Is a positive mindset the key to success?

I regularly receive emails claiming that changing your mindset is the route to your success.
positive mindset
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Today’s email promised me: “Positive thinking is the key to business success”. I couldn’t help but search the individual’s CV. And surprise surprise, they had never run a business, been in a senior managerial role or ‘business development. So how could they make such a claim?

I conversation I had for a future podcast episode, I interviewed a leadership coach on increasing your visibility in meetings. At no time did she mention anything about speaking up, speaking with clarity, preparation, but focused on having a positive mindset. In fairness, she isn’t a communications expect, but should have been aware that other skills are required than solely mind set!

Of course I fully appreciate the power and value of a positive mindset: this is something I work with clients on, alongside speaking and non-verbal communication skills. A positive mindset propels you only so far; skills are needed too.

I wonder how Andy Murray would respond to the promise that positive thinking would make him successful, ignoring that:

  • He has worked hard on his skills since he was six years old
  • He sacrifices time with his family to train
  • He has to work hard to be in peek physical fitness
  • He has built up experience of playing tennis matches over a number of years
  • He practices every day on his technique

He acknowledges that having a positive mindset has a powerful influence on his success as well as his hard work on other areas of his game.

I wonder how JK Rowling would respond to the promise that positive thinking would make her successful? I suspect a clever, witty tweet would confirm that planning a great storyline, understanding what her fans want to read, knowing how to entertain her readers, a fabulous imagination, great story telling skills, hard, hard work, great writing skills ALSO helped with her success.

So when you are considering your own personal and professional development, think about the skills you already have, can develop, the skills you need to get to where you want to and work on these AS WELL AS developing a positive mindset. Then you will be successful. Good luck.

Susan Heaton-Wright
About the author

Susan Heaton Wright is a former opera singer who works with successful individuals and teams to make an impact with their voices and physical presence. Using her experience in using the voice and performing on stage, she works with people to improve their performances in a range of business situations; from meeting skills and on the telephone, to public speaking, presentations and appearing on the media.

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