Are you talking yourself out of high performance?

I ran one of our Science of Sustained High Performance workshops recently, which includes a focus on mindset. I was explaining how a friend of mine always (and I mean ALWAYS) gets a great park at Bondi Beach throughout summer regardless of time of day – this is no mean feat as any Sydneysider knows! She always focuses on the fact she will get a park, not worrying about how horrible it is going to be trying to find one. I went on to talk about the power of a positive mindset and the law of attraction.

It was at this point that one of the workshop participants piped up to disagree. Specifically, her claim was that the law of attraction doesn’t work as she had been telling her husband for years that his positivity was a waste of energy. Nothing ever turned out the way they wanted, it was just fact. When I suggested that that was her pessimism coming out, she disagreed again, saying ‘It’s not pessimism, it’s just reality’.

Mindset for high performance

We talk a lot about the mental space in our work, things like mental health, mindfulness, positivity and negativity. It is all about your mindset for high performance. Those who develop the mindset of a champion are the most consistently successful. Positive psychology and sports science helps us to make sure your mindset is where it needs to be for your pre-frontal cortex to work at its optimal level. Things like managing stress are important here, as well as ensuring you have the right level of optimism.

Interestingly, some studies have shown that 50% of your natural optimism is determined by your DNA, so some people are just naturally more ‘glass half full’ than others. Now here’s a little productivity performance tip for you – if you have a team of people who have three positive thoughts for every one negative thought, positive psychology has shown they can be up to 40% more profitable. Anyone negative in your team is like a cancer on your profit and needs to be dealt with quickly.

The good news is, neuroscience shows us that you can re-wire your brain. It’s called neuro-plasticity of the brain, so you can actually train your brain to think more positively. If you can rewire your brain for a success, growth mindset and more positive optimism mindset, you as leaders will absolutely become more profitable.

Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right

My workshop interaction was just a simply example of the power of mindset and the impact it can have not only on your productivity, but on your overall outlook on life as well. What the pessimistic participant didn’t realise was that her disagreement and example proved my argument, case in point. The optimist will always find an opportunity in any situation!


If you’d like to find out more, join the conversation in our next open workshop.