Success requires the proper use of certain knowledge and skills. Without the proper mental foundation, there’s no way your knowledge and skills will be used effectively. I refer to this foundation as “mental toughness.” Why? Because there are no shortcuts to success and any level of success must be built upon it. Developing mental toughness is a critical choice you must make.
Here are three key steps to get you going in the right direction:
Get Rid of the Clutter – To achieve any meaningful level of effective performance, you need to eliminate all of the distractions that waste your time and drain your energy. The best way to do eliminate this clutter is to develop clarity on what you want to accomplish.
Focus on Winning – You would be amazed by how many folks focus on avoiding problems, or how not to fail, as opposed to “winning.” When you don’t focus on winning, you allow events to “control” you. You become a victim instead of the master of your circumstances. This creates self-doubt and weakens any confidence you have in yourself. Play to win – all of the time. There is no downside.
Develop Risk Taking Skills – To get what you want in business (and in life) you have to take logical, planned risks. These types of risks usually have a reasonable downside offset by a larger upside or reward. Keep in mind that we all have an “internal risk warning system” that holds us back. The best way to manage this internal warning system is to be clear on what you want to do, which helps you to stay focused on the facts instead of the emotion (fear).
In my new book – “The Go-To Person’s Guide to Success” – I explain the importance of mental toughness is in helping you develop and maintain a success/growth mindset. Willie Mays, “The Say Hey Kid” captured the importance of a success mindset when he said: “What you are thinking, what shape your mind is in, is what makes the biggest difference of all.”
I, like many of you, like information in the simplest and most efficient way possible. If I want or need further explanation, I will ask for it or go look for it myself. It is in that belief that I wanted to share with you 5 very simple but very effective techniques, when used as described, that will make your job as the leader easier and more significant.
These techniques were developed over the span of my corporate career and from my work with my many and diverse coaching clients, and…from the many mistakes that I have made along the way. Continue reading →
Do you like everything “perfect”? Perfectionism isn’t perfect. And it’s one of the biggest business killers. How do you allow yourself to do your best job without getting caught in this dangerous loop? Chris explains…
I can remember telling my sons, and later on, individuals who reported directly to me that I found perfection to be boring and frustrating. I urged them to pursue excellence, or, in other words, to do the very best they could with whatever they had at the time. You know, “play the hand you’re dealt” in the best way possible.
Individuals who pursue perfection – and many of us have met them (and some of you may be one of them) – are never satisfied. They are always looking for one more piece of information or data to help them make a decision or take action. Oddly, they never make that decision and end up frustrated and, in many cases, demoralized. They are, in fact, very unhappy people. I sometimes describe those seeking perfection as individuals who are “studying all of the sides of a circle.”
Unlike individuals who set stretch goals and who are resilient in order to effectively deal with setbacks, perfectionists aim high goals (and in some cases unrealistically) in order to demonstrate their value to others. Then, when they fall short they become brutally critical of themselves. This, in turn, leads them feeling that whatever they do is never enough. Perfectionism, left unchecked, can lead to serious mental health issues. I read recently that research suggests that being too hard on yourself can actually limit one’s ability to achieve success. Being perfect makes it harder to think clearly because of the stress that it causes.
Here are 5 simple actions you can take to offset any desires you might have to be perfect:
Focus on the best outcome you can deliver versus harshly judging yourself.
Focus on taking action to keep moving forward and learning as you go.
See mistakes as normal and as learning opportunities, and not as a “failing grade” on the imaginary report card in your mind.
Set realistic and achievable goals and celebrate small victories. Learn to give yourself a “high-5” at every opportunity that you can.
When being threatened by overwhelm and frustration, stop where you are and identify one positive action you can take – big or small (small is preferred) – that will change the momentum in your favor.
Give it your best effort. It’s really OK not to be perfect.
The Labor Day holiday was created to honor those who have made economic and social strides – achieved success – through hard work in the United States.
Everyone wants to be successful in whatever they do. I don’t know of anyone who starts their day by saying, “How can I fail today?” Unfortunately, far too many start the day without asking, “How can I be successful today?” Rather they get up, go through the motions and in many cases, let the day’s events take control of them. And they do it all over again the very next day – they avoid success! Talk about being in a rut! Does the term victim mean anything to you?
Success only comes when you have a vision, take a risk and reflect it all in an action plan. Success at anything doesn’t happen because you think you can “will it” to happen. The path to success starts with a first step, then another and another, until you achieve your desired goals.
I have always been amazed at the reluctance of people to commit to doing the work that will lead them to be the best they can be in their chosen profession. Why would you hold back on giving it your all?
Nothing can stop you if you have a strong belief in yourself, your abilities and the will to get things done – you know, like the hard work celebrated on this holiday. Never stop making those qualities stronger because nothing can help if you let your self-belief slip.
Learn from Chris how to muster the courage and confidence from within you to achieve your goals. Chris uses a fishing trip to Costa Rica with his grandson to make his points. So, the question to you is, “What are you doing to find and use the courage within you (that’s right, it’s already there), to tackle one of your challenges?” All of us can always use a boost in our self-esteem and self-confidence. It doesn’t happen automatically. It only happens when you put yourself out there. We all have goals that are out there, waiting for you to have the courage to take the right actions to get started. It’s time to stop holding yourself back. It’s time for you to start your excellent adventure. Isn’t it?
My daily routine involves reading the Wall Street Journal while having my first cup of coffee. During my “read”, I always find my way to the daily “Pepper…And Salt” illustration (yup, it’s a cartoon). This past week addressed the concept of focus in a very powerful yet simple way.
While wearing “The Cone” may not be a fashionable approach, the message – being focused – is important for each of us. What do you do each day to establish and maintain your focus on getting the right things done?
For starters, stop doing things that don’t make any sense. Focus – discipline yourself – to start each day working on those tasks that have the highest reward/payoff. The fact is, you can only properly focus on only a few “key” tasks at one time.
Here are the 4 simple steps you can take to stay focused and get the “right” things done: Continue reading →
Everyone wants to be a success. Yet very few realize the full measure of what it means to be a success. They end up settling for something less than what they originally set out to achieve. While success is personal to each of us, from my own observations there are common qualities and habits that the most successful people possess.
Look at this list of “10” ways successful people act and see how you measure up: Continue reading →
Right now, as you read this you are capable of significantly improving your performance if you have the courage to take that very first step to get started. And after that first step, the courage to take another and another until you have achieved your goal.
Your current habits define you. Do you have the courage to change those habits to help you re-define yourself to be the person you need to be to succeed?
Change is hard, and nobody really likes it because it makes you feel uncomfortable. To achieve your goals, you need to have the courage and stamina to push through that feeling of being uncomfortable so that you are comfortable with it and be the master of that change. Continue reading →
At times, I’ve used a simple exercise with clients to help them understand that they need to get out of their own way.
I ask them to look at a mirror and tell me what they see. The initial usual responses are “me;” the next James Bond; some famous personality; etc. The list could fill this page.
I then explain that they are looking at the main culprit, problem or obstacle standing in the way of their success.
After 5 or so minutes, I ask them to look in the mirror and again tell me what they see. There are no more cute responses or so-called witty responses. They are now skeptical and have that deer in the headlights look, wondering if I’ve asked a trick question. Continue reading →