A mindset is an umbrella term comprising multiple personality traits, including one’s attitudes, beliefs, expectations and cognitive processes. Psychologists have come up with a number of different mindsets, all of which chiefly fall into one of two categories: fixed or growth mindsets.
Now, for the purpose of better work performance, psychologists have even come up with the so-called high-performance mindset, which obviously falls into the latter category.
Basically, no matter how hard psychology tries to lump us all together and categorize us like items, the thing is – we get to train our brains however we like. We do have that capacity but don’t expect it to be an easy job. Evolution is no small feat to beat, and all of our unused senses and instincts seem to have turned against us. Just consider the rising rates of depression, anxiety and loneliness, and you’ll get the point.
Yes, the brain can be trained, but don’t believe “neuroscience experts,” because there is actually no such thing as a universal pattern. If your mindset is fixed, you can learn to unfix it. You only need to put in some effort and be persistent. It’s as simple as that.
And that’s, indeed, what myriads of coaches have been trying to instill into people’s minds, all with the aim to train your mindset to think about something called high performance. To that end, let’s see how you can develop a high-performance mindset, but the one that will help you live a happy life.
Now, psychologists categorize mindsets in several patterns including, among others, a learning mindset, a global mindset, a high-performance mindset, a competitive mindset, and so on and so forth.
What Is the Famed High-Performance Mindset?
We touched upon the definition above, but there is actually an official tag: a mindset that enables you to unlock your “best self.” What this is supposed to mean is that this is a state of mind in which you set higher goals and stretch your capabilities and beliefs, making sure they give you a competitive edge but don’t break you.
Does it sound like something that can be switched on and off?
Apparently, if you manage to teach yourself that every failure is an opportunity, and consistently act accordingly, you will have achieved a high-performance mindset. Of course, you’ll need to be creative and persistent, too, and be able to continually learn from your mistakes and take criticism in good faith.
As snowboarder Mark McMorris puts it, “commitment is you taking complete ownership of your life regardless of what is going on around or to you.” Shortly put, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
Chief High-Performance Mindset Traits
First off, high performers are aware that some time needs to pass between cause and effect. The lesson to be learned here is – learn to be patient. For some people, this is a difficult task indeed, especially in the fast-paced world of today.
Luckily, practice makes perfect. Every time you lose patience, just remind yourself to remain focused on the goal. Little by little, your patience will grow. Hopefully, if you practice this on a regular basis, at some point it will become a habit – meaning you have managed to train your brain.
Secondly, high performers are persistent. These two traits are two peas in a pod, actually, because if you give up on your goals, patience won’t help you much.
Finally, what is success? Is it a result of hard work over a prolonged period of time? Does it “expire” when the target goal has been reached? Does it comprise multiple small gains, cumulating into one big success story?
Training Your Brain
The latter is a crucial point. Compounding gains are what makes success in the long run. Whatever you are trying to improve, every little is a gain.
This reasoning applies to your mindset, too. When you decide to improve it, stick to it. It is a long-term process, and you certainly won’t wake up a new person one day. Rather, you’ll need to work hard on your habits and attitudes, adapt your beliefs and stick to your goals consistently, improving your mindset one step at a time. Cumulatively, and keeping the above-mentioned patience and persistence in mind, you will be able to drill the new you into the old new, but the old you will never disappear.
Training is an ongoing battle, and the key lesson to learn from it is that as long as you get up a stronger and wiser person after each failure, you’re bound to reach your goal one day.
Applying this strategy to just any aspect of your life is bound to produce some results. Again, little by little. Life is an unpredictable affair for everyone, not just for you, and we all need to cope with the uncertainties, more or less, throughout our life. People battle illnesses, homelessness, losing jobs and loved ones, fail exams, get rejected… that’s a long list of failures and hopeless battles. Still, we fight, at least most of us. The reason why we do it is simple – it’s do or die. And there’s your motivation. Think about every goal as a life-changing situation. If you fall, learn to get up, learn your lesson and try again.
What we’re getting at here is – the high-performance mindset isn’t a new concept. To develop it, you need to work on your shortcomings and train your brain to not give up when things seem difficult. That’s what every psychiatrist tries to help their patients with, so it’s really a combination of self-control, learning, patience and perseverance.
To conclude, no matter how various experts categorize uncategorizable things, the key to achieving a high-performance mindset is in knowing what you want and sticking to the path leading you towards that goal. Just what way you’ll choose to get there is really up to you, and there shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all approach applicable to everyone. We are who we are. We just need to stretch a bit to reach that best version of ourselves.
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