5 Tips for Developing a Winning Mindset

Posted on February 2, 2018 by mmaloney

“Winning is taking the talent and potential you were born with, and have since developed, and using it fully toward a goal or purpose that makes you happy.” Dennis Waitley

There is a lot of information out there on the power of mindset.  Maybe you have read “The Secret” or “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff”.  Hopefully you have read “Mindset” by Dr Carol Dweck (I am a huge fan)!  Or maybe you have a lot of experience with mindfulness from meditation.  Regardless of your experience with mindset, we all know the power of the human thought process.  The great thing about the mind is that it can change and grow.  If you currently don’t like the way you process through adversities or losses you can change that!  I have compiled a list of tips and tricks to keep your mind tuned up, fired up and ready to win!

Develop a Winning Plan

When you go grocery shopping and don’t have a list; do you spend more than you wanted?  Do you buy more junk food?  Do you end up forgetting something?  Does it take you longer to accomplish the task?  I know I can answer a resounding “yes” to each of these questions.

Planning for a project or a goal you have means you develop a plan, you know the pieces of it, you start out trusting it and all of those things lead to confidence to take the first step. Although structured; creating a plan is like creating a safety net for yourself.  You don’t need to be rigid and be completely tied to the plan, however it is a safety net should things go off course.  The plan can ground you, remind you of your goal and your why, and help you re-evaluate and change or re-evaluate and reinforce.

Although I am all for “winging it” sometimes, I definitely don’t recommend this strategy for anyone who is not great with failure or facing adversity.

Don’t take big steps or small steps… take the right size steps for you.

Small steps lead to small wins.  They also lead to small losses.  When you are developing a winning mindset you need to identify for yourself what your loss tolerance is.  If you are someone who gets really stuck in the setback, then you likely have a low loss tolerance.  If you are someone who can push through challenges and let them roll off your back, then you likely have a higher loss tolerance, so take bigger steps.  When you are working on your plan, or developing your strategy to win it is good to be honest with yourself.  This is a strategy to help you develop your resiliency or grit.  Small steps will lead to faster, yet smaller victories and this will reinforce your motivation to keep going.  Bigger steps may increase your pace, but are harder to back pedal.  However if patience is a challenge for you; bigger steps get you there faster!

Embrace the Power of Patience and the word YET

Whether big or small steps, we have been told by today’s fast paced, social media driven, instant gratification based society to want instant success and instant results.  The reality is, that is not how things actually work.  If it was; everyone would be successful at everything.

Whether you are training for a fitness goal like running your first 10KM race, or you are trying to build your first business on your own… give it time!  Too often people quit right before they are about to achieve success.

Have you ever heard that the first 10 minutes of a run are the hardest 10 minutes?  A lot of very experienced and talented runners will still tell you those first 10 minutes suck!  The difference between success and failure is some people push that extra minute to hit 11 mins and others quit at 9 and ½ minutes and never experience the runners high that comes after.

Be patient, and realize that things taking some time, does not mean you are not good at them, it just means you are not there YET.  Use the power of YET to get you through!

See Challenges as Lessons not Losses

This is one of the greatest lessons I teach.  If you can develop a mindset for seeing the lesson in every loss, you never really lose.  This is powerful.  Some of the greatest coaches in history use this strategy to help players get through a losing slump.  If every time you face a challenge you mark yourself as a failure; it will be really hard to keep going.  If you can take a lesson from every loss and not repeat it again, you are going to get closer to the victory next time.

Every lesson is like a weapon to help fight back when you are feeling defeated.  Every lesson serves to arm you better as you prepare for the next battle.  Every lesson allows you more strength to battle back against the enemy.  If you own these lessons you will be less likely to have history repeating itself over and over again.

Self-Reflect… honestly

This leads me to my final tip, you need to be self-aware.  The power of reflection and true analysis of your process will get you farther.  Don’t live in the past, live in the now, but learn from the past.  When you implore tools that allow you to honestly reflect you will allow yourself the ability to move forward.  Self-reflection creates an ownership over your circumstances and allows you to be in control of your results.

The trick to great self-reflection is to have an honest inner voice.  Let go of the judgements of yourself and reflect from a point of fact first and then emotion.  This means instead of telling yourself “I suck” right off the bat, you instead say “I did not do ___________________ as I planned (fact).  It makes me feel like I can’t succeed (emotion).  Fact then emotion allows you to not judge yourself into a place that causes everything else to stop.  As you develop this skill of honest self-reflection you will see the power of the mind to keep you moving forward.

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