Every year, in early January, the local gym is packed full of New Year’s fitness converts. And every year, In February, at that same gym, only the dedicated remain. What makes the difference? What do the people in the second group have that most of the people in the first mindset do not have?
The answer: A certain way of thinking. I call this way of thinking the Mindset of a Winner. It doesn’t happen automatically. This mindset takes time and practice and support to develop. But it is worth the time and effort.
What is the difference between a professional athlete and an amateur athlete? There are a number of possible answers to that question, of course, but my favorite answer has two words: purposeful conviction. Someone who is under contract to a major-league baseball, football, or basketball team doesn’t approach conditioning and working out as something optional, but as something non-negotiable. The routine of working out is part of who they are, part of their reason for getting up in the morning. An amateur might say, “I don’t much feel like working out today.” For the professional, that is simply not an option.
The question is, how do you move from the amateur level, the level of “Do I really feel like doing this?” to the professional level, the level of purposeful conviction? And the answer, in my experience, always lies in finding something you know you are personally committed to changing in your own life. This often requires a conversation with a coach or mentor.
A client of mine (I’ll call her Michelle) had a habit of discounting heavily during the sales process. After several coaching conversations, we uncovered what this habit was really costing her. Instantly caving during discussions about pricing, and about the value she delivered, was keeping Michelle’s daughter from experiencing the quality of life Michelle knew she deserved. Once Michelle grasped this fact, holding on to margin became part of who she was and what she did as a professional. I can still recall the expression on her face when she looked at me and said, “This has to change.” It did!
Accomplishing ambitious goals, in my experience, requires two things: careful self-examination, often with the help and guidance of a coach, and a mindset of purposeful conviction – the winner’s mindset. When your purpose is clear and your conviction is strong the difficult decisions are easy, and the way ahead becomes clear.