The Mindset of Success

By Erwin Wils

We are habitual people. If we want different results, we need to start doing things differently. In this series I’ll share tips that you can apply to your own life and start changing from within.

Tip 1: Make mistakes

When you were young, it was normal to make mistakes. You didn’t know anything yet, so you had to constantly step out of your comfort zone to learn. Imagine a little baby standing up for the first time. I bet you that little baby fell back on its behind a lot, because it didn’t know how to use the leg muscles, knees, waist, hips and how to keep balance. And yet, each and every baby succeeds in standing up (physical disabilities excluded). Standing became walking, jumping, running, dancing, cycling, etc. For a baby, the whole world is a playground. However, somewhere during growing up, we seem to build up a comfort zone and become scared to get out. We are taught that making a mistake is a bad thing. We seem to forget that everything we learned, we once did for the first time. The funny part is that every person had his own comfort zone. What is way out of your comfort zone is the centre of somebody else’s. So when you want to move forward, you have to get out of your comfort zone in order to expand it. Consider this statement for a moment:

Failure does not exist,
only postponement of success.

Really think about it. When you’re not making mistakes, you’re doing things you already know how to do. You are staying in your comfort zone. And it is very reasonable to stay in your comfort zone. You feel safe, everything is known to you, no surprises, a really nice place. This also means that you’re not growing, developing, or becoming the great person you want to become, because growth happens outside of your comfort zone. What seems the furthest away has the greatest growth potential.

By getting out of your comfort zone, you are suddenly in an environment with all new things you can learn. You cannot learn without making mistakes. Mistakes are learning moments. You do something for the first time, fail, and learn from it. Either you learn that it isn’t for you (so you don’t have to do it again), or you know what parts you have to develop so that in the end you will succeed.

Developing yourself really means doing things you have never done before. If you have a goal, you can take steps to get there. If it’s a dead route or does not give you the desired result, you‘ve learned (and grown), and you can choose another route. If you do that often enough, the route to success becomes clearer and closer. Or, as Thomas Edison stated:


“I have not failed.
I’ve just found 10,000 ways it won’t work.”
Thomas Edison

With a mindset of success, you will achieve more. When you realize it is okay to make mistakes, you’re not discouraged by any setback. I know a person who loves cold calling potential clients. He is not discouraged by a “no” on the phone. In fact, he is counting the no’s he’s getting because they bring him closer to his first yes. His belief is that he gets 1 yes every 50 calls, so the more no’s he gets, the closer he is to his first yes. He rarely reaches 50 no’s in a row—how about that for a mindset. Therefore,  make mistakes and start learning!