Not performing at your best? Forget muscles for a bit - you need to rediscover your winning mentality.
Last week, we highlighted the characteristics of a winner as being preparation, motivation, reputation, confidence and attitude. What do you do if these traits don’t come naturally to you?
You need to alter your mindset. Follow these 5 steps to change the way you think and those winning characteristics will start to show through:
- Be positive. Being a winner isn’t about winning. It’s about behaving and thinking like a winner. Successful people have a positive attitude and embrace challenge. Start noticing any negative thought patterns which could be stopping you from succeeding. Saying “I can’t” is a negative mentality. Instead, start asking yourself “How can I?
- Take responsibility. Stop blaming other people or external forces for your life. Instead, recognize that you can always choose your behavior and focus on what you can control. Too busy make it to the gym this week? Don’t moan. Think practically. What can you shift around to ensure even a short workout? Could a one session pass be useful?
- Set realistic goals. Base your goals on your previous performances. So if you can do 10 press ups, try for 15. Aim to bench your own bodyweight if you’re not quite at that level yet. Sign up for a standard triathlon if you’ve just completed a sprint one. Winners don’t delude themselves but know their own capabilities and how to develop them.
- Visualize success. The ability to visualise success is as important as physical conditioning. Many top athletes, including Wayne Rooney and Andy Murray, use visualization to boost performance and perfect technique. Try 10 minutes before going to sleep or before a workout. There are many guided visualisations and books on the market, or you could even create your own.
- Don’t quit. It’s pretty much guaranteed that you will fail sometimes. So learn how to deal with failure. Notice your default reaction to failure (perhaps food or alcohol) and try turning to something positive. Never quit in the middle of a race or game, even if it’s not going your way. Focus on your own mental determination rather than external situations. This will make you feel like a winner, even if you lose.
Success in sports or any aspect of life is all a reflection of your state of mind. Change your mind, change your life.