How Can Having the Right Mindset Lead to Success?

“I pride myself on what I do every night. I pride myself on my work ethic and how I carry myself. I want to be mature in my approach but focused and disciplined.”

– Malcolm Brogdon, NBA basketball player

My daughter Miller is a poster child for having the right mindset to overcoming adversity. On May 16, 2023, she had a right hip labrum operation due to a tear caused by playing soccer which led to a comprehensive, grueling five-month recovery. On May 8, 2024, almost one year to the day of her surgery, Miller stood with her varsity Fellowship Christian soccer teammates hoisting the state championship trophy, a celebration of back-to-back state titles.

What separates Miller from other fifteen year-olds is her mindset; specifically, her drive, resilience and willpower. Let’s take a closer look at each one:

1. Miller’s Drive

Miller is internally motivated to succeed. She wants to be the best at everything she undertakes. Ever since Miller was little, she lacked a sense of self-confidence, as if she was never good enough on the field. Because of those concerns, she started to train 6+ days a week so she could be her best self. All that training pushed her body to the point where she tore her labrum. When the doctor told her surgery was needed and that strict obedience to the recovery process was required to ensure she made it back on the field, Miller embraced the challenge head-on. She conducted daily exercises and went through rigorous physical therapy focused on giving maximum effort while adhering to stated movement restrictions.

2.   Miller’s Resilience

It wasn’t easy for Miller mentally to go from being the top at her game to basically starting over. She knew she had to work that much harder to regain her former strength and focus on the fundamentals again due to time away and lost muscle memory. This challenged her mentally because it was stressful for her to have put in so much work and dedication, only to start over. But Miller knew she could not shy away from the pain and uphill battle associated with her 120+ day recovery. There were days where she would experience physical regression or other challenges associated with her recovery. But she understood the need to address the associated hurdles that came with it.

3. Miller’s Willpower

Miller’s goal from the beginning of her workouts at Fellowship Christian was to make the varsity squad. That required, among other things, the self-discipline to stay on track with all facets of her recovery, having to rebuild her skills in soccer and maintain hope in the face of doubt. It wasn’t easy for her mentally, both on and off the field. But, due to her determination, Miller made the team and gained a starting spot at the beginning of the season.

Lessons to Learn from Miller’s Challenges

“Having the right talent and having the right mindset together can make you unstoppable.”

– Ruben Dias, Portugese footballer

Today, we are witnessing firsthand the important role mindset plays in differentiating success from failure. How we approach tasks, activities, hobbies, and anything important to us will influence both actual and perceived outcomes.

How can you become more like Miller and improve your mindset today?

  1. Become more self-aware: take personality inventories, journal and ask for feedback from others. Use this information to constantly improve yourself.
  2. Adopt a growth mindset: believe that your effort can, and will, make a difference.
  3. Show grit, self-control and self-discipline: focus on persevering, controlling impulses and pushing through difficulty and setbacks.
  4. Adapt to changing conditions: engage in coping strategies.
  5. Use failure as a learning experience: handle setbacks, adversity and hardships by using them as teachable moments.
  6. Focus on outcomes you can control: determine what it takes to accomplish specific objectives and work towards targeted outcomes.

Want to learn more about how to assess where you are in the three key areas of Mindset (1. Drive, 2. Resilience and 3. Willpower)? Email us at to learn more.

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