Written by Dylan Gerstley

From failure to frustration: how to transform your mindset

Making true positive change in your life is tough! This kind of progress isn’t always measurable, but if you’re struggling for results, it may have more to do with you than you may think. Your mindset – or the attitude you have toward something in your life — might need a bit of tweaking to get you into a place of transformational change.

Individual leadership, the concept that positive change begins with the individual and not with others, means it’s up to you transform your mindset to achieve a seriously relevant and irresistibly compelling life. But it can be hard to maintain the same positive, abundant attitude day-in and day-out, which is why understanding your mindset and being aware of others, make it easier to quickly adapt your mindset if you need to.

Strategic Coach, a coaching program for entrepreneurs, describes four different mindsets (failure, frustration, conventional success, and transformative) on one of their scorecards. These mindsets can be applied to anything in your life: your habits, your hobbies, your relationships, your job, etc.

At Siegfried, these mindsets are something we discuss regularly, which helps us identify where we are on the spectrum and how we can start making meaningful change to transform our lives!

Strategic Coach’s four mindsets

  • Failure pertains to people who feel sorry for themselves and largely place the blame of their situation on others as opposed to themselves. People stuck in a failure mindset live pessimistically and may lead dysfunctional, angry lives or stick to unhealthy habits.
  • Frustration is less doom and gloom, and more of a feeling of helplessness. You know your life could be better and you can see things that could change, but you’re struggling to implement better habits and you constantly run into obstacles.
  • Conventional success is embodied by those who feel they’ve reached the top of their game and don’t believe exponential growth is possible. They played by all the rules and don’t know there’s anything better.
  • Transformative, the penultimate mindset for living an irresistibly compelling and seriously relevant life, both to yourself and to others, is a mindset of abundance and enthusiasm. People with a transformative mindset see the opportunity for self-improvement in every situation.

You only need to win once

Strategic Coach does a great job of breaking down mindsets and they provide a lot of adjectives for each one so you can better associate with each mindset and what it feels like.

For example, I feel as though the last few months I have spent my time firmly stuck in the frustration mindset. I strongly connected with the descriptive words: worried, self-critical, irritated.

When I first saw the scorecard during a Siegfried meeting, I was excited to finally see what I was feeling put into words, and represented as something that I could change. I was obsessed with moving out of the frustration mindset, but felt incapable each time I pushed for change.

Cue a little wisdom from Siegfried’s CEO, Rob:

“Most people in the failure mindset, it’s too hard for them to jump to transformative,” said Rob. “So how about trying to go from failure to frustration? And then take what you’ve learned and apply it to go again and push for conventional, and then transformative.”

And like a ton of bricks, it dawned on me that by trying to implement huge lifestyle changes overnight, I was only making it worse. To truly transform my mindset, I only had to win once. And that I could do.

Putting it into practice

After seeing the scorecard and hearing the simple advice of slowing down and moving through each step individually, I was ready to start doing small, easy things to start my journey to better habits and a transformative mindset.

I revisited my notes, trying to decide the best way to start and noticed at the bottom of the page: “To change your mindset, change your words.”

It seemed a simple enough notion to follow, so when I looked up at the bare cork board above my desk, I knew I had to put up inspirational words to help me transform my mindset. So I picked another one of my favorite quotes from Rob: “Play the game at a high level.”

What words or phrases would start to motivate you to move from failure to frustration, frustration to conventional, and with some hard work, to transformative? It may seem small, but starting small can be the best way forward!

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