How to Choose Your Mental Game

by | Jul 12, 2021

I notice more people talking about problems and what not to do at present. In these times, it’s easy to be sensitive to a loss of control, to ambiguity, and uncertainty. However, obsessing about risks is unhealthy and unhelpful.

For leaders, consultants and advisers, your attitude and mindset are broadcast to teams, organisations and industries. It influences culture and performance. 

For some leaders, pressure and risk will stimulate entrepreneurial thinking and innovation. They accept the risks and chart their own way forward. They step up.

More commonly, pressure and uncertainty cause some individuals to retreat. They gravitate to the safety of the crowd, justify procrastination and shift blame to avoid criticism. I suspect that behaviour says more about their own insecurities and self-esteem than anything. 

All leaders can learn a lot about mental toughness from the coaches of high-performance athletes. They don’t tell an athlete what not to do to win. They tell athletes what they should do, how to do it and when.

During competition, winning athletes are focused on what they know works. They build on their strengths. They don’t dwell on weaknesses or what might go wrong. 

American Olympic gymnast and gold medalist Shannon Miller once said “In the Olympic games, everyone is talented. Everyone trains hard. Everyone does the work. What separates the gold medalists from the silver medalists is simply the mental game.”

The same principle applies for all leaders, consultants and advisers when competition is intense, the stakes are high and the risks are daunting. 

Positivity and negativity are contagious. Choose your mindset.

Until next week.

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