How Incredibly Successful People Think

UPDATED: March 2, 2021
PUBLISHED: March 3, 2017
Successful People Think

I believe there’s a huge difference in the way successful people and unsuccessful people think. And I believe that success itself is not some big mystery that people haven’t figured out before. Even though when we’re struggling and fighting and trying to make it day by day to get better, it can feel like this arduous un-noble process. Success has been figured out—and it’s a mindset game.

Related: 5 Things You Need for a Successful Mindset

Most of success is just about how we use our psychology.

I remember when I was starting my business and I really wanted to be good at it. I was trying to become an author and a speaker, and people were saying you may or may not be successful with that. I thought, It’s not like there’s a trait of successful people.

You look across history at successful people and they aren’t from a given background. They don’t come from a specific economic stature. They aren’t in a position where they are of one or another demographic; it’s all over. We have thousands of collective years of history. Some people succeed, some don’t, and I think it comes down to how we manage our mind and our days.

I think there’s a difference between successful and unsuccessful people in the way they particularly think about approaching something new. I think unsuccessful people, when they have a big dream and start thinking about what’s going to be required to accomplish that dream, they get very limiting in their beliefs about themselves and what’s possible.

They say three types of things specifically:

  • “I don’t know how to do that.” So they stop.
  • “I don’t have those things. I’m not like those people.” So they stop.
  • “I’m not like that.” So they stop.

Successful people have a different way.

The challenge is that unsuccessful people keep stopping when they think of what they currently know, have or are.

Everybody dreams. You dream, I dream, successful people dream. Everybody dreams and has a vision. Everyone, if we could just take five minutes and think about their lives, we could all come up with ways to improve our lives and reach another level of success, joy, happiness, achievement, contribution, fulfillment and soul. We can all elevate. The challenge is that unsuccessful people keep stopping when they think of what they currently know, have or are.

Related: 4 Things Successful People Don’t Do

However, successful people say, “I want to do that, but I don’t know how,” and instead of stopping, they say, “Then my job is to go learn that.” They take their current limitation and put it on their agenda as a job to do, as a thing to figure out and make happen. Instead of saying, “I don’t have that,” they say, “Then my job is to go build that.” Instead of saying “I’m not like that,” they say, “My job is to go become more of that, become that person who could accomplish those things.”

When I was starting to do online marketing for the first time, I was literally bankrupt. I went from a place of bankruptcy to the point where I really committed to becoming successful at it. And in 18 months, I made $4.6 million. It was a huge leap.

What created that breakthrough wasn’t that I had new opportunities or new technology, like, “Wow, there’s the internet now!” Those things were already there. I went from one level of thinking to the next level of thinking:

  • I used to say, “I don’t know how to build a web page,” so I wrote an agenda that said, “Figure out how to build a web page.” I spent hours, nights and weekends on my job, figuring out how to do that.
  • I used to say, “I don’t have one of those lists, no subscribers and nobody knows who I am.” So I said, “Job: Go build a list, get subscribers, add value and content into the marketplace, and they’ll come.”

Keep putting stuff out there. I also didn’t say, “I have that dream, but I can’t have that because I’m not like that.” I wasn’t a public speaker and didn’t know how to do video. So I thought, I have to go learn that art and become a better speaker, a better communicator. I have to become more confident. I have to become a person capable of doing these things. I have to change myself to get there. I can’t wait for circumstances to change so I can have my dream. If that was the case, our dreams would never happen.

We have to get to the point of maturity in our lives where we say two things are going to change my life:

  1. Something new is going to come into my life and make me lucky and blessed. But maybe I can’t count on that forever.
  2. So maybe now, instead, I have to consciously design my life. If I want to change and want my dream, then something new has to come from me. I’m going to become a better person. I’m going to become a person who is more optimistic, more confident and more driven, not because I am that now, but because I can grow.

You can become the type of person who you need to be to achieve your ideal life. You can start today, living from your highest ideals, your highest and strongest sense of self.

At some point in your life, you have to give yourself permission to become your best self. And by becoming your best self, you start to achieve your best things. You start to contribute better things. You start to become a better human being. You can do that now, today.

At some point in your life, you have to give yourself permission to become your best self.

The next time you’re thinking about a big dream, stop and think, I don’t know how, and then set it up on your calendar to go learn those things. I don’t have that. Then set it up to build that. I’m not like that. Then set it up step by step to develop the skillsets and competencies you need so you can become that and ultimately achieve your dream.

It’s there and waiting for you; don’t stop!

Related: 5 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Mindset in 20 Minutes

Brendon Burchard is the world’s leading high performance coach and one of the most watched, followed and quoted personal development trainers in history. He is a #1 New York Times best-selling author, a Top 100 Most-Followed Public Figure on Facebook, and star of The Charged Life, a top 10 self-help podcast and the #1 self-help show on YouTube. 5 million people follow him on Facebook and over 75,000,000 have watched his videos. SUCCESS named him “one of the Top 25 Most Influential Leaders in Personal Growth and Achievement.” His most recent book is The Motivation Manifesto. Meet him at