TEDx Talk: How to create a successful mindset in business & life | by FEMPRENEUR founder Maxi Knust

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TEDx Talk: How to create a successful mindset

In 2016 I was invited by the german university Handelshochschule Leipzig (HHL) to give a TEDx talk that fits to their topic 'Beyond the extraordinary'. I didn't have to think for a moment, as my favorite topic "How to create a successful mindset" came up. And this so crucial - not only for business but also for life. When I started my own business, I was also facing old destructive belief sets.

And I had to learn that somehow everything that comes up in life and business, which goes for me pretty much together, is a challenge for me to make a change in my thoughts and my behaviour. One thing for example was the challenge of making a shift from negative thinking to positive thinking and how much this really can change your reality if you stick to it. 

This important learning was something I urgently had to share with the audience of this TEDx talk (More TED Talks here) and as it was also streamed on Youtube, also with the world. But to make it clear: It is not only about visualizing what you want, it is more important a call for actions - actions for the good! So I deeply hope you will get inspired to make a change in your life, even if it's just a small one, but thereby improving your life and in consequence also the life of others.

Find below the video and the transcript of my talk. And have fun watching it!

Leave me comments about your thoughts on this topic!

Transcript of TEDx Talk "How to create a successful mindset"

Have you ever heard of this saying?

„Watch your thoughts; for they become words.

Watch your words; for they become actions.

Watch your actions; for they become habits.

Watch your habits; for they become character.

Watch your character for it will become your destiny.“

This saying shows, that everything starts with our thoughts. The roots of our destiny are in our thoughts.

Today I want to show you how important it is to carefully watch your thoughts and how you can create a successful mindset. Our thoughts determine how our life looks like.

You think that‘s sounds crazy?

Well, I want you to imagine this situation:

You want to take the bus to go to work or to university. Usually you need around 5 minutes to walk to the station, but today you only have 2 minutes left. Though it seems impossible, you decide to run to catch the bus. You step outside your door and while running to your bus station, you have 2 options now:

As I am a person that is most of the times 15 minutes late, I know for my whole life this situation where I run and try to catch the bus.

Some months before I started my own business „Fempreneur“, I had a mind changing experience. Again I tried to catch a bus. But this time, I thought positivly. I really thought I can make it. And guess what? I caught the bus.

So you might call it luck.

But I experienced many times afterwards, that this way of thinking in every kind of situation, - that I can make it, that I deeply believed in it and put all action in it to make it happen - somehow things turned out much better for me and increased my life quality.

What do you usually think in this kind of situation, where you try – for example – to catch the bus?Most of the times we tend to think the negative way - if we are truly honest with ourselves.

But why are we tending to think more negative about the outcome of our efforts?! I assume, we are afraid. We are afraid to be dissappointed in case we don‘t reach our goals. Or we are afraid of what other people might think about us.

But I want to show you that in every situation you always have two possibilties to think:

Either negative or positive.

And if you look at this bus situation: What do have to loose?! Just give it a try the next time and turn around the negative „I can‘t make it.“ into a positive „I can do it.“ thought. Don‘t do it once. Repeat it. And make positive thinking a habit.

If you want to train your mind, to focus on the positive things in your life, you can write down every evening, what you perceived as the most negative and the most positive moment in your day. You might already see that most of the times, the positive moment in your day outweighs the negative.

A little story...

Let me give you another example out of my life, that shows how much our positive thoughts and images in our mind, can help us to make our dreams come true. When I started being interested in entrepreneurship I read a book by one of the most successful entrepreneurs, who became my inspiration: Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Airlines, Virgin Records and so on.

And it became somehow a goal for me, to meet him one day. Actually my plan was to have some coffee with him on Neckar Island and just talk about some business and philantrophic stuff. And as crazy as this dream seems to be for other people, I always believed that this will happen one day. I also always had a picture in my mind of how this situation would like.

Well I have to disappoint you a bit, because until now, I haven‘t been on Neckar Island, visiting Richard Branson for some coffee. But something else happened two weeks ago.

I was invited as a journalist to Bits&Pretzels – a founders event in Munich – where Richard Branson also had a keynote. So you can imagine how excited I was to, at least, see him from far away on stage.

But remember I told you I am always 15 minutes too late?!

Well, as much as I was determind to be on time, somehow things turned out totally differently. My train had to take a detour as there was a car accident. So I missed the other train and I arrived some minutes late. Because the conference room was already fully filled, the staff didn‘t let people inside anymore. But within the last year my mindset has been changed from complaining about this and being frustrated into taking action and finding a solution to get there in somehow.

So I was talking to the staff, telling them I have a journalist ticket and I need to get access to this keynote. But they didn‘t let me in. But another thing happened: They told me there would be a press conference afterwards, I didn‘t know about before.

And I had access to it with my journalist ticket. I couldn‘t believe my luck, went to this little room and saved the best seat in the first row. And before the press conference started, I met two other journalists, I was talking to, who I invited to sit next to me. And then it seemed so surreal that Richard Branson sat just an armlength away from me.

And I had the chance to ask him a question. But I wasn‘t picked to ask. And then the moment rose up where it was said: „The last question please.“ Fortunatly the guys besides me showed to me and so Richard Bransons attention came to my person. And so I had the opportunity to ask him a question about Female Entrepreneurs, which I didn‘t imagine at all in the morning when I got up.

So people might call me a lucky girl. But the thing is, what no one sees, is that I always strongly believed in meeting Richard Branson one day. And in the end, my thoughts became reality.

The Law of Attraction

The idea of thoughts become things, is the Law of Attraction.

Everything that is coming to your life, you are attracting this into your life. It‘s being attracted by the images you hold in your mind. It‘s what you are thinking. Whatever is going on in your mind, you are attracting this. Always remember that!

But only by sitting at home and hoping and dreaming of a different life, nothing will change.

You have to take action!

So the first step is to think about what you truly want. What YOU truly want. Not what your parents, frirends, society or whoever has expectations of how YOUR life should look like.

If you know what you deeply thrive for, try to imagine a specific picture in your mind and how you will feel in this situation. And then if you walk around with open eyes and ears, there will be opportunities showing up to you.

And then you have to take action and not let it pass. Say „Yes“ to the opportunities that show up in your life. And usually we feel not prepared enough or not ready for it. I also wasn‘t prepared at all for asking Richard Branson a question.

"Say „Yes“ to the opportunities that show up in your life."

I am not a „real“ journalist. I studied Business Administration and it just happened that I founded an online magazine. So I had two choices again in this situation.

I could either be intimitated by the missing preperation, or I could feel like a noob in the middle of all these „real“ journalists. I could have seen all the negative things about this situation and focusing on my fears.

So there was an opportunity showing up and I could just have let it pass. But I took action. And focused on being couragous. And taking action makes the difference between successful and unsuccessful people.

How to train your mindset

But how can we create a successful mindset?

Actually, we can easily train our brain by replacing our old destructive belief sets through a healthy and successful mindset. I have written on a piece of paper that is taped on my mirror some mantras, that I repeat every day to myself. And within some weeks I realized that almost automatically my perception changed. Just to give you an example, on what is written on my piece of paper, to give you some inspiration:

I see the positive things in every situation.

I determine about my success.

I focus on the things that I can change – and not the things I can’t change.

I am open and grateful for the changes in my life.

Make sure that these sentences are formulated positively, because our brain can’t process the word “NO”.

Aim high, dream big!

A final exercise for today:

Get up all!

Imagine ringing a bell in 2.50m. Now jump and try to ring the imaginary bell.

Now imagine the bell in 3m. Jump again!

You might already see my point in that.

As higher you set your goals, the higher you will jump. The more effort you will to invest. The more you will do to reach your goal.

So if you think about your goals, either they are quantified or qualified, always aim high and dream big!

Be willing and open to learn your lessons along the road and always keep in mind that your thoughts determine your success in life!

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