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Mindset Is Everything: Here’s 10 Ways To Improve Yours

Mindset Is Everything: Here’s 10 Ways To Improve Yours

I’m sure that you’ve all heard people say that mindset is everything, but what does that really mean?

All of us know that mindset is important. There’s no denying that it’s one of the key differentiators between those who achieve success and those who don’t.

But simply recognizing the importance of your mindset isn’t enough. We need to understand how it works for/against us in our quest for meaning, and also how we can improve it on a daily basis.

In this article, we’re gonna dive deeper into how your mindset is formed, and how it affects everything in your life. 

Additionally, we’ll cover ten ways that you can level up your mindset and use it to your advantage as you pursue your goals.

So without further ado, let’s dive in!


What Is Mindset Really?

The word mindset is thrown around a lot, but what does it actually refer to?

Put simply, your mindset is the set of beliefs that you hold about yourself and the world around you. It influences every emotion you feel, every action you take, and every single outcome in your life.

These set of assumptions are dictated by your past life experiences.

Your past is an infinitely complex network of experiences. Since your life is jam-packed with experiences, your brain needs to simplify things. 

It does this by unpacking everything you’ve been through, analyzing the feedback you’ve received from your environment, and forming a digestible worldview that you can apply to any given situation.

However, your mindset is evolving constantly. New experiences lead to new evidence, which leads to new beliefs, which can lead to new actions.

This is the continuous cycle that can make or break your health, happiness, confidence, and success.


Why Is Mindset Important In Everything?

Your mindset is everything because it determines your expectations for how any given situation will turn out.

Usually, these expectations determine how you act. 

It’s important to note that these expectations are not based in reality, they’re grounded in your perception of reality. Your expectations come from all of the evidence that your brain has received over the past weeks, months, years, and decades.

If you’re scared of approaching someone that you find attractive, it’s probably because you expect to make a fool of yourself or that you’ll run out of things to say. 

Maybe this belief is true, maybe it isn’t. The only thing that matters is your brain believes it, either because it has evidence to support this belief, or because you’ve avoided taking the risk for so long that you can’t imagine a positive outcome.

If you’re scared to leave your job and start a business, it’s probably because you expect failure or don’t believe the risk is worth the reward.

Once again, this belief could be completely false. But at some point in your life, your brain internalized that failure and risk should be avoided at all costs.

This is why your mindset is everything in life — it forms the basis of how you expect your decisions to turn out.

Everything you do is driven by the beliefs that you hold. When working for you, this is a superpower. When working against you, you’ll find yourself running away from the things you truly want.


man showing a positive mindset


How Mindset Affects Your Happiness

Your happiness levels are directly correlated to your mindset. This is something that overachievers find out very quickly in life.

Because as most of us go through life, we fall into the “I’ll be happy when” trap:

  • I’ll be happy when I quit my job and become a full-time entrepreneur
  • I’ll be happy when my income exceeds $10,000 month
  • I’ll be happy when I have more self-confidence
  • I’ll be happy when I’m in better shape

But the thing about human beings is that we’re very adaptable to changes in our environment. 

When you hit a revenue milestone in your business, lose 50 pounds, or buy a new house, you experience an increase in overall happiness. However, this increase is short-lived, and you quickly return to baseline happiness levels.

The same principle applies to negative events. When you suffer a major setback in your business, or break up with a long-time partner, you’ll feel devastated for a week or two. But after some time, you will eventually return back to baseline. 

If you’re reading this right now, I’m guessing that you’re pursuing some really ambitious goals. 

Maybe you’re trying to become socially charismatic, write a book, build a successful business, or become a world-renowned scientist.

Even if you write the book, develop your charisma, build the business, or become that world-renowned scientist, the feeling of accomplishment will be short-lived.

Human nature dictates that once you reach new heights in your life, you’ll get used to the view pretty quickly.

So what’s the best mindset to adopt in order to avoid this trap?

Well, you’ve gotta internalize that life is about the chase. It’s not about achieving things, it’s about the everyday battle of being the best version of yourself. 

You may get to a point where you have millions of dollars, an incredible social life, and a loving family. Guess what…you’ll still wake up some days and feel depressed, anxious, and uncertain about the future.

If you embrace that happiness is fleeting and that life is about pursuit and not achievement, you’ll live a much more meaningful life.


Mindset Is Everything: Here’s 10 Ways To Upgrade Yours

We’ve talked a lot about why mindset is everything up to this point. Now, let’s dive into some actionable strategies that you can leverage to improve yours.

As powerful as your beliefs are, every single one of them can be changed through practice.

Every day, you have an opportunity to fundamentally alter how you see the world if you have the courage to challenge your beliefs.

Here are some ways that you can upgrade your mindset and do just that.


#1: Express Gratitude Daily

One of the simplest ways to improve your overall mindset is to practice expressing gratitude.

Gratitude is a powerful emotion that has been shown to affect the brain’s structure and function.

In 2016, a study published in the National Library Of Medicine used fMRI technology to analyze the effects of practicing gratitude on the brain. The researchers found that when participants engaged in a gratitude writing task, this led to increased activity in the medial prefrontal cortex. 

For context, this is the part of the brain associated with understanding other people’s perspective, empathy, and feelings of relief.

This suggests that practicing gratitude daily can strengthen the neural circuits that enhance your overall well-being. And when compounded over time, this small daily discipline helps you foster a more positive outlook on life.




#2: Practice Metacognition

When talking about how mindset is everything, it’s mandatory to bring up metacognition.

We all have an internal dialogue that runs on repeat. The content of this internal dialogue depends on your mindset, which is shaped by what you think, how you act, and what you believe.

However as we’ve discussed, your mindset isn’t grounded in reality. It’s full of subjective truths that come from your past experiences. 

So because your internal dialogue isn’t based in reality, this means that you need to start challenging it on a daily basis.

That’s where metacognition comes into play, which is a term that refers to having an awareness of your own internal thought process.

Practicing metacognition is very simpleyou just need to practice observing your thoughts instead of getting attached to them.

The key is not to suppress or critique your thoughts, but to recognize their insignificance and avoid assigning meaning to them.

This all sounds well and good, but what does it look like in your day to day?

Let’s say that you’re experiencing some anxiety about the future. Well, you could counter with a variety of responses:

  • “I’m noticing the fact that I’m worrying right now” 
  • “Thanks mind for that totally useless thought about the future!”
  • “There goes the worry story again!” 
  • “There goes my monkey mind worrying about everything.”

When most people experience unhelpful thoughts, they tend to latch onto them or suppress them. 

But this is the worst thing you can possibly do. Because in both of these scenarios, you’re giving your thoughts power they don’t deserve.

Instead, recognize your thoughts for what they are — automatic internal responses that are irrelevant to your current situation.

The more you practice this, the easier it will be to develop a positive mindset and ignore the toxic waste that your mind produces.


#3: Level Up Your Social Circle

There’s no doubt that the people you hang out with impact your thoughts, actions, and beliefs.

An eye-opening study published in the New England Journal demonstrated this phenomenon in pretty spectacular fashion. 

The study analyzed an interconnected social network of 12,067 people who were assessed from 1971-2003. During the assessments, researchers looked at the body-mass index of each of the participants, and compared that number to the previous year.

Leveraging statistical models and rigorous analysis of this interconnected group, the researchers came to a staggering conclusion:

If you have a friend who becomes obese, then you’re 57% more likely to become obese yourself. 

This ripple effect isn’t just applicable to physical characteristics either, it applies to mental attitudes too. That’s why it’s so crucial to curate a network of people who embody the traits that you want to develop.

If you want to become more disciplined, spend time with people who possess strong willpower and do the things they say they’re gonna do.

If you want to develop a more positive mindset, spend time with people who look at life with the glass half full.

Mindset is everything, but it’s greatly influenced by the people you bring into your life. Choose wisely.


friends hiking in the mountains


#4: Get Realistic About Your Goals

Set an ambitious goal. Work towards it every day. And eventually, reap the fruits of your labor.

It’d be nice if achieving your goals was this straightforward right?

Well, we don’t get to play the game of life in easy mode. Usually, the path to success looks more like this: 

Set a goal, make some progress, give up, try again, get demotivated, fail, start making more progress, make mistakes, learn from them, fail again, get-demotivated, try once more, succeed.

It’s a brutal, hellacious journey to get what you want in life. And in order to keep a level head on the path to achievement, you need to get real about where you’re at.

If you’re socially awkward and want to develop James Bond-like confidence, that’s not gonna happen in three months.

If you’re building a business from scratch, it’s unlikely that six months of focused work gets you there.

Mindset is everything when it comes to pursuing your goals. Setting big goals is sexy, we do it because it feels good. But more often than not, we fall victim to our own ambition.

Big goals mean that there’s a large gap between your current state and your desired state. And when you inevitably encounter setbacks, this discrepancy will hit you like a truck.

To combat this problem try setting smaller sub-goals that aren’t too far from where you are now. Here’s an exercise that I like to complete whenever I’m pursuing a new goal:

  • First, ask yourself “What’s my big 12 month goal?”
  • Once you’ve done that, set that goal aside.
  • Write down five smaller goals that are stepping stones towards that goal.
  • Achieving that first small goal now becomes your only focus.

When you complete this exercise, you should have an initial target that’s in close proximity to where you are now.

By focusing on the next step up the mountain as opposed to the daunting peak, you’ll find it easier to keep a positive mindset as you strive towards what you want.


#5: Prioritize Habits Over Outcomes

Your mindset is everything, but your daily habits aren’t far behind. 

One of the best mindset shifts that I’ve made in my life is detaching myself from my long-term outcomes.

Like all of you, I have long-term goals that I’m pursuing. I want to scale this blog to a level that allows me to quit my full-time job. I’m also working towards becoming more socially charismatic and building an expansive social circle.

However, I rarely think about these long-term goals on a daily basis. In fact right now, my life is built around three very simple questions:

  • Did I talk to three new people today?
  • Did I practice my communication and verbal skills at home today?
  • Did I write at least 1,000 words today?

These are the only parameters that I’m judging myself by on a daily basis. Because I know that if I answer “yes” to those questions, then my long-term goals will take care of themselves.


daily to do list


So as you embark on your self-improvement journey, realize that your goals are merely a compass guiding you in the right direction.

Tangible improvement comes when you execute on the daily disciplines that align with your ideal future.

Don’t get overwhelmed by the fact that you’re not where you want to be. Don’t feel bad because of the distance between your real self and your ideal self.

Shelf that long-term vision and narrow your focus to one simple question — Did my actions today align with the person that I want to become?

If you can answer “yes” to that question enough times, then the outcomes you’re chasing will take care of themselves.


#6: Do Things You Don’t Want To Do

Doing things that you don’t want to do is arguably the best thing you can do to build a strong mindset.

This is because these tasks often demand the kind of growth, discipline, and confidence that shape our character.

Yet as human beings, we’re wired to run away from these tasks.

  • Your brain doesn’t want you to wake up early, it wants you to stay in bed and get an extra hour of sleep.
  • Your brain doesn’t want you to put together the business plan, it wants you to sit on the couch and watch Netflix.
  • Your brain doesn’t want you to approach that attractive man/woman at the bar, it wants you to stay put and avoid rejection.

There’s hundreds of other moments like this throughout the day. But all of them can be explained by one simple theme — the tug of war between who you are and you want to be.

If you really want to grow into your ideal self, there’s no way around stress and discomfort.

Winning in life is not an enjoyable process. Very rarely will you be motivated to do the things you know you should do. 

But if you suck it up and do them anyway, you’ll develop the self-confidence that allows you to win the day regardless of how you’re feeling.

And that mindset is everything in your quest for success.


#7: Acknowledge Your Progress

Another way to improve your mindset is to find more opportunities to pat yourself on the back.

When you’re pursuing a long-term goal, it’s easy to get caught up in how far away you are from achieving it. This mental gap often causes people to self-sabotage after they start down the path of improvement.

However, there is an easy way to calm the voice in your head that says, “You’re too far away. It’s not worth it to keep going.”

Instead of comparing where you are now to where you want to be six months from now, compare yourself to the person you were yesterday.

If today you improve upon who you were yesterday, then that’s a win that you need to celebrate internally.

By taking the time to celebrate your wins, even if they’re small, you’re reinforcing behavior and fostering a sense of accomplishment.

Additionally, you’re triggering the release of a neurotransmitter called dopamine, which signals to your brain that you’re on the right path.

If yesterday you went to the gym for 20 minutes, aim for 25 today. And if you follow through on that intention, praise yourself for being better than the day before.

Your mindset is everything, so make sure you do everything you can to tip the scales towards positivity and progress.


woman showing that mindset is everything


#8: Attack Your Fears

Fear is often referred to as the “mind-killer,” and it’s absolutely true.

Any of you who struggle with debilitating fears know this. It’s one of the hardest things to endure — knowing what you need to do, wanting to do it, but being too afraid to take action.

It’s a vicious cycle that tears you apart from the inside-out. However just like your mindset, your fears are a product of your experiences:

  • You weren’t born with a fear of talking to strangers, you learned it.
  • You weren’t born with a fear of trying new things, you learned it.
  • You weren’t born with a fear of rejection, you learned it.

You learned all of the fears that you currently possess, which means that you can just as easily unlearn them.

It will take time. It will be massively uncomfortable. But let’s get real for a second. 

What the f*ck is the alternative option? Live the rest of your life paralyzed by fear?

No, that’s not how you were meant to live. You were born to be the creator of your life, and that’s going to require you to get uncomfortable.

So as you look at your life right now, think about the situations that you’re avoiding every day due to fear.

Most of you reading this know exactly where and when fear is holding you back, so this should be pretty easy.

Now for the harder part — taking small, calculated steps outside of your comfort zone.

Getting a handle on fear is a long, slow process. So to give yourself the best chance of making real progress, baby steps are the best route forward.

Each day, try stretching your comfort zone by just a little bit. Do something that’s a little scary, but not so scary that you’re overwhelmed with anxiety.

Then the next day, stretch your limits a little further. And every day after that, go slightly beyond that boundary where comfort ends and fear begins.

When those fears start dying, you’ll start growing. And slowly but surely, you’ll instill the belief that you can do anything you set your mind to.


#9: Put Yourself In New Situations

If your mindset is everything that you’ve done in the past, then you should always be asking yourself — how many new environments am I throwing myself into each week?

Stepping into new situations can significantly enhance your mindset and broaden your life perspective. This active engagement with the unknown is a powerful catalyst for growth, propelling you out of your comfort zone and expanding your mental horizons.

As you navigate unfamiliar contexts, your brain is hard at work forming new neural connections. These connections reflect the process of learning and adapting to the new environments you find yourself in.

This phenomenon, known as neuroplasticity, allows you to develop a wider range of wisdom that you can apply to your life.

Taking up a new hobby, navigating a foreign city, or even adapting to a job can spark the creation of these new connections. This mental rewiring doesn’t just make you more adaptable; it can also foster creativity, problem-solving, and cognitive flexibility.

Moreover, these novel experiences often come with their share of challenges, which can bolster your resilience and self-confidence as you overcome them.


woman walking through the city


#10: Pay Attention To Your Words

One critical factor in the creation of your mindset is the way in which you speak to and about yourself.

A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (2013) highlighted the profound effect of self-talk on mindset. 

The researchers found that individuals who engaged in positive self-talk, particularly those who referred to themselves in the second or third person, experienced less anxiety and performed better in stressful situations. 

This form of self-distanced communication enabled more rational responses, and improved decision-making and problem-solving abilities.

In other words, positive self-talk cultivates an optimistic mindset, boosts self-confidence, and reinforces self-efficacy. Hence, by mindfully managing your self-talk, you are endorsing the belief that mindset is everything.

And consequently, you’re putting yourself in the driver’s seat of your own life.


Final Thoughts: Mindset Is Everything

The power of mindset cannot be overstated. Our thoughts and beliefs shape every single outcome that we get in life.

By applying the strategies outlined in this article, you can turn your brain into an ally instead of an enemy. As the research and evidence highlight, the term “mindset is everything,” not merely a cliché, but a scientific reality that we should all live by.

So as you go about improving your life, make sure that you don’t forget to work on your brain too.

Because at the end of the day, you will only go as far as it takes you.

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