Recently I read “Elite Minds: How Winners Think Differently to Create a Competitive Edge and Maximize Success” by Dr Stan Beecham a sport psychologist and leadership consultant and I was absolutely blown away.
Dr Beecham not only provides you with real world examples of him interacting with athletes, coaches, C.E.O.’s, managers etc, but he also gives you the tools necessary to change your thinking patterns on yourself. It might seem like this book is geared towards those with the “kill or be killed” attitude or the 6 hour a day competitive athlete but this is not the case. This book is more about understanding how to perform at your best level possible while using sports as the background because the competitive arena as well as work environments (with added stressors) reveal who we truly are and who we truly can become.
Below I am going to list some key takeaways from his book so that you might be better suited on your journey of self improvement:
Don’t try and be better, instead be the best.
Your mind can make you sick and your mind can heal you.
The three primary components necessary to improve performance are belief, thoughts and behaviors (e.g. Belief : I am not a good person. My coach doesn't care about me…Thoughts: I don't want to be on this team and I don't want to train today…Behavior: Poor performance).
Performance increases as ones obsession and concern for ones self decreases.
If you know where you want to go, you will find the way there, and your way will likely be a route you’ve never taken before. The WHAT comes before the HOW and the WHY should come before the what.
In order to do your best, you must EXPECT to win. Expectation dictates performance.
Competition holds the promise to bring out the very best in us and thats why we should seek it out.
If winning were more important than getting better, then the best athletes would compete against inferior competition that they knew they could beat, when, in fact, the best competitors WANT to compete against the best — EVEN IF IT MEANS LOSING.
FEAR is your real opponent, not some East African who never owned a pair of shoes until he got a scholarship (your scholarship) here in the good ole USA. FEAR tells you to slow down because you might get hurt. FEAR whispers in your ear, “Are you sure this is the right training program? I heard so-and-so is doing so-and-so.” Blah, blah, blah. IT’S ALL ABOUT FEAR. IF YOU KILL FEAR, YOU WIN…WHEN FEAR DIES, YOU BEGIN TO LIVE
Greatness is not about being rational and realistic. Its about irrational and crazy thinking…In the middle of competition you will have the choice to go or not go. I AM SAYING YOU SHOULD GO!