If you want success, you need a mindset that supports it, and you need to be vigilant against the negative mindset infections that will destroy your success. There are terrible infections, beliefs really, that block your success, very literally repelling it away from you. When you look at the most successful people, they are pleased but never satisfied. They believe the future will be better, no matter how good things are now. What you will not find are the infections below.
- Scarcity: One of the most debilitating beliefs with which you might be infected is scarcity. Scarcity is the belief that there isn’t enough. There isn’t enough money, enough opportunity, enough resources, or any one of countless other things that one might perceive themselves as lacking. While it’s true that nothing on the list above is distributed equally, there is an abundance available to those who believe it to be so.
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- Other: Other is the belief that someone or something else is the cause of your problems, challenges, or misfortune. A disempowering belief of the first order, because the cause lies with someone—or something—else, the person with this negative belief acts if they lack the power to change their circumstances. The power to change your circumstances is wholly within your power.
- Imposter: Imposter syndrome is the concern that others will discover that the person is not what they appear to be, more specifically, that they are inept, inadequate, and insufficient. A lack of confidence causes those with this belief to withhold, to stop short of doing what they want to do in their heart of hearts. Imposter syndrome kills dreams and deprives others of your gifts.
- Failure: Failure is an identity or something that will cause one shame and prevent them from acting on what they want—or trying again when they fail. The fear of failure as an identity from which one can’t come back, preventing the very actions that eventually lead to success. Courage is action taken in spite of any fear, and it is a better guide towards success.
- Cynicism: Cynicism is a belief system that suggests that no one is to be trusted, that their motivations are only in their self-interest, their actions always taken without concern for—or benefit to—others. This form of skepticism prevents one from believing in anything enough to give themselves over to anything, thereby preventing their success.
- Ungrateful: Of all the things on this list, perhaps the easiest to identify is a lack of gratitude. Those who do not appreciate what they have will not appreciate any increase they receive. Many with gifts and talents waste them due to a mindset that views nothing as important or special enough to truly appreciate it. “More” comes to those who appreciate what they have.
- Entitlement: The entitled believe they deserve to have whatever they want without having to pay for it with their effort. They believe that they are owed something. This belief causes one to wait passively until someone recognizes their deserving, an event that never comes, causing them to grow resentful that their worthiness goes unnoticed.
- Apathy: A lack of passion or interest is a legendary destroyer of success. An indifference about things never results in extraordinary results because the one who is apathetic never cares enough to take extraordinary actions. Without real passion or interest, you never give yourself over to anything. Without giving yourself over to something, you won’t find success.
- Nihilism: Nihilism is the belief that there is no meaning in life. When one believes that this is true, it is certainly true for them. Success is in large part about discovering something worth living for, something worth fighting for, something worth doing. If you want meaning, you find it by instilling it in what you do.
- Pessimism: If you only see the negative in things, that is exactly what your life will be. A general belief that the future will not—or cannot—be better than now is self-fulfilling. For things to be better than they are, you must see them as better, you have to believe that better is possible, and then you must take the actions that pull that better future towards you. Optimism is the belief that undergirds success.
The first step in removing these infections is an awareness that you have them. The second step is to work diligently and deliberately to replace them with a more positive set of beliefs.