A whole new mindset

‘A whole new mind’ is the title of a very good book by Dan Pink, but is also a good reminder of a nice idea to help you think about how you think and how you’d like to think in order to optimise your performance.

Very often when talking to elite athletes about the role of psychology in the performance, it’s been very helpful to suggest to think about the difference to their performance that would come if they were able to have someone else’s brain for a day. They are obviously encouraged to choose someone who’s temperament they aspire to, or whom they perceive as having excellent thought control under pressure, or someone who they see as having bullet proof confidence. Having identified the role model, the task is then to think about how things would feel positively different in key situations simply by having some different thoughts, a different style of thinking, pace of think or a different set of experiences to call upon to help guide decision making.

It’s a simple exercise and therefore very quickly establishes some benchmarks for how their personal psychology might be developed in order to keep their own mind, but build some of those thinking skills possessed by the person they aspire to think like. Given that you can choose your thoughts and practise thinking skills, this can really help to create a sense of progress, relevance and growth in the mental side of performance.

You don’t need to be an elite athlete to use the exercise… so who would you like to do your thinking for you today and what difference would that make to you making the most of your talents?