powerful mindsetBoth success and challenge start in the mind; what we condition ourselves to believe most often becomes our reality. In other words, our imagination and the limits of our imagination create the frame or the boundaries in which we operate. The success mindset is about broadening your imagination, daring to think bigger and not be constrained by fear, doubt or other people’s realities.

The 7 steps below will introduce you to how you can develop your success mindset

1. Responsibility

This is about taking responsibility for yourself – your circumstances, your values, what you believe about yourself and most of all, your attitude. One of the key things about being responsible for yourself is that is stops you blaming other people for your situation, it gets you out of victim mode and helps you to be in control of what is happening in your life. The way to start is by looking at your beliefs and values, what is helping and supporting you and what is hindering you. The things that hinder are typically the views about yourself and your abilities that you have collected through life, many of which are founded on your interpretations of other people’s views and experiences, not your own. Taking responsibility for what you think and believe, then examining it and deciding whether it is true, desirable or helpful enables you to choose whether each particular belief is worth keeping or re evaluating.

Now, I’m not trying to make taking responsibility for yourself sound glib or easy it is often not; it’s much easier to be a victim and blame everyone else for what is going on in your life, but that will not get you the life you want. Finding someone else to blame and making excuses to hide behind will simply keep you stuck.

2. Build your business on passion and purpose

Your passion is what you want to do, what you lose yourself in, the things you find easy and could talk about for hours. Creating your business around something you love adapted to what you can make money from will make you more successful and more fulfilled. The purpose part of this is why you do what you do – your underlying values, the reasons you have chosen that business and that lifestyle.

Whether you are just starting out in business, or you have got a bit stuck, or even if you love what you do, it is worth spending some time on your passion and purpose because the better you understand it the better choices you will make and the more successful your business will be – successful by the measures you apply not just money.

3. Dream big AND set clear goals

Start with a big dream, what if you could do anything, be anything – if you can imagine it you can create it. Leave out any obstacles or limiting thoughts at this stage. If it helps acknowledge them, jot them down and then park them for now. When you have your dream out in front of you, in whatever way works for you – perhaps a vision board, drawings, writing or recorded – then you can start to put in more specific goals.

These can be big and small and need to capture what you want to do not just the should do’s or have to’s. They need to matter to you at a deep level so you will be compelled to take action.

4. Create a plan and take action

This is about what you need to do, how you need to do it and when you need to do it. Having a clear plan helps you to take action in the right order, and to measure and celebrate your achievements. Even better, a plan helps you to overcome the obstacles that will inevitably fall in your path – whether real or imaginary. Taking action also helps you to reduce the fear and limiting beliefs that may have kept you in your own way in the past.

5. Apply personal excellence to everything

The way you behave is largely a habit, if you moan and groan about one aspect of your life it is likely that behaviour creeps into other areas too. The same applies to excellence, if you give what ever you are doing your full attention while you are doing it you are likely to do a faster more effective job than if you are distracted, resentful or reluctant, leaving you freer and in a more motivated state to get on with the things you do want to do. Being fully present and aiming to do or be the best that you can be is also a habit; and guess what, the more you practice on the things that don’t matter the easier it is to be your best unconsciously – it becomes a default behaviour.

6. Maintain persistent focus

This is perhaps the hardest part. There are very many distractions to take our attention away from our plan and when our plan is taking us out of our comfort zone then the distractions can look very appealing.

The way to retain focus is to stay with what you can control and remember why you are doing it. Know what you want and how you are going to get it and keep your eye on the dream. If you do get distracted, either by something more urgent or because you needed some time out to go with it; but if you start to find hours in front of the telly, or tidying the office, house etc are more appealing than your business stop and ask yourself why. It might be fear, it might be knowledge or it might simply be that you don’t want the dream enough to put the effort in. You need to identify and deal with this to stay in a success mindset.

7. Invest in yourself

One of the biggest business sabotages is ignorance, about your own business and where it’s at; about your industry, and about the wider business skills needed for success. This is one of the number one sabotages because ignorance leaves the mind vulnerable to self doubt, lack of confidence, and poor decision making.

Investing in yourself can take many forms and it is not just about spending money on the next course or guide. It is about time to recharge, being aware of what is happening in your industry and in global business. It’s about reading and networking and filling your world with things that enrich you. It is also about having the right role models and the best mentors you can have, and investing in your education where you need to.

A success mindset is available to all of us and following these seven steps will give you a head start.