I once knew a young consultant – bright, highly educated and lucky enough to be picked up by one of the most prestigious consulting firms in the world. He had everything going for him – or so it seemed. Yet, whenever he found himself faced with clients in a sales situation, he didn’t perform quite as expected. It wasn’t that he didn’t know what to do – he’d gone to the trainings, read the books, did the prep work and understood the theory.

Yet, whenever faced with a client in a sales situation, it seemed like he forgot everything he’d learned, and instead turned into a mumbling, incoherent, pitch-happy salesperson. It’s not that he didn’t know what to do, it’s that he simply seemed unable to do it.

That young consultant was me.

Mindset matters.

Since then, I’ve learned a lot of things. I learned more about models, approaches and techniques. More about tools, apps and systems. And more about the minute details of the buying and selling process.

But the biggest lesson of all ? Mindset trumps everything. Every-thing. Without the right mindset, all the techniques, tools and apps in the world don’t mean a thing. Mindset is the foundation upon which learning is built.

As Shawn Achor, Harvard lecturer and author of “The Happiness Advantage” puts it “when our mindset and mood are positive, we are smarter, more motivated and more successful. Happiness (mindset) is the centre, and success revolves around it.” Unfortunately, most of us are held back by our mindset – like an anchor weighing us down. According to Psychology Today, between 60 and 70 percent of the average person’s spontaneously occurring thoughts are negative.

And interestingly, happiness is not the result of success – it’s the other way around. By deliberately cultivating happiness and a positive mindset, we tend to become more successful at work – and at home.

Think about that for a second: if more than 2/3 of our thoughts focus on self-doubt, insecurity, fear of loss and self-criticism: how can we ever be successful ?

Mindset matters. How’s yours ?