The Mindset for Success: A key to achieving your goal(s)

Those who have worked in the coaching, NLP and personal development world usually find that people who are successful, regardless of which particular field, tend to have a positive mind-set which incorporates a certain set of beliefs and attitudes. So, once you have set your goal(s), it is important that you approach the journey towards achieving them in a positive way. Here are some of these useful beliefs.

There is no Failure, just Feedback.

If someone does not succeed in a particular task, this does not mean they have failed; they have not succeeded YET.

According to tennis legend Billie Jean King, athletes should look at failure as feedback. (
Allegedly, Thomas Edison, inventor of the light-bulb, attempted to do so 10,000 times. When asked what it was like to have failed 10,000 times, he replied, “I didn’t fail: I successfully found 10,000 ways that didn’t work!”
So, en route to achieving your goal(s), it is likely that you’ll experience some disappointments and ‘non-successes’ (if you always succeed you’re not setting the bar high enough!). Treat each disappointment as a learning experience that will help you towards your success.

Flexibility Rules, OK!

The more flexible you can be and the more you are willing to adapt your approach, the more likely it is that you will be able to find an approach that works. Using the example of Edison, presumably once a particular experiment did not work, he would amend the next experiment in some way. As Einstein said, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

People have all the personal ‘resources’ that they need to get the results they want.

People themselves are not un-resourceful (resources in this context means personal attributes, such as confidence, motivation, determination, resilience, ability to learn, adaptability etc.). They may be experiencing un-resourceful states and feelings. So, remember that if you want something badly enough, you’ll find the internal resources to do it.
On my training courses, I ask people to think of something they have been struggling to do or achieve. I then ask them to imagine that the happiness, fulfilment and well-being of the people most important to them depended on them somehow being able to do it. “If this were the case, would you somehow find a way to achieve it?” The answer is universally “YES!”, because they would tap into their own resources.

Have respect for other people’s point of view and individuality

Please note that ‘respect’ in this sense does not mean like or agree with or hold in high esteem. It is more about accepting, and recognising that other people will have their own perspectives, because we all have had different experiences and upbringings which have shaped our unique beliefs and attitudes, and we all have different views on situations.
Stephen Covey, author of the best-selling book ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People’, says in that book that one of the 7 habits is ‘seek first to understand, then be understood’. I’m sure you have found that if you feel someone is respecting your point of view, even if they don’t agree with it, you’re more likely to want to co-operate with them than if you don’t feel they respect it.

If someone broadly similar to you can do something, then you can.

Look for people who have achieved something similar to what you want to achieve, ideally from a similar situation that you’re in. Firstly, this alone can be a source of inspiration and motivation: if they can, you can! Secondly, by being really curious about how they achieved it (including asking them if you have the opportunity), you will probably be able to learn from their success strategies, and from their mistakes.
Look also for people who you find inspirational, people who have achieved great things despite circumstances.

Pulling it All Together – Cause and Effect, Results and Reasons


The mindset for successThe above can be usefully summed up by the concept of ‘cause and effect’. In essence, we can either be ‘at effect’ of some ‘cause’ over which we have no control and which ‘makes’ us respond in some negative way, or we can be ‘at cause’.
Someone ‘at effect’ will make excuses, have lots of really good ‘reasons’ for not getting the results they want and generally don’t get enough of what they want. Someone ‘at cause’ will take full responsibility for what happens on their life and the way they respond to it; they make no excuses, learn from things that don’t go well, and tend to get better results than someone ‘at effect’.
Are you primarily ‘at cause’ and ‘at effect’? Notice when you are ‘at effect’ (for me, the signs are that I just don’t feel good or happy. What are your signs?). Whenever you notice you are ‘at effect’, ask yourself how you can quickly move to being ‘at cause’.

These beliefs, plus The 6 Principles for Success will help you to achieve your goal(s).