Over the years, I’ve worked with many people of all different backgrounds, ages, and abilities. Among them all, one thing stands out as the clearest indicator of success. No, it’s not strength, talent, money, time, or skill. It’s mindset.

It all boils down to this: the people who think they can get better are the ones that do.

If you come to me and tell me all the reasons why you can’t get better and how everybody else has it easier than you, we have a problem — your mindset is fixed. There’s not much I can do to help you because you’ve already decided your fate.

But here’s the bigger problem: mindset is universal. The mindset you have in one area extends into every aspect of your life. As long as you believe you are at a disadvantage, it doesn’t matter what your actual circumstances are.

So work on your mindset first – stop making excuses, stop complaining. Unless you truly believe that you can change your situation, you won’t.

And if you think I’ve written this post for and/or am speaking directly to you, know this: I’m writing this for and about me.

It occurred to me this morning that for a long time, I’ve believed that I am stuck in one small area of my life. I’ve made all the excuses and complained endlessly about why this one skill is so hard for me and so easy for everyone else.

All these excuses and complaints were a really convenient way of letting myself off the hook for actually doing the work. As long as I failed to improve and become the person I wanted to be, I had somewhere to direct the blame — other than at myself.

I didn’t know it at the time but everything shifted last week when — for a brief moment — I believed that I might actually be able to change and improve. All it took was that split second for me to let go of the excuses and complaints and simply focus on doing the thing. And before I knew it, I was actually doing the thing I thought I could not do.

If you believe that you are stuck, then you will be. But if you let all the excuses and complaints go, you just might find that the only thing holding you back all along is you.

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