Want to be more Olympian?

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Rio 2016 is in full swing.
We’ve been treated to the riot of colour, dance and fireworks that was the opening ceremony and if you’re anything like us – now hooked on the impressive viewing of so many athletes pushing themselves to the limit.  The world showing it’s best.

image: lazyllama / Shutterstock.com

These elite athletes spend an estimated 10,000 hours training and preparing in the four year run up to an Olympic games. That’s a minimum of six hours a day, six days per week, 12 months of each year.
We have our own budding GB swim team member – Abby, the teenage daughter of our developer Sam,  a recent national gold medal winner. The dedication to training and many 5am trips to the pool each week before school are proving their worth.

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When coaches and experts talk about what makes these athletes medal winners, the words most commonly used are dedication, commitment and focus.  Olympic athletes dedication and focus is incredible, almost super human – and yes they do have a team surrounding them helping their training – but when they are competing in their event – most are on their own. 

(image: Diego Barbieri /shutterstock.com)

Can any of us learn anything from such dedication and focus?
Courageous Success research shows that most people acknowledge an average gap of 30% between their current and optimum performance.   There is a 30% opportunity for us all to gain greater results!  Could an Olympian mind-set help us achieve this at work, and to gain more out of life in general?
When we are on the metaphorical treadmill – are we treading water and going through the motions – or aiming to achieve a goal or ambition, large or small?

Are our regular habits constraining us taking the spontaneity out of life, especially in our life at work and stopping us being creative, inspiring and powerful?

So how can we make some simple changes to gain more and bridge that gap to reach optimal performance?

Switch off the autopilot – make small changes to add variety to your routine: try something different for lunch, take a different route to work.

Quality vs Quantity – spend better quality time on whatever you are doing. Cognitive Psychologist Anders Erikson who is an expert on what makes an expert, uses the term deliberate practise.  This approach is used by all world class experts to help them incrementally improve and has four steps.
1. Set yourself a clearly defined stretch goal.
2. Apply yourself to achieving that with full concentration and effort.
3. Seek immediate and informative feedback on how you are doing.
4. Repeat with reflection and refinement.

Embrace challenge taking on new opportunities will give you the chance to learn and grow. Learning helps the brain evolve new pathways which will literally change your mind.  Change your mind set to enjoy this – developing a growth mind-set rather than a fixed one.
– Make the calls you’re afraid to make, get these things sorted straight away, you’ll feel so much better, and each time it will get easier.
– Re-focus – forget cherry picking tasks from the never ending ‘to-do’ list, each day set yourself two key things you will achieve that day.
– Set yourself a life challenge to learn a new skill or achieve something – however small.

Challenges make us stronger, more resistant and our lives more exciting.
Small steps can lead to big changes.
Want to make like an Olympian?
From Courageous Success Growth Inspiration