Why Mindset Beats Talent: 5 Ways to Optimize your Mindset for Success

While many believe that highly successful performers reach the top of their field due to their innate talent or abilities, this is only half of the story.

It’s true that some people have innate abilities that gear them toward success in their field, but without the right mindset, talent will only take you so far.

Natural Ability vs. Mindset

If you think of your mind as a computer, then our natural abilities can be conceived as hardware:

Fixed, inbuilt, difficult to change.

Our mindset, on the other hand, is like software:

Malleable, flexible, re-programmable.

What’s the use of having a lighting fast computer that’s running an outdated, or faulty operating system?

In other words, what good is natural ability if you have the wrong mindset? There are countless examples of smart, athletic, or creative people who were talented enough to reach the top of their game, but were held back by their mindset.

If you want to build a mindset that sets you up for success, check out my top 5 tips below.

1. Stay Positive

Always believing that you can overcome whatever challenge is in front of you is one of the most powerful mindsets you can adopt. It’s the first step to shifting your mindset into gear and toward success.

”Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right” Henry Ford

2. Always be a Student

As soon as you think you’ve learned it all, your progress will grind to a halt. Learning is a lifelong process, and so the belief that you’re “finished” is self-sabotage. People who have a master mindset instead of a student mindset shut themselves off from learning more, and they will be outperformed by someone who believes they’re still growing.

Adopting a student’s mindset transforms everything into a learning experience. You will accumulate more lessons, more feedback and reap the rewards of constant growth.

3. Be Patient with Yourself

If you’re not frustrated by a lack of progress, what you’re really saying to yourself is: “Why aren’t I there yet?”

Remember, there is no there. This is a lifelong journey, and so what we deem to be failures or misteps are much better looked at as lessons along the way.

Every step along your path is an opportunity to grow and do better. So be patient, and trust the process.

4. Be Curious

Curiosity sets the stage for growth. Curious people are non-judgemental, creative and innovative. They are constantly looking for better ways to do things, and wondering how they can get ahead.

On the contrary, people who aren’t curious, consciously or not, believe they have the answers. They’ve learned it all, and don’t need to dig any deeper. To adopt a curious outlook, ask yourself:

What am I missing?

How can I do better here?

By continually asking these questions, you’ll be amazed at the answers that come back.

5. Get Comfortable with Discomfort

If you’re never experiencing discomfort, you’re not growing. With every challenge you come across, you will experience discomfort. Pain, uncertainty, anxiety come part and parcel with venturing into new territory.

At this point, you have a choice. You can yield to the discomfort, or you can push through it. You’ll find by pushing through that barrier, growth is on the other side.

So the next time you’re feeling uncomfortable, take it as an opportunity for growth instead of a sign that you’ve got it wrong.