With a professional interest, I am already rather proud at GB achieving what no other nation has ever accomplished: namely to achieve more medals in the subsequent Olympics following hosting the games in London, 2012. However, there is still plenty more inspiration and triumphs to come with the Paralympics this month.
Regardless of your home country, the focus on high performing teams, overcoming obstacles (often injury), developing and sustaining a success mindset and maintaining a total belief and focus on a goal are mesmerising and I believe can be translated from elite sport to the rest of life. Just as skills and strengths useful in the corporate world can likewise be integrated into sport.
Since a teenager, I’ve explored and continue to be fascinated by what it takes to deliver peak performance and what highly successful individuals, teams and organisations do to achieve their specific targets – including enjoying a happy, confident and healthy life. Indeed, this is what I help my clients to do every day!
However, honoured and privileged to witness Olympians train, there is one thing that they consistently do that stands out to me which we can all adopt, too (see future Episodes and commit to an adventure with me for the others!)
They take action towards achieving their goal when they do not feel like it.
They overcome their inner battles and emotions and the negative thoughts of “I don’t want to get up at 5 am and train today.” They get up and train anyway. When they are tired, they push on regardless and find some more energy. When there is pain, they continue to the finish… no more so than during competition. They manage their emotions to become human performance machines.
They are willing to sacrifice short term pain for longer term gain.
They forego the things that interfere with achieving their target. They say no to the potential derailers. This is mindset mastery. Here’s how: At first you will have a conversation (argument!) with yourself. Silence the short term quitting voice in your brain by saying “I may not feel like it however I am going to do it anyway” and do whatever it is that you do not feel like doing. I can say from experience that it is easier to do than you think – however, you do have to actually do it! You override your ‘little’ self. If you keep doing this every time, your determination to win will kick in. As a result, the voice will quieten and eventually stop attempting to lure you away with false treats of instant gratification.
However, every inhibition in the brain uses up valuable willpower so it becomes harder as the day goes on… you have been warned!
You can do this, there are no special powers required: you probably do it for lots of insignificant things every day that you do not even realise that you are doing even though you do not want to do them.
When they do not achieve the result that they desire first time, they carry on and try harder next time. After all, the next training session is the next day.
They do not allow themselves to wallow in defeat. They do not permit themselves to accept a below par performance either. Whilst I believe that every opportunity taken brings with it essential learning to take forward, you must be careful that you do not let yourself off the hook with poor results because otherwise it becomes an excuse. Yes, you may need to be tougher… or hire an expert to give you bold feedback and challenge you to exceed your own expectations and stop settling for second or even third best. Well, I would say that wouldn’t I? However, this is exactly what elite athletes and leaders do.
So I invite you to apply this Brighter Thinking strategy towards the most important goal that you would like to achieve by the end of the year. Yes, you know THAT goal. The one that was going to change everything in 2016! Yesterday would have been better, however start NOW…
How did this resonate with you? What goal do you need some help with? Email me at email@example.com and, yes, I personally answer all emails!