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Inside the Successful Leader's Mindset

Inside the Successful Leaders Mindset
image credit: Lord of the Rings

As a business leader, you are mired in the everyday details of your company's success. You're worried about your bottom line, your sales goals, or your next board meeting. Amid the chaos, it's easy to forget that intangibles -- like your beliefs -- play an important role in your success.

The most successful entrepreneurs share a set of core beliefs that help them persevere as they grow their businesses. These four tips will promote a positive mindset and increase your chances of success:

1. Trust that you'll adapt to new challenges. Successful entrepreneurs approach uncertainty with confidence. When faced with an unfamiliar challenge, they think of similar situations they've handled before or skills sets that might apply. "Focus on the abilities you do have and apply your general knowledge to whatever comes your way," says Matthew Della Porta, a positive psychologist and organizational consultant.

Related: 5 Success Tips from Award-Winning Entrepreneurs

If you focus on your current skills and your ability to learn new ones, you'll be less likely to feel overwhelmed. "Trust your ability to adapt," Della Porta says.

2. Attribute your success to hard work, not luck. Successful leaders believe their achievements are due to hard work, not just lucky circumstance. "That's a result of self-efficacy," Della Porta says, meaning that people who believe they've worked hard trust their ability to master new or unfamiliar skills.

Leaders who are confident in their ability to learn are more likely to seek out and persevere through tough challenges, increasing their chances of success.

3. Believe that you are unique. Every great entrepreneur stands on the shoulders of giants, but successful leaders champion their individuality. In other words, they don't try to become "the next Steve Jobs." To be successful, learn from the people you admire but don't try to emulate them.

Related: Four Rules for Innovative Leadership

"You need to focus on being the first you, not the next someone else," Della Porta says. If you foster the unique strengths that you bring to the table, then you will be far more likely to stand out in a crowded industry.

4. Challenge your negative beliefs. If you want to succeed, stamp out negative beliefs that might be holding you back. "People have a tendency to self-handicap," Della Porta says. For example, an executive who believes he won't meet his sales goals is more likely to prioritize other tasks, giving him a preemptive excuse for a poor performance. His belief becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Notice the goals or tasks that you shy away from and articulate your beliefs about them. Challenge any negative thoughts by reminding yourself that you will succeed if you apply yourself. When your beliefs are confident and positive, your actions will promote success.  

Related: 4 Ways to Discover Your Strengths

Nadia Goodman is a freelance writer in Brooklyn, NY. She is a former editor at YouBeauty.com, where she wrote about the psychology of health and beauty. She earned a B.A. in English from Northwestern University and an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University. Visit her website, nadiagoodman.com.

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