In programming your winning mindset, the key to success, and failure, is simply this...'we become what we think about'.

We have a distinct advantage over every other living creature on planet Earth because we have 100% control over how we choose to think. Not just control over how we think, but how we choose to think. We can deliberately change it at any point during any given day.

We are bright people and most of us learned long ago to avoid situations in which we fear. This could have been situations which we personally experienced or situations we learned through experiences of others. For example, you've had a long relationship; you split up – now your mind creates an association of fear and pain with relationships. There's now a little voice inside your head, which says to you: don't go there again, don't expose yourself, don't step outside your comfort zone, and don't expose yourself to that pain.

In many situations, this makes eminent sense. Our mind is programmed to protect us and in doing so avoid situations where we might get hurt (physically or emotionally) or where we might lose, fail or be rejected. We have a built-in early warning system that alert our minds to these kinds of situations so that we can avoid them.

But here's the critical part.

Unfortunately, this early warning system often leaks over into other areas of our lives where we aren't at true risk. Our goal is to grow and therefore we should programme our mindset to engage with life, step outside our comfort zone, take calculated risks, learn to become comfortably uncomfortable, learn to thrive on the adventure of life and see the unknown as our friend not our foe. It's about being comfortable with uncertainty, knowing that uncertainty is the catalyst for growth.

You have a choice to change negative thoughts and behaviours into positive, enabling and empowering thoughts and behaviours. The way you choose to think is key to you being able to create the mindset and outcomes you want. I know that's easy enough to say when everything is going great. You feel powerful, successful and can easily propel yourself forward. But life is about ups and downs and at some point, you will face some sort of challenge or failure.

It's at that those critical junctures, what I call your defining moments or defining choice points, that your ability to harness your winning mentality will set you apart.

Positive thinking
John Cronin, who has Down Syndrome and is co-founder of John's Crazy Socks, an online sock store that donates a percentage of its sales to charities that help others with disabilities, smiles at their headquarters in Melville, New York, U.S., July 23, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

When someone has faced failure, a knock down or worse, what is it that created their mental strength, their personal resilience to pick themselves up, dust themselves off and go again?

It was their ability to hone, polish, develop and refine their positive attitude. But if programming your winning mentality and shaping your positive attitude are so critical to success, the question is how do you do it and why haven't more people mastered this essential life skill?

Our mind comes as standard equipment at birth. It's free, and we don't tend to value the things that we get for free or use them to their full potential, because we tend to take them for granted.

The human mind does not care what you think, it will simply do as it's told. A concrete, worthwhile goal, or confusion, misunderstanding, fear and anxiety. It's all the same to the human mind, which is happy to manifest either in abundance.

Some of the most important conversations you have are the ones inside your head...with yourself. It's critical you pay attention and truly listen to your inner voice and the quality of the internal conversations taking place.

The mind is such a powerful force and no matter what programmes you've previously run or what thoughts you've given greatest attention to in the past, the great news is you can override even years of poor programming with the right focus.

Focus on how you choose to dedicate yourself to the way you think, how you choose to dedicate yourself to being positive, how you choose to dedicate yourself to reacting in a positive way.

If your waking hours are consumed with positive, enabling thoughts, ideas and strategies, what's going to happen? You will become those positive, enabling thoughts. The things you say and words you use have equal power to shape your thoughts. Be aware of your choice of words, what they mean and the impact they can have on yourself and others. You get action when you make a simple change from 'I should' to 'I must.'

A winning mentality is not only critical to your success, it's entirely yours to choose. If you're not yet practicing a winning mentality every day by conscious, deliberate choice - start now. It's not an overstatement to suggest that it can literally change everything!

Royston Guest is a global authority on growing businesses and unlocking people potential. He is CEO of Pti-Worldwide, author of #1 best-selling business growth book, Built to Grow and founder of livingyourfuture™. Follow him on Facebook or Instagram. Connect with him on LinkedIn or check out his weekly blog at