could your mindset be holding you back from success?

Could your mindset be holding you back from success?

This question is one I got so excited about a number of months ago: Could your mindset be holding you back from success? I’d explored mindset from different angles, but never specifically like this. This approach was all about simplifying everything down into two easy-to-use categories of two different mindsets. One, that doesn’t serve us. Another, that serves us very powerfully–and that we can adopt and learn.

The Success Mindset Experience

When we do, we experience greater peace, feel more at ease and less stressed, and are more likely to persevere, face challenges with good humor, learn what we need to learn, and keep going until we get there–that place we really want to be.

This post is both an break-down of that inquiry and the ‘what to do’ if your answer is ‘Yes, my mindset is holding me back from success’ I’m also including an edited version of a talk I gave on this topic recently at Rhodes Wellness College. We got right into it. And, it was so much fun.

Success Mindset vs Stuck Mindset

Two teachers played a vital role in my exploration of all of this stuff: coach Robert Holden, especially his book Authentic Success, and researcher, presenter and social and developmental psychology expert Dr. Carol Dweck, especially her book Mindset.

I’m mostly going to talk about Carol Dweck’s work here–though Robert Holden’s was pivotal too. I recommend it.

Carol Dweck talks at length about leadership, success, why certain kids and adults experience it, and why others don’t. She gets into all industries and arenas: sports, entertainment, education, the corporate sector, even intimate relationships. She brings one lens to all of these arenas: mindset. She divides mindset into two categories: growth and fixed. And this one concept–are we adopting a growth or fixed mindset?–applies to success in all of these arenas.

Failing? Or Learning

When we’re adopting or stuck in a fixed mindset, we tend to:
– Give up more easily
– Have a hard time handling it when things aren’t going perfectly
– Prioritize achieving something versus getting good at something

When we’re in a growth mindset, we tend to:
– Keep going in the face of difficulties or challenges
– See the opportunity to develop their skills when things aren’t going perfectly
– Prioritize getting good at something versus achieving something

The major difference? People with a fixed mindset put “getting it right” first. They—like me in university–often believe ability is fixed, and that if they don’t get it right the first time, it must mean they won’t get it, and that they’re deficient in some way. If other people see them not getting it right the first time, they’ll be exposed as flawed in some way.

Talk about an anxiety-inducing way to live.

People with a growth mindset put learning first. They often believe that ability is not fixed, that if they don’t get it right the first time, the challenge will help them better develop their skills, and contrary to meaning they won’t get it, and that they’re deficient in some way, a challenge means they will learn something to help them develop their skills.

Talk about a much more fun, exciting and rewarding way to live!

Help is Here

Take a look at the above definitions–are you in a Fixed mindset? I sure was. And, it’s ok. The great thing is that we get to choose. Is this mindset serving me? If not, we can do the work to switch over to a growth mindset. I’m strengthening this in myself and seeing a remarkable difference in how I feel. It’s been super helpful during the different stages of my book, From Darkness to Light: from writing, to editing, to working with the designers, to now going into the ‘spreading the word’ stage.

I’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s available to serve you in this concept. If you want to learn more, and I highly recommend you do, check out Carol Dweck’s book Mindset.

This talk will give you a broader understanding, too.

With much love,


Feb 24, 2016 · Read More · Comment

more happiness. Andrea Cairella interviewed me. here’s what I said.

lindsey lewis

Mo’ happiness.

We want it. We seek it. We look for it. And, sometimes, we discover it was there all along.

Andrea Cairella interviewed me for Relationship Lovecast Radio. We didn’t talk about relationships, but we did talk about happiness.

Listen Here

You can listen in here.

Some of What Was Said

If reading’s more your jam, here’s some of what was said:

AC: My goal for today’s podcast is to provide you with tools and strategies, so that you can implement them in your own life and truly see the benefits and impact not only for yourself, but also for the people you care about the most.

Lindsey, what lead you to this work?

LL: One thing that I love to talk about which is this sort of pivotal point in my life that I love to share because it’s similar to the experience that so many other people have is this moment in my life where I had achieved everything I ever wanted to achieve–I was working as a magazine editor, I had this great office with this really nice view and all sorts of red carpet perks, VIP treatment, free clothes, free trips, all sorts of loveliness. And it was actually everything that I thought that it would be but I realized that ‘This is just not for me.’ And if happiness doesn’t come from all of this stuff I had dreamed of, then where does it come from, and how can I get some?

Did I Mean to Create This Life?

LL: And so that realization that I had created this life from a perspective that it was going to give me something once I got there and that I didn’t get that was huge for me. I started this process that so many people I speak with have gone through themselves of asking myself “What can I change? What more is there? Is this it? Or is there more?” And of course I realized “Yes, there is. There is so much more.” And it’s really realizing that happiness comes from within and that we get to create a life that comes from that place, rather than hoping we’ll receive it from something that’s external to us.

AC: Right. And so often we tap into or try to connect to this external stuff to try to fill an empty void that we feel. And it’s really about ‘What is it that you need, at the core of your heart?’ So what are some specific strategies that you can share of starting that, of filling that emptiness with things that can really empower us and increase the happiness and joy in our life?


LL: The first strategy is a strategy but it’s also the foundation of all of the strategies that come after this: the realization that in order to find what we’re seeking we need to look inward, and that we have the capacity to have this deeply impacted and this deeply impactful sense of a very grounded happiness and peace in our lives. And that it comes from within us rather than something we might find.

That is the most important mindset shift that I needed to make within myself and that I help other people arrive at.

We Have the Power

LL: To realize we have the power to change our lives and our experiences.

It evolves into strategies. There’s so many of them but some of the ones I love the most is to practice this realization that we’ll have so many thoughts in a day and that thoughts are not necessarily truths. And yet, if we choose to believe them as such it will impact how we see a moment, a person, our life, the entire world. Thoughts are something we can either believe or disbelieve. That’s strategy number one.

Much love,


Jan 27, 2016 · Read More · Comment

6 ways to experience success–on your own terms


We miss this. We forget it. We get all caught up in so many other things. But when we get it, when we do it–everything changes. And Konstantin knew it. He reminded people of it. And then everything changed.

Here are

6 ways to experience success–on your own terms

1. Do it for the love.

Love the art in yourself more than yourself in the art. Konstantin Stanislavsky was a Russian actor and theatre director. The Stanislavsky system would inspire numerous acting teachers in America whose teachings became a dominant force in film acting. He’s famous for teaching this: ‘Love art in yourself, and not yourself in art.’

What the heck does that mean? It means love the process more than the end result. It means do it for the doing, rather than the receiving. It means do it for the love, not for the love of accolades or recognition or because you want something in return. Do it for the love.

2. Define success.

How do you define success? If you’re like me before someone asked me this question, you might not have spent much time considering it. My entire magazine editing career was founded on other people’s definition of success: money, fame, power. The pinnacle, for me, was going to be getting my name and title–‘Editor-in-Chief’–above a parking spot. And by the time I was 22, I was well on my way there, assistant editor of four different publications and being treated like a VIP: free trips, free spa treatments, free hotel stays, free meals, invites to the hottest parties.

I’d never asked myself: what would success mean to me? In work, relationships and life? And so, I was miserable. Fast forward: I figured it out. Started creating a life that was an expression of my own definition of success. Goodbye, miserable. Hello, happy.

3. Define your Everyone.

Have you ever said to someone else or thought to yourself “If I do that then everyone will think…” or “I can’t do x because everyone else does y”?

Often we are pursuing a certain definition of success because everyone else is. Or so we think. And then we start to look around. We start to get curious. Exactly who is this everyone? And we start to see that the everyone is often a few specific people we’ve let have a strong influence over our life. We start to see that there are so many ways of doing and being in this world, and other people–who may not be voices we hear or who may not have had any influence in our life so far–are doing things differently.

Look at your everyone. Define exactly who in your life says things need to be a certain way.

4. Define your Hall of Champions.

This term comes from a coach named Martha Beck. These are the people who are living a life more like the one you’d like to live, and will continuously remind you of your innate intelligence, attractiveness and capabilities. They may not be people you talk to. Martha Beck tells the story of creating her first Hall of Champions, and having it full of people who she had only interacted with by reading their work. You can have Oprah on your Hall of Champions.

Create your Hall of Champions. Then, use them. When your Everyone is speaking loud in your head, invite your Hall of Champions in, instead.

5. Be the peaceful warrior.

Take action that feels more like peace, and less like anxiety, stress or like you’re shackled. Often, if we’re pursuing someone else’s definition of success, we feel a lot of stress. If we’re pursuing our own, we’ll experience the stress of stretching our boundaries, of expanding our limits, of getting out of our comfort zone, but it will feel very different, and more in service of the reason we’re doing it: because to live in this different way feels more like peace. Like a big sigh of relief.

6. Do it again. And again. And again.

There are certain swords that Sammurai warriors use. And these swords are mighty strong. They get that way after being beaten with a hammer. Mashed down until they become the strongest material possible. Life will do that for you. It will strengthen you by giving you hard times, but getting you to work at something, to navigate a struggle and continue to return. So that, like the Samurai sword, when it’s time to be a peaceful warrior, you’re nearly invincible.

Love Lindsey

Jan 21, 2016 · Read More · Comment (1)

this year, evoke magnificence. 5 steps to create your dream year

Looking Back to Jump Ahead Early in December, I start thinking about the new year. I look back on the year I just had and do something a coach I love calls “running game film.” Like an athlete will watch the film of the game they just played to assess how they did–what they rocked…

Jan 4, 2016 · Read More · Comment

10 inspirational quotes I love

There are tons of inspirational quotes out there. My favorites combine heart and hustle, mind and soul. And help us remember how much of our life is up to us–that we are powerful, creative, authors of our life story. 10 inspirational quotes I love 1. Respect her hustle. 2. You have two choices: you can…

Dec 23, 2015 · Read More · Comment
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