Build An Olympic Mindset
It’s hard not to get sucked into the drama of the Olympics. Watching these amazing athletes at the very pinnacle of their discipline put it all on the line for that one golden moment. Often the distance between success and failure is just the smallest of margins. The ecstasy of a gold medal and validation for every sacrifice you’ve made over the past four years vs the agony of falling short of your dreams and having to wait another four years for your next chance. It’s utterly compelling.
We may not be able to reach the sporting heights of these heroes, but what can we learn from the way they approach their goals to help us adopt the mindset of a champion in our own lives and in our businesses.
How To Build An Olympic Mindset
First and foremost, Olympians have a clear goal. They know what they want. How many of us float about without any clear direction or focus? One week we might want this and the second week we might want that. Olympians achieve their goals because they know exactly what they want and they have a crystal clear vision to achieve it. Once you know what it is that you really want, you have to name it and claim it. Let it become your Olympic Gold Medal and put in and Olympic effort to realize it.
Once Olympians set their goals, they then set out a plan to achieve them. Every day of their life for the four years between Olympic Games has been planned. Nothing is left to chance. They never just turn up at the gym and say ‘what will I do today?’. It has been planned to precision long in advance of the Olympic Final. They turn up every day both physically and mentally, they have a plan of what they are going to do, why they are doing it and what they are going to achieve as a result.
If you want to achieve anything you need a plan otherwise all you have is an idea. You can’t just leave things to chance and hope that somehow everything will fall into place by magic. You need to set measurable goals and be able to monitor your progress and evaluate your results. Target specific areas where you want to improve on and that will give you the biggest return in the long term and pursue them with laser focus and unrelenting determination.
You need to have a plan but also be flexible to adapt to changes that will inevitably occur so you don’t get thrown off course and can take advantage of opportunities that are created through times of crisis. Be agile, be on top of changing events and be prepared to respond swiftly to new situations.
Olympians know their strengths and their weaknesses. They know what their body can do and what it can’t. They’re a Cyclist, or a Gymnast or a Judoka. They don’t try to be everything. They maximize their strengths and work to improve on their weaknesses.
Not only that but they know the strengths and weakness of their competitors and their teammates. They know how to take advantage of a competitor’s weakness and how to avoid going toe-to-toe with them over something they know their competitor has an advantage. They work within their team to complement each others strengths and weakness to create the strongest team possible. Collectively they know what they can do and who to turn to when they need help.
Have you really analyzed yourself to identify your strengths and weakness? Are you a specialist or are you trying to be all things to all people? Do you develop strategies based on your abilities in order to achieve your optimal results? Do you know your competitors? Do you know how to beat them? Are you getting the best from your team? Are the right people doing the right jobs and are you all pulling together in the same direction?
Taking the time to evaluate your strengths and weakness alongside your wins and losses is crucial to measuring your online business success. Otherwise how do you know if you are improving or what you need to do next time to achieve better results. You need to have a ‘post-match’ talk with yourself at the end of each day and ask if you achieved everything you wanted to today, what were the key decisions you made today that got you closer to your goal, what can you do tomorrow to solidify your strengths and build on your weaknesses?
Olympians are always looking for ways to improve performance. They are open to new ideas, innovations, efficiency models, whatever it takes to make those marginal gains.
Are you open to new ideas or are you stuck in your ways? Have you been doing the same thing the same way for so long that to try something new feels like a big hassle you can do without? Do you create an atmosphere where people around you feel free to make suggestions and try new things or do you rule with a rod of iron?
Where Olympians might look for a more efficient stroke to improve their time in a swim, you need to be looking for more efficient ways to use your time. Time is your greatest commodity, you can’t buy anymore but by using technology to create innovative processes and efficiency systems you can spend less time doing tasks giving you more time for other things. Strive to be at the cutting edge of new technologies and systems rather than fear them.
Understand that those currently beating you and those chasing your online business are constantly innovating so you have to be open to ways of doing things to improve performance and not only hold your position but improve upon your position. Let those around you strive to be the best and allow them to try new ideas, even if they don’t work out. Create a positive, creative energy around you and your business to get the best from your team. Squeeze every last inch of progress out of every opportunity and always be looking for ways to get Faster, Higher, Stronger.
Olympians know what they want and do not stop until they get it. They endure all kinds of pain, disappointment and heartache but always pick themselves up and keep moving forward in relentless pursuit of their dream. They are self-disciplined, they have guts and they have an unshakable belief in themselves. You might never run faster than Usain Bolt or defy gravity like Simone Biles but you can take the lessons from the Olympic mindset and apply it to your own goals. Your personal gold medal is there for the taking!