Some people see challenges as a puzzle to solve while some see then as an opportunity to grow. Others see obstacles as threats. Still others see obstacles as a ' sign' they cannot succeed. Point is, how you view the barriers to achieving your goals affects how you react. This has an everlasting impact on your success in life and science now proves it.
If you see obstacles as the world being against you or as meaning you failed, then you are likely to be overwhelmed with painful thoughts and difficult emotions, so failure exists for you and cuts you down ultimately effecting your sense of self worth.
When faced with an obstacle maybe you feel any number of emotion that urge you to take certain actions that are not always helpful. Perhaps you immediately experience fear telling you to escape the situation, that you are in danger or shame that forces you to hide. Often these emotions get in the way and once again you avoid carrying on with the challenge. To understand the actions associated with the emotions, try this fabulous atlas of emotions.
Your reactions to obstacles can stop you from trying. You see some people encounter obstacles to a goal in a way that stops them, while others gain energy from “the haters” and the challenges life presents. The ability to bounce back from adversity and stay persistent with your passions—especially when things get tough—are traits of highly successful individuals. Though some individuals seem more predisposed to it stamina is something you can develop, and the capacity to learn and grow in adversity can be taught.
Stamina has been studied in varying ways over the years. Resilience is the ability to get back up when you’ve been knocked down or to come back fighting stronger after a loss. It reflects the optimism to continue even after multiple failures, and during tough times when everyone else gives up, its what helps you 'bounce back'. Some thought it was inborn only but positive psychology is proving otherwise.
Where resilience is the power to bounce back, 'Grit' is to persevere. Angela Duckworth, a MacArthur Fellowship winner and TedTalker with over 16 million views studied grit and defines it as the “perseverance and passion for long-term goals.” Explaining it as the motivational drive that keeps you on a difficult task over a sustained period of time or life, grit relates to how much you can inspire yourself, access your passion, and sustain your motivation. Surprisingly, grit can be learned. Want to test yours here ?
A Growth Mindset
Carol Dweck’s research on motivation found that when students had a mindset which perceives a challenge as an opportunity to learn rather than an obstacle to overcome, they responded with constructive thoughts. This 'growth mindset' aligns their behavior with persistence rather than defeat and are defined by 4 factors especially in educational settings : 1) Beliefs about themselves 2) Goals 3) Feelings about their social connectedness 4) Their self-regulatory skills
Can this research combine to help the average or extraordinary person in the street increase their success ? Below are my top 6 tips to peak performance by learning a growth mindset.
Six Ways A Growth Mindset Can Lead To Peak Performance :
For those ready to shift paradigms, stretch outside of what they know, who dont want to be limited anymore, join a Mastermind 3 month training based on neuro-scientific research and develop the toolkit for success in all areas, €197 p/month. Tickets here.
Flexible thinking takes a little work. Its totally possible though and good for your health to develop agile thinking because learning to be less rigid in your thoughts and actions allows resilience and grit to blossom. Flexibility in personality and thinking style, an experts area turns problems into opportunities for growth and learning. Enthusiasm and creative thinking helps with this as does consistently trying new things which help us see ourselves as capable.
2) Small Steps Aligned with A Bigger Purpose
Gallop institute research on the future of wellbeing supervised by Dr Deepak Chopra is one of many study groups that confirm that people with a sense of purpose are happier. Very abstract and often difficult to define, purpose is better broken down into short term goals which align with your bigger purpose or vision. Add some self regulation, because intentions alone will not get you to your goal, and you increase your success rate and your speed of accomplishing goals. This keeps you persevering step by step, and more inspired.
3) Affirming The Actions - Altitude Attitude
Outdated approaches to failure that damage self esteem are being replaced with ways of affirming the actions of the student rather than the student h/herself. This fosters resilience and reminds people of their role in a successful outcome. Rather than praising them for “being smart”, not being good at maths”, where the mind gets fixed and 'identitifies' with success and failure as fixed on self worth, teaching resilience in schools now encourages perseverance and praises effort, rather than celebrates a seemingly fixed trait. This above all send the message that success or failure is a dynamic process, can develop and needs effort.
Creativity requires a certain state of mind often bringing with it positive emotions. These lead to a broader thought-action repertoire opening out creative, flexible, integrative and open thinking patterns.University of Western Ontario (Nadler et al, 2010) research support this theory. Participants listening to happy music or watching funny clips were more innovative and solve the problem at hand, than those unexposed. Creating positive environments encourage creativity and help to increase our flow of ideas and innovation. Moreover, these...
"Creative outlets can harness otherwise destructive energy...and also increase the complexity of our capacities to relate to the world.” Czikszentmihalyi, 2007, loc. 5901
5) The 5 People Paradigm Shifter Method
The success adage that you become like the 5 people who hang out with the most applies and suggests that we are influenced by our environment. Neuro-plasticity science confirms that brain cells regenerate, and both nature and nurture combine to influence behaviour. So surrounding yourself with people with both passion and perseverance towards their goals, those that you admire, strengthens possibility and role models the mindset required to peak performance. Standing on the shoulders of the proverbial giants does make us taller.
6) Silent Reflection
Silence helps the mind to rest and slows down activity, thereby introducing alpha frequency brainwaves. Your awareness deepens and you realise victories and gain clarity of your deeper needs and desires for your life. Priceless time for reflection while walking in nature, with daily journaling, meditation or gratitude exercises create spaces without judgment that tunes your own inner GPS system for your life. This inner guidance makes you powerful beyond measure.
Both the ability to bounce back from failure and peaking your performance so your passion and perseverance towards reaching a long-term goal is made easier with consistent incremental skills training. Start now by finding a highly trained professional to train you in growth mindset, but pay specific attention to learning to affirm your actions, increase neuro-agility, creativity and reflection in your routine. Finally, select your friends, peers and colleagues carefully and stagger your goals always alining them with the big vision.