5 Steps To A Positive Mindset

With so much change and uncertainty over the last few years, it’s easy to feel out of control. We’ve had to navigate staying at home, having a smaller group of people to call on and lots of negative stories both in traditional media and on our phones – it’s easy feel like you’re in a downward spiral.

After retiring as a professional England cricketer, Jeremy Snape studied a master’s degree in sport psychology and has gone on to work with and interview some of the world’s biggest stars from Gareth Southgate to Nelson Mandela’s cellmates, regularly sharing these insightful and engaging interview insights in his podcast ‘Inside the Mind of Champions’. He’s also the the founder and CEO of Sporting Edge a company that provides insight into mental training and leadership skills.

So, what practical tips can we learn from the world’s elite performers in sport, business, military and performing arts to reframe our thinking and get back into a positive routine?

Jeremy says “The first thing is to take control – playing the victim may feel like the right thing to do but it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Whoever or whatever circumstances have knocked you off track, we have to make peace with and seize back power. So much of our fulfilment comes from making progress that the first thing we need to do is loosen the emotional shackles that have been holding us back. Seeing yourself as the CEO of your own performance company is a great perspective – every choice you make about work, hobbies, friends, and your wellbeing will affect your share-price from this point. Once we’ve reframed our situation and wrestled back power we need to make a plan- here are 5 steps to help you to supercharge your mindset and start making an impact again”. Below Jeremy describes the 5 steps you can take to help create a positive mindset to overcome even the most challenging of situations.

1. Goal Striving

“Elite sports performers have this amazing ability to visualise their end game in high definition. They don’t just visualise themselves lifting the trophy or biting the gold medal but they imagine what it will feel like to be a champion, what people will say about them and the pride and confidence they will have in themselves. Seeing this identity level shift is a powerful way to raise the bar whether it’s a wellbeing goal or a promotion at work. Then we need to turn our dream into a roadmap this is where we break down each component of the goal into smaller behaviours that we can do every day. For example if an athlete want’s to run their personal best then they will need to be in peak shape technically, physically, mentally and tactically – each of those can be broken down again like physical can be broken into strength, flexibility and so on. The key is to take these drivers down again to create a flexibility plan or a strength plan so that each day you have a schedule of different activities which help you to see your progress. When discipline is added to your habits and plans you will start to see transformational results – progress gives us pride and positivity.”

2. Focus

“When we lose control, we either say no to everything because we can’t face the world or we say yes to everything because we don’t want to let anyone down. These strategies won’t make you happy, so we need to find a middle ground. Now that our goal is set and we have the image stuck on the fridge door, we can ask the question – ‘does this request or activity help me to get closer to my goal or does it push me further away?’ when we have that focus point we can start to say a positive, polite and early ‘no thanks’ to the things which waste our time or distract us. Feeling this power to choose and to design our weekly schedule is very empowering. Now clearly we may be part of an office team or a family unit which calls for us to be a team player so we need to find a balance but when we start to stack positive habits on top of each other and remove time wasting tasks we start to channel our energy levels into what matters most”.

3. Resilience

“Is something that we hear a lot and we often presume it means being stubborn. It is far from it and we need to consider ourselves as a bamboo tree bending in the breeze rather than a concrete bollard stuck into the ground. We will always have setbacks and mistakes that knock us back but we need to absorb that frustration and flex back into position when the conditions allow us to. The example being two football players who miss penalties – one who thinks they are just ‘rubbish at football’ and the other that thinks they missed the penalty because they didn’t have a clear target and rushed their run up at a specific time, these elements can be trained and improved over time. Another way to stay positive is to reflect back on your past successes and your strengths – you’ve been successful before, just go back to what you were thinking and doing back then and try and bring those elements back into the current time”.

4. Wellbeing

“Positivity is a psychological outlook, but we can improve our head by using our body too. As the CEO of your own performance company your daily results will ebb and flow, but each choice affects the next one in the chain. How we eat, drink, move, sleep, and recover all play a vital role and the good news is that we can break a negative cycle really quickly. When we exercise more, we tend to eat more healthily and drink more water, our natural endorphins give us that emotional lift and we rely less on alcohol and as a result we get deeper phases of sleep for longer. Alcohol may help us to fall asleep quicker our sleep quality is compromised as our body diverts energy to flush out the toxins before it can get to work on helping our brain to recover”.

5. Community

“If the old saying is true, we become most like the five people we spent most time with. If we’re looking to lift our mindset and mood we need to spring clean our friendship groups and work colleagues. This is another choice for us to make and it all relates to that inspirational goal we set at the beginning. If our close friends and network are constantly dragging us down with distraction and negativity then we’ll feel like we’re swimming against the current. By choosing to join clubs, networks and forums where the majority of people already exhibit the lifestyle and mindset we want, we’ll naturally rise to meet them. Our mental health is central to our wellbeing, and I hope that these insights help you to reframe your current situation into a potent gameplan to achieve your goals. Imagine this date in three year’s time and you’ve achieved your goal – your mindset will have been the key to your success”.

Find out more about how mental training and development can help you by visiting Sportingedge.com. You can also listen to Jeremys podcast here.


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