How to develop a winning mindset


Kevin Mangelschots

There are losers and winners in life, and in every game we play. And love it or hate it, to the victor go the spoils.

No matter how many participation trophies we hand out, deep down, we still know who the real winners and losers are.

It is of absolute vital importance to learn how to develop a winning mindset, since it literally enhances every aspect of your life. The mindset of winners is quite truly different from those who have a quitter mentality.

Let me explain why winning is simply a mindset and how it can allow you to become successful, and accomplish your dreams.

Developing a winning mindset in life

Image of the quote, “The ones who win are the ones who keep going after everyone else has quit.”

Developing a winning mindset

  1. Vision

    Developing a winning mindset requires having a powerful vision. Imagining where you see yourself in the future can be an incredibly powerful tool to accomplish the goals and dreams you want to achieve.

    Take an imaginary trip into the future to figure out what will happen when you keep doing what you’re currently doing. Do you need to change anything to become successful? What bad habits are currently holding you back?

    These can all be important questions to figure out what you’ll need to change in the present and future to reach your goals.

  2. Set goals

    A winning attitude is about setting goals.

    Setting targets creates measurable, quantifiable milestones that you’re trying to attain. Not to mention that it makes it easier to create an appropriate plan to reach those goals and to evaluate them. That’s why you should write down your goals.

    You should have your long term goals, which will be your end goals. Next, divide them into smaller, short term goals. Even better is putting a timeline on your goals, since it creates a sense of urgency.

    That’s why I recommend putting a timer on when you want to attain your long and short term goals to increase your working efficiency.

  3. Create a plan of action


    Goal, plan, action text on light box on desk table in home office. Business motivation or inspiration, performance of human concepts ideas.

    Creating a plan of action is essential to reach your desired goals. It comes down to what you need to do in order to accomplish them.

    Do you need to learn any new skill? What good habits do you need to practice, and what bad habits will you have to unlearn?

    These questions can assist you to create a purposeful plan that will make it possible for you to make your dreams come true.

  4. Commitment

    A win mindset means you have to commit. Rome wasn’t built in one day. As such, you’ll need to commit if you want to become good at something. It takes time to become knowledgeable and capable at something.

    Commitment is easy at first when you’re still energized by your motivation. But when motivation starts to dwindle, that’s when your good habits kick in. Motivation gets you started, but your (hopefully) good habits get you there.

    Furthermore, commitment also includes investing some money, your time, and channeling your energy into that project. You can’t half-ass something and expect to become successful. That’s just not how it works.

  5. Monitor your progress

    Image of someone writing in their notebook on their desk.

    You should track your progress. You can’t do something blindly and expect good results. Likewise, it is unlikely that you’ll get it entirely right at first.

    That’s why we need to monitor what we’re doing right, but more importantly, what we could be doing better or what we’re plainly doing wrong and is limiting our progress.

    That’s why you should make it a point to monitory your progress and to write down what you’re doing good, and what you need to work on and change. This way, you’ll get visual feedback of the things you need to change. Visual feedback is easy and obvious to be processed by our brains, which increases effectiveness.

  6. Be introspective

    Becoming more introspective can enhance your life in many ways. But what we’re looking for in this specific case is to use it in order to figure out what you’re doing right, and what you’ll need to improve on in order to reach your goals.

    I personally feel like far too few people are introspective these days. Most people get told they’re perfect from a very young age, and this does more harm than good to their developing personality. It leads to a lot of young individuals, who eventually grow up to be adults living in a lie, and being delusional. This will keep you from attaining your dreams.

  7. Be responsible

    You are ultimately responsible for your own life. For your own successes, but also your failures.

    You’ve got a duty not only to yourself, but also to those close around you, and even society as a whole to be a responsible human being. Everyone benefits when you are doing well in life. You will be happier, you will be a better person, and you will be more capable.

    Whatever you do, society will benefit from an improved version of the current you. And there’s nothing worse than wasted potential. Just imagine how much better the world would be if people actually lived up to their potential instead of being negative, angry, spiteful, and even vengeful to others.

    Not to mention that these negative feelings to others will never improve your own life.

  8. Be patient

    Good things take time. The same thing can be said about developing a winning attitude. That’s exactly why you need to learn to become patient in your life. If you want to reach something that’s unusual, then that means you probably won’t get there through doing what the average Joe is doing.

    Chances are large you’ll need to put in a lot of effort, intelligence, and obviously time as well. Again, much more than the average person does.

    That’s why successful people rarely reach their lofty goals easily, and early on in their journey towards success. We typically just see the prosperity of others, but what we don’t see is how long they’ve struggled to accomplish those dreams.

  9. Focus on the positives


    Picture of a blackboard with the words “positive attitude” written on it.

    Life is full of good experiences, but bad events are bound to happen as well. I’m not asking you to only see the positives. But I am asking you to focus on the positives rather than on the negatives.

    Because obsessing over the negatives will do you no good, and neither will it to those around you. You’ll find you’re much more content and productive when you focus on the things you can change.

    That is precisely why you should focus on the things you can change instead of obsessing over the things you can’t alter. Because trying to change the things you have no control over will simply result in a lot of wasted time and effort. And will only lead to despair because you feel like you’re not in control, and because you’ll feel like it doesn’t matter what you do.

  10. Think in solutions instead of problems

    There are two ways to view a challenge. One is to think of it as a problem, and the other one as a challenge that needs to be solved.

    The second way of viewing the challenge is obviously a better way to approach things in a more positive light. Moreover, you’ll learn a lot more thinking of challenges this way.

    Always think in solutions. And keep note that every challenge and obstacle in your life presents a unique opportunity to learn something new.

  11. Be open-minded, think flexible

    Remain open-minded throughout your life. It is the key to thinking on the spot and remaining flexible in your ways. Life is ever-changing, which means we ourselves have to adapt to the constantly altering new world as well.

    What is more, we must think flexible in order to change our plan of action to achieve our goals. We won’t have it exactly right from the first time. Thus, we will need to adapt. We need to keep what’s working and throw out what isn’t.

  12. Optimism

    Remaining positive is essential to a winners’ mentality. Just because you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything positive to be gained from the situation.

    Bad times don’t last. And there is something new to be learned from even the worst of situations. Remaining positive will do wonders for your mental health. And a good mental health will in turn help to keep your physical health too.

  13. Humility

    Humility is key if developing a winning attitude is something we desire.

    A true winner remains humble. They know that for all their successes and knowledge in life, there’s still so much they don’t know. They know that there are people out there smarter than them, hustling harder than them, and who have more talent than them.

    The key is to surround yourself with people of equal, and preferably more skill. You don’t want to be the smartest one in the room, because then who is there to learn from? Not to mention that there’s no incentive to learn in that case either, since you’re already the top dog.

    However, being the least intelligent or worst at something isn’t good either. Because that means you’re a small fish in a big pond. You don’t want to get picked on, either.

  14. Practice self-control

    A winner’s mindset encompasses the need to be in control of yourself if you want to reach great heights. You need to be in charge of your emotions. And while you can’t directly control your emotions, you can control your thoughts, who in turn influence your emotions.

    Being in charge of your emotions also means that you’ve got to be capable of delaying gratification for a bigger reward in the future.

    Successful people forego the immediate, impulsive desire to satisfy their emotional impulses in order to get things done.

  15. Be confident

    Being confident is important in life, no matter what you do. And without confidence, you can’t develop the necessary skills to have a winning attitude.

    Being self-confident has to do with experience and being a capable individual. Some people are naturally more confident than others by being extroverted and having a less neurotic preposition.

    But what you can do to increase your self-esteem is become more capable. And in order to become capable, one must have the knowledge, and the real life experience to do so.

    People generally become less neurotic with age, too. Possibly due to gaining better coping mechanisms and knowing themselves better.

  16. Integrity

    A true winning attitude is build on integrity. Because what good is winning if you must betray who you are in the process? You must stay true to yourself and to your beliefs.

    At the end of the day, you will have to be able to look into the mirror and be satisfied with the person who you see in front of you. I believe that no amount of money or fame is worth betraying your character.

    Some people will argue that having a winning attitude is doing whatever it takes to be successful. But I believe that there are things more important than money and fame. It is an ethical issue without a definite answer.

  17. Persistence


    Illustration of multiple characteristics of discipline.

    You must keep at it in order to become a winner in life. Sometimes that takes weeks, months, often years, and sometimes even decades.

    True winners will persist where others falter. The majority of people give up far too soon. Long before they could realistically even get close to success. Keep working diligently, and you will be surprised what you can do and accomplish.

  18. Small incremental progress

    A winning attitude is about small, incremental progress. Advancement doesn’t always have to be big to be meaningful. Small incremental progress is still that, progress.

    Small developments will eventually start to compound, and this can spiral you into what seems like “sudden” success. In reality, you’ve been working hard at it for probably a long time, and you eventually got your breakthrough that might look sudden from the outside.

  19. Take action

    Perhaps the most obvious tip from the whole list, but still one of the most meaningful.

    You would be surprised how many people refrain from taking action out of fear of failure, or because they’re afraid of what other people will say.

    Winners know that failure is an inevitable part of life. That it is vital even. Because in order to grow as a person and to become more knowledgeable, failure is paramount.

    The quicker you see failure as an opportunity to learn new things, the faster you will start to see results in life.

  20. Embrace failure

    Learn to embrace failure in order to learn new things in life and to become more capable.

    Embracing failure allows you to take action. As action is often prevented by being fearful in some shape or form. We typically learn the most from our mistakes, because pain gives us an incentive to learn. A true reason because we want to avoid the pain that failing can cause us.

  21. Surround yourself with positive, driven people


    A group of friends hugging on the beach.

    Surround yourself with positive people who want the best for you, and who are driven themselves.

    They will give you true, honest, unfiltered advice because they want the best for you and because they want to see you succeed. Because they’re driven, you can take inspiration from them, and learn from what they’re doing correctly as well.

  22. Take care of your health

    Taking care of your health is the single most important thing you should do in life. You only get one body in life, and without it, we are nothing. What good is all the wealth and fame in the world if we are too sick to experience and make any use of it?

    Never forego your health for quick success, money, or fame. It’s better to stick to a plan that doesn’t interfere with your health. Something that’s sustainable. Perhaps you will reach your goals a little slower, but at least you won’t jeopardize your health doing so.

  23. Journal


    Short term and Long term goals on opened notebook with glowing light bulb

    Journaling what you’ve been doing, what you learned, and what you’ve accomplished can be a great way to track your progression, but also to write off your emotions. You can see it as a free therapy session with yourself. A little “me” time.

    No matter how tough you are, we all need a little help from time to time. And journaling can be a great way to keep yourself mentally fit and healthy.

  24. Keep learning

    A winning attitude means being a lifelong learner. They know that there’s an endless amount of knowledge to consume and learn.

    Thus, there’s an infinite amount of things to get better at in life in order to give themselves the most optimal chances of being successful.

    Learn to enjoy the process. The road towards our goals. For we are typically the happiest and the most content when we are engaged in the process of learning. Not necessarily when we finally accomplish our goals, contrary to popular belief.

  25. Practice good habits to prime yourself for success

    Picture of a man running on a road with the words written: “It's time to adopt these healthy habits for a healthy lifestyle.”

    This is an overarching tip that includes all the previous tips. You should practice good habits. You should program yourself like a machine. Just like brushing your teeth, and showering daily are good habits for your personal hygiene, so should you program your daily habits to prime yourself for success.

    Try looking at yourself truthfully and figure out what things you are currently doing that are holding you back from becoming successful in the future. Like drinking, and wasting all your free time on video games or watching TV, for example. Likewise, decipher which things you are doing good currently, and keep those habits while throwing out the bad ones which are detrimental to your success.

    Bad habits frequently feel great at the moment we’re doing them because they satisfy an impulsive desire. But, they typically have negative results in the long run. Be it for our body, our mental health, or for future successes.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

What is a winning mentality?

Someone holding out his fist with the word “definition” written over it in green letters.

A winning mindset is a specific way of thinking. It regards to someone who is determined, unwilling to give up, spirited, and someone who is able to think deeply in order to find the positives and the possibilities in everything in life, even in negative events.

It’s what allows us to attain success. Be it in business, our social life, and even regarding our health.

Synonyms of a winning mentality

A winning mentality is also commonly called a winner’s mentality, a winner’s mindset, and a winning attitude.

Regardless, their meaning remains the same and those words are typically used interchangeably.


Image of the word, “conclusions” written on a black backboard with white chalk.

Winning is a mindset. And it is the polar opposite to the quitter mentality, and a victim mindset.

Creating a winning mindset is something we should set out to do early on in life as it literally enhances every possible aspect of your personal life and as a result, the lives of those around you.

It allows you to be successful at whatever you decide to pursue in life. Be it achieving success, wealth, fame, or starting a loving family.