I learned that challenges had a lot to teach me, and they made me better at everything I cared about.

So, when a challenge arises in your life: stop, get curious, and ask yourself, “What has this challenge come to teach me?”

“Love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort and keep on learning.” – Carol Dweck



4. Embrace and prepare for inevitable setbacks

No matter how thorough the plan, no matter how well-executed the strategy, setbacks are bound to happen. And, there’s no way you can predict with any real accuracy what setbacks will actually occur?

So, instead of wasting energy trying to prevent the unknown, why not just face obstacles as they show up?

Having said this, it’s important to be mentally prepared for setbacks in general, so they don’t side-swipe you. Therefore, a simple daily check in, is really effective and only takes a minute while you are standing in the shower or making your breakfast. For instance, try this one suggested by Brendon Burchard: “What could go wrong today and how would my best self handle it?” [3]


5. Don’t take it personally

Sometimes the best opportunities for personal and professional growth come from leveraging harsh criticism and negative feedback. How well do you listen to your customers’ and clients’ complaints? If your friend or partner gives you some honest feedback, do you listen or jump straight to reactivity?

Don’t let your fragile ego take over in these moments. Seize them greedily as an opportunity for more success and growth. Humans can be sensitive to criticism because we are hard-wired to seek belonging and acceptance. However, realise you can over-rule your mental reactions and choose to focus on what you can learn. Use everything to your advantage.

“I like criticism. It makes you strong.” – Le Bron James



6. Stop re-inventing the wheel

Instead of resenting successful people for what they have accomplished, look to them to learn how they did it, and turn that to your advantage. Don’t be afraid to borrow ideas, attitude, anything from others. In short, the path to success has already been discovered.

Read, listen and learn from those who have gone before you. Most importantly, uncover the underlying principles of success and then apply those to your own situation. Finally, stop isolating yourself by believing you have to figure it all out alone.

I recall being in Portland, Oregon back in the early 2000’s and some friends invited me along to a dance class. The instructor divided the room into sections and each section had a different focus. The class was designed to get you out of your comfort zone and explore different sections of the room. So, there was one section that was dedicated to “stealing people’s dance moves” – it was such fun to be given permission to steal from others. You don’t have to invent everything! But do be mindful to always give credit and acknowledgement to your mentors!

Photo by Julian Dutton on Unsplash

The American entrepreneur and billionaire, Sara Blakely, was quoted as saying:

“My dad encouraged us to fail. Growing up, he would ask us what we failed at that week. If we didn’t have something, he would be disappointed. It changed my mindset at an early age that failure is not the outcome, failure is not trying. Don’t be afraid to fail.”[2]

Incorporating these simple, strategic shifts in mindset provides opportunities to experience not only tangible results (i.e., the bottom line, higher grades, happier relationships), they also go a long way to shoring up determination, building self-confidence and encouraging action, productivity and fulfilment.

In conclusion, remember if you think you can’t, you probably won’t – and if you think you can, you almost certainly will, or in the words of The Little Engine That Could:

”I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!”


Please join the conversation and share your experiences with success, failure and mindset 🙂

Until next month,

Michelle McClintock Signature




[1] Mindset, Carol Dweck, 2006

[2] Women in Business, Alexis Burling, p.70, 2016

[3] High Performance Habits, Brendon Burchard, 2017





Author’s content used under license, © Claire Communications

Michelle McClintock

Michelle McClintock

The Mindset Mentor

Michelle McClintock is a Life & Business Mindset Strategist who specialises in transforming your mindset so you can experience more peace, happiness, success and fulfilment.

Michelle has 30-years experience in personal development, as a Psychologist, Facilitator, Speaker and Results Coach. She loves it when people get new insights that spark massive growth and positive transformation.

Through her writing and videos she makes complex coaching and psychology ideas easy to digest and assimilate, so you can create your ultimate life.

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