There are a million internet pages touting the habits and the psychology of success. But it really comes down to whether or not you’re doing things that make you happy. If you’re genuinely happy, then you have achieved success. The simplicity of this idea tends to get lost today on our endless striving quest to keep on forging ahead and achieve more.  

Often the definition of success is related to status and money. The next promotion or raise will be the one that finally gets you to there – wherever “there” is. The question that needs to be asked is how much you actually want the promotion or if you are striving for it because it is what’s expected? Will the promotion make you happy or create discontent?

These are important questions. If you are unsure then go back and look at your values and ask if you are living a life aligned with who you are. Future efforts and decisions aligned with your values will generate an inner drive and allow you to reach higher levels of success.

To do this though, you need to be in the right mindset. If you are feeling uncomfortable in your current life situation, you may be stuck in a fixed mindset. A fixed mindset comes from habitual conditioning and we get caught in social constraints and stereotypes and focus on what something is supposed to be or look like.

With a growth mindset, there is an innate curiosity, it is about the process and learning from a process. A growth mindset can also originate from feelings of inadequacy and wanting to learn more in order to better oneself.

A fixed mindset can be paralyzing if it’s taken on as a sense of identity where we attach our personal worth to outcomes. This leads to constantly making comparisons with others and basing our definition of success based on these comparisons. You become paralyzed because you are not letting yourself be true to yourself.

It is a dangerous thing to be caught in and even to be around. People stuck in a fixed mindset don’t handle change well. Any change sends them into a tailspin, causing them to feel frustrated and angry and sending their stress levels through the roof, all of which results in them being pretty awful to be around.  

Successful people can sometimes find themselves trapped in this mindset when they’ve entered into a new role and suddenly feel like they need to act or present themselves in a preconceived way that doesn’t align with who they are.

If you are reading this and wondering how to tell if you’re stuck in a fixed mindset but aren’t sure ask yourself–How willing are you to change? Will you sleep on the other side of the bed, will you drive home another way? If you’re not willing to change the stuff that doesn’t matter then you’re probably not going to be willing to take a risk and change the stuff that does matter.

If you are uncomfortable, then you are probably stuck in a fixed mindset. To move away from this towards a growth mindset, start to condition yourself to believe you can do something and you are capable of change. There is generally a reason we feel a pull towards something, and it isn’t because someone is telling us it is important.

Take some time to get to know yourself and really understand your motivations and core values. Understanding what is driving you and what truly makes you happy will help you prioritize your time to focus on activities related to your goals.

This time is also important in getting to know and accept your strengths and weaknesses. Feeling comfortable with these will boost your confidence and next thing you know you’ll be dressed in your best strutting towards success.

Once you have these fundamentals in place and are building momentum, I suggest connecting with or creating a mastermind group. These groups are a fantastic way to create accountability and access to resources, driving and pushing you to greater levels of success while being supported by like-minded peers.

To create a growth environment in the workplace, you need to understand what works for other people–what motivates them.

There are 3 primary motivators for people: people, performance and process. Simply stated: those motivated by people want to accommodate, like harmony and want to be inclusive. Individuals motivated by performance want to assert themselves to prevail over the obstacles and focus on the strategic way to reach desired outcomes. Process people are the ones in every meeting that want to slow things down to analyze the situation and create a system that is going to be effective to getting to the outcome.

For example, if an office was moving to a new location, a manager wanting to appeal to these three motivators would need to present the information in three different ways in order to get buy in. Those motivated by people would be focused on timelines and accommodating the concerns of others, those focused on performance would want a timeline for the outcome (move) and not be interested in the details while the process people would want to create a system to ensure the move goes well.

A fixed mindset can be detrimental in the workplace. If you’re stuck it can keep the company stuck in a state of inertia because you aren’t innovative and creativity is squashed. On the plus side, because things never change, you’re probably pretty efficient because you have a set structure and process.

But if you’re the manager or boss then chances are, you are stifling your team because you aren’t letting them be creative. Eventually they will stop presenting new ideas and will likely leave.

Fundamental values and motivators are critical to successfully reaching a goal and your job as a leader is to be able to create an environment that supports growth and cultivates success.

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