Our culture is obsessed with success. We all want successful careers where we follow our passions and leave a mark on the world.


And there’s no shortage of advice about how to get that success.


From Oprah, the media mogul, who says:

“The number one lesson I can offer you where your work is concerned is this: Become so skilled, so vigilant, so flat-out fantastic at what you do, that your talent cannot be dismissed.”

…to Debbie Millman, author and founder of the Design Matters podcast, who says:

“You don’t just find and get a great job. You find and win a great job by constantly refining and improving skills.”

…to Cal Newport, author of So Good They Can’t Ignore You, who says:

“Skills trump passion!”


I wholeheartedly agree with them. If you want career success, you need to stand out with your skills.


But as important as skills are, they’re not the whole picture. If you want a truly successful career, you also have to cultivate the right mindset.

Mindset is the way you think about the world: about your skills, your performance, your opportunities, and your setbacks. Your mindset is directly linked to the way you behave. And how you behave at work is critical to your performance, no matter how many skills you have acquired.


The Mindset + Performance Link


Mindset is kind of like the weather in your brain. Things can seem foggy or sunny depending on your thinking patterns. In turn, mindset creates emotions. (Think of the way you feel on a day with your favorite weather as opposed to a day with weather that brings you down.)


Emotions, in turn, create our behavior. How do you act when you’re happy? You probably see the bright side of every situation and go out of your way to be helpful. How do you act when you feel sad or annoyed? Doesn’t it take more energy to be patient with other people or even be around them?


In short:


bad mindset = bad emotions = bad behaviors = no success


The trick is that you might not be aware of your emotions or your mindset. It’s like how we tend not to notice the weather when it’s the same every day.


In order to see what’s happening with your mindset, you need to look at your behaviors.


How are you at dealing with your co-workers? What about coping with stressful situations?


Take a look at this list. If you’ve experienced one or more of the following, it’s a sign that it’s time to change your behavior by working on your mindset.


  • You find yourself playing the blame game when things go wrong. If you’re upset, you blame your boss, your co-workers, the process, or the tools.
  • You feel like you won’t be happy until something in your work changes. Your success feels dependent on what other people do or don’t do.
  • It’s hard for you to accept change or go through change.
  • You have a black and white approach to your job: your way is the only way.
  • You get upset when work gets stressful.
  • You’re afraid to speak up at work.
  • You find yourself wanting to quit your job whenever you have a bad day.
  • You get frustrated because work is hard.
  • You find yourself getting defensive at work.
  • You just want everything at work to be perfect.


Changing Your Behavior and Mindset


The only way to change your behavior is to understand your thoughts and emotions about situations. This is not easy. It means you need to dig deep into the climate in your mind and be really honest about what’s leading to your success-sucking behaviors.


The good news is that there are many concepts and techniques you can learn that will help you manage your thoughts, your feelings, and your behavior. Get a coach or mentor. This can be at a 1-1 level or in a group atmosphere, like an online program. [click here to work with me]


You want to talk to someone who:

  • Has the knowledge and skills to help you manage your behaviors and thoughts about your career.
  • Is not emotionally engaged with the company’s agenda or politics.


There are also lots of good podcasts and books that offer advice from the best coaches and leaders about managing your mind and emotional intelligence.


Whatever you do, take some action. One reason you may not be progressing at work, either in terms of promotion or personal satisfaction, is because of an underdeveloped ability to manage your behavior. Start working on self-awareness every minute of the day so you can utilize your skills and build the career success you’ve been dreaming of!


If you want support in shaping your mindset so you can be the best employee ever, sign up for a free strategy session at (click here).