June 25, 2009 Chris Fuller

Owning the right perspectives on problems and obstacles

No one can affect your thoughts on a situation or event, unless you let them…

So now we are to the “How?” question. If the problems and obstacles are there to help separate the tenacious competitors from the casual competitors, how do we own the right mindset?

1. Check the mindset

When you are in the middle of a battle, pause and ask yourself “what am I thinking about this situation?”. It seems silly to ask you to do this – but the purpose of the exercise is to give you momentary pause to “check your thoughts”. It will interrupt your thinking about the situation and allow you to think about your thinking. What am I thinking? Are they the right thoughts?

2. Keep the sled light

Keeping the sled “light” means I don’t pile other events on my sled. The times that I have the most trouble with my “mental game” is when I find myself connecting unrelated events. I have an obstacle or fail to meet an intended result and I, immediately, start to fight thoughts that tie every other failure in my life to this situation. This situation is THIS situation. If the thoughts attempt to spiral you into rehearsing of all previous failures and short comings, try to arrest the process – STOP THE RUN AWAY SLED!!!!

IF (and it’s a big if) you discover through looking at the situation that there are some bad patterns or choices that do connect some dots – then work to identify the pattern. That’s it – Identify the pattern and work to correct that pattern. Your “lot in life” is not to ALWAYS be the losing sled. Start owning the mindset that you can win – even if you’ve never won before – there is always a first!

3. Evolve

If you remember, the Evolve stage is where we look at the lessons learned, understand the needed course corrections and immediately work to implement the changes into our daily running. John C Maxwell has an incredible book called Failing Forward and it is, absolutely, recommended reading. One of the take-aways from this book is that when people fail – they usually forget the lesson that they should have learned and hold onto the emotional pain of the failure. He goes on to counsel that we should forget the emotional hit from the failure and work to remember what the failure will teach us. This has led to an internal mantra for me that echoes – “Learn the lesson – forget the pain”

This doesn’t mean that we don’t remember the hit – we just don’t allow it to become emotional baggage that weighs us down – remember point # 2 – keep the sled light! I am a firm believer in pain being one of the chief teachers in life – we want to avoid the pain – so we don’t do whatever action caused us the pain last time. It doesn’t mean we choose not to race again – it means we improve – we get better and we try not to make the same mistake twice.

4. The Champion’s mindset

What would the top competitors be thinking in this same situation? In order to change the outcome – we have to change our action. In order to change our actions – we have to change our thoughts and beliefs.

Consistently asking yourself, “What would the best leaders think and do in this situation?” can lead you to an elevated thinking, action and outcome.

But the first step is to take ownership of this area (your thoughts are your thoughts) and a thought cannot be removed – it can only be replaced with another thought. Whether that thought is good or whether that thought is self-defeating is up to you.

Choose with me to “Own” the winning mindset today!

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