Our mindset controls our reality, in more ways than most of us likely appreciate.
When we have a positive outlook, we invite positive people, interactions, opportunities and outcomes into our lives. The same is true when we have a negative outlook, only in reverse.
Recently, I was asked for advice from someone who feared she was setup to fail on a new assignment. As we spoke, she kept reiterating what she wasn’t getting, and that the math did not add up to success. She wondered if she should be looking for a new role.
I shared the following pieces of advice, that I feel serve me well in any situation, regardless of the level of challenge or complexity:
- Failure is how you look at it. It is not in my lexicon. I may stumble. I may fall. I will win or I will learn, but as long as I get up and keep moving, I have not failed.
- There is always another way to look at the problem. In projects, a given scope, at a given quality level, will require a particular amount of time and money. If there is not enough time or money, I get creative in how I deliver the scope.
- Engage, prioritize and be transparent. If the scope, time and money are all set and creative options seem impossible, talk with the customer to understand what is most important. I prioritize that work and am transparent about what I CAN do, rather than focusing on what I can’t.
- Success is delivering in the tough times. Anyone can deliver when times are good. Successful people are ultimately those that deliver when times are lean. Always try to deliver more than what is asked, earlier than needed, for less than expected. It serves me well when a company’s financial situation changes.
After all of this, I had one more piece of advice. Leave. If you are already convinced it can’t be done, and you won’t be successful…you are right. On the other hand, if you are convinced you can figure it out – which your leadership clearly thinks if they assigned you this work – then stay. It is only with that mindset that success is possible.
Your mindset is what determines your success, as much or more than your circumstances.
Have you experienced situations where your mindset made the difference between success and failure? Please share your experience in the comments. Also, if you enjoyed this article, please consider sharing it on social media.