Defining & Understanding Mindset
By the end of this chapter, you'll understand one of - if not THE - most important aspects of becoming and being a successful creator.
We'll define what mindset is, why it matters, and why you should care about mastering your mindset.
Doing so will lay the foundation for everything else we're going to build on top of it to help you grow your business.
Let's dive in!
First, what’s mindset and why is it important?
Mindset is a set of beliefs, rules, dreams, and desires that live in your head that determine your thoughts, emotions, and actions.
Dictionary definition: A state of mind or attitude.
For our purposes, we'll look at mindset as not just a state of mind or attitude, but one that impacts the experiences in your life.
Extending the definition to include this is beneficial because you'll more easily see how important your mindset is when it comes to reaching your goals and achieving your dreams.
For example, if you believe that life is a gift, that influences the way you feel, the way you treat others, the emotions of gratitude that permeate your day-to-day life experience. If you can adopt that mindset, you can see how it translates to a better life experience.
Alternatively, if you believe that life is a competition or a test or a battle, you'll have a very different life experience! You’ll constantly be seeking out the rules. You’ll wonder if others are cheating. You’ll try and win and see life as a zero-sum game.
Can you already begin to sense and feel the difference in tension caused by those two different mindsets?
The first feels open and easy and free and beautiful. The other feels tense and charged and on the verge of something bad.
Your mindset is important because it’s what determines how you think, how you act, and how you feel every day.
If you don’t like how you feel every day, the quickest way to change it is to change your mindset.
Exploring that further, here's how your mindset ultimately affects how you feel every day:
Your mindset determines your thoughts
Your mindset provides a framing for how you see and interpret the world. Just as in the previous comparison of life is a gift vs. life is a game to be won.
Every day, every interaction, everything that happens to you will carry a meaning that is determined by your mindset.
You get a phone call from an old friend. There's no inherent meaning in that phone call, except for the meaning you give it.
If you see life as a gift, you might get excited that your friend is calling you out of the blue! What an amazing blessing to be able to reconnect and catch up!
If you see life as a game to be won, you might think that this person wants something, or has some ulterior motive.
Nothing changed in this scenario except your mindset.
Now, extrapolate that out over hundreds of days, thousands of interactions, and you can see a wildly different future for these two different examples.
Your mindset determines your actions
Continuing on with this example, your mindset frames your thoughts, which inform your actions.
How you respond to the person on the other end of a random phone call is informed by your mindset.
What you think is acceptable, or appropriate, or expected of you is part of your mindset.
If you see a random phone call as an opportunity, you'll act differently than if you see it as a competition or a game to be won.
What if, instead of a phone call from an old friend, we were talking about a sales pitch to a potential client?
Or a partnership with another creator?
Or handling a customer's problem with your product?
Again, extend those actions over thousands of interactions across thousands of people and you have a dramatic effect on your outcome.
Your mindset determines your feelings
Stick with me here because this one is a bit more abstract than how your mindset determines your thoughts and actions.
Your thoughts and actions are inputs, things that you create and do. They are internally motivated and completely in your control.
Your feelings, on the other hand, are outputs. They are impacted by external forces and often feel outside of your control.
They are determined by the inputs given at any particular moment.
If your mindset isn't optimized for the output you want, then you get something that looks like this:
Bad mindset + bad thoughts + bad actions = bad feelings.
But, if you change your mindset a little bit, you get:
OK mindset + OK thoughts + OK actions = OK feelings.
And if you master your mindset, then you get:
INCREDIBLE mindset + EMPOWERING thoughts + MASSIVE action = EXTRAORDINARY feelings.
What would your life be like if you felt EXTRAORDINARY every single day?
How would your work be impacted? How would your business change and grow?
The obvious answer is that your life would be dramatically affected by this simple shift in mindset.
If your day-to-day experience is one of suffering or sadness or frustration or disappointment, that’s a very hard place to grow, contribute, and create from.
Here's what's amazing about this "equation" we've laid out. It's less of a straight line and more of a loop:
If you can change your mindset to one of gratitude and faith and abundance, just think of the impact that has on your emotions and your ability to do the creative work you desire to do.
One of the most important things I will do in this book is to show you that mindset comes first. Mastering it makes everything easier. If you understand and change your mindset to one that helps you feel good every day you’ll be more creative, more influential, & successful.
That's part of MY mindset that informed the thought to want to contribute more, which led to the action of writing this book. The results are yet to be seen but because I know the potential a book has to influence others, I'm confident that it will work out as it's intended to.
In the next chapter, we'll dive deeper into the feelings & emotional states that are the outcome of having a better mindset, and how your emotional state impacts the work that you do in tangible ways.
By improving your emotional state, everything you touch gets better - your work, your life experience, your relationships, your health... everything.