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What You Think Matters

03 May 2016

More than your natural talents, skills and hard work; what you think matters more than you realise in determining your results. Yet often, we don’t pay enough attention to our mindset, focusing instead on external factors such as building our skills and experience.

I’m not a huge sports fan but I do love watching the Australian Open. To me, it’s more than just watching world class tennis and amazing sportsmanship. You also get ring side seats to witness how the power of our mind can get us over the finish line when the chips are down.

Your mindset is your mental attitude. It’s influenced by what you think. It determines how you interpret and react to situations, particularly during difficult times. Your thoughts affect your feelings. Your feelings lead to your actions. And your actions determine your results.

If you’re not a big tennis fan, try watching MasterChef Australia and you’ll see the same. Again, as much as I love watching great cooks do their thing, what’s fascinating is watching the different mindsets at play. How for some, their mindset provides the fuel to turn the tide around ….while the other person crumbles under pressure with pans flying and food burning as the countdown clock ticks down.

If you have 15 mins, do watch this very informative and entertaining TEDxTalk “Why Aren’t We Awesomer ?” by Michael Neill about how our thoughts shape our world. In his words “Just because a thought is in your head doesn’t mean that it’s true”.

Looking at your core beliefs is a great place to start to strengthen your mindset. Our core beliefs is what feeds that voice in our head. What we believe about ourselves, what we think we’re capable (or not capable) of, and what we believe about the world around us; all have a profound influence on our mindset.

Cultivating practices to maintain a more positive mental attitude is equally important to build resilience. Whether it is through daily meditation, the practice of gratitude or being mindful to schedule rejuvenation time; experiment to find what works best for you. Then cultivate that into a daily practice.

Your mindset not only affects your personal results, it informs and influences your leadership style. Positivity is infectious and draws people in like planets pulled by the sun’s gravity. Great leaders inspire by painting a picture of a better future. And they achieve success by believing in their own greatness and helping others see the power in themselves.

So, the next time you’re faced with a difficult challenge, remember, what you think matters. Pay attention to your thoughts - that inner dialogue in your head. Identify what core belief is driving them, and if that belief is holding you back, what you can say instead to yourself.

As always, wishing you onwards and upwards in your journey …. to greater mental strength.