Imagine a group of your favorite Olympic Games athletes. They may be swimmers or runners or baseball players or long jumpers or basketball players. Now imagine them at the last Olympic Games, as the line up to compete in their chosen field. Imagine the amazing amount of preparation they did in the lead up to the games. Their preparation has probably taken all of their lives and their intense pre-games preparation probably took four years. Their bodies are muscular, lean and primed. Their focus is intense and positive. They feel amazing, they think of nothing but the gold medal and they use the sound of the crowds to propel them forward. Their mindset is absolutely 100% fixed on the task at hand.
Now imagine the same group of athletes at the same Olympic Games. Imagine if they were despondent, slightly negative, full of self-doubt and not really willing to try new things, listen to new ideas or respond to feedback. Do you think this mindset would make a difference? Do you think this mindset would help them win gold?
Mindset is absolutely essential to performance and achievement of goals. However, only a small percentage of the population, generally high achievers in sport, business or the arts, really understand how powerful mindset can be.
It’s time for the rest of us to see the light and use mindset to help us achieve our goals.
Mindset is the set of rules a person holds which are so established that they drive a person to adopt or accept a certain set of behaviors. These behaviors then determine how a person performs in any situation.
These rules usually relate to some or all of the following:
Optimism how optimistic or pessimistic a person is.
Flexibility how flexible a person is in relation to situations and/or other people.
Willingness to try new things.
Willingness to fail and then stand up and try again.
Accepting of other people.
Ability to learn quickly.
So a person who has a certain mindset will behave in a certain way which in turn leads the person to achieve certain outcomes.
The premise, therefore, is that if a person can change their mindset, then this will lead to a change of the way they behave and therefore the outcomes they achieve.
For example, people who are very skilled at sports are unlikely to achieve Olympic Games standard unless they have the right mindset. Can you imagine an elite sports person who has self-doubt or a pessimistic outlook becoming an Olympic Games athlete?
We can correlate this across to a business person. If a business person has great entrepreneurial skills, but a mindset which is incongruent with the skills, then they are unlikely to ever succeed in their business field.
Change can and does occur within the timeframe of a heartbeat. We are surrounded by evidence as people change their minds a number of times every day – people often change their views in relation to a business, social or family issue every day. Changing views is really about changing mindset, right?
So if there is evidence to suggest that we can change our mindset very quickly, in an instant, how can this be applied to more macro topics such as beliefs and rules people hold so that larger goals can be achieved more easily?
There are five key ways people can change their mindset. This includes changing:
The hardest way to change mindset is through changing identity HOWEVER this is also the most effective way of changing mindset. The other ways of changing mindset, (values, beliefs, skills and behaviors) are much easier to work on but can take a lot longer before mindset is changed.
A brief explanation of each of the key areas to change mindset is as follows. To change identity, a person needs to find a new purpose which is so significant (to that person) that all else within the person’s life diminishes and they literally change course and pursue their new passion. To change values, a person needs to understand and be totally conscious of what values they currently have and then reset their values through consciously choosing what values they want to live by. To change beliefs, a person needs to understand and be conscious of the beliefs they have and then consciously choose to live by new beliefs. To change skills, a person needs to understand what skills are lacking and required, actively learn new skills and then apply those new skills on a daily basis. The skills could be in relation to any aspect of a persons life including for example career, wealth, social, relationships and exercise. To change behaviors, a person needs to identify what behaviors are limiting to them and then actively change those behaviors. In many cases, this is about catching the behavior’, stopping it and putting in place a new behavior.
People often experience the dilemma and confusion “I am a good person, so why am I not more successful at making money?” It’s true, they are a good person. It’s also true that they are unaware that their mindset is not supporting their goal of making money.
Studying the mindset of highly successful people and pinpointing exactly why they are successful will clarify the key areas of identity, values, beliefs, skills and/or behaviors that lead to that success. If a person models the successful person (in this case high achiever in making money), adopting the same key areas, then a transformation will start to occur and higher levels of success will be achieved.
Next time you are watching your favorite elite athlete it may be the Olympic Games or a National Competition on television or you may be attending a stadium to watch your team or you may be watching your kids play sport think about your mindset. Is it time to see the light and use your mindset to achieve wealth?
Copyright (c) 2006 Sean Conway