As we reach the home stretch of the Rio Olympic Games, it’s clear – while all of the athletes possess amazing physical ability, it’s the professionals who have also mastered the mental side of their sport who usually bring home a medal.
Whether you call it “mental toughness” or simply a healthy state-of-mind, it’s essential for professional success. You can see it on the intense face of swimmer Michael Phelps as he preps for a race. But you can also see it on the joyous face of gymnast Simone Biles as she smiles through competition after competition.
The point is that these athletes stay true to themselves in how they get mentally ready for an event. They know what state-of-mind prepares them individually to be the best at their job. For some that’s isolation and focus, for others it’s staying loose and not over-thinking things.
So what does that look like for you? Do you need to rehearse over and over before a big presentation to succeed, or do you need to simply have notes and be more spontaneous? Do you need to plan ahead for every possible question in a job interview, or are you better going in relaxed mentally? These are the questions you should ask yourself and figure out over time, just as Olympic athletes have.
Inc. recently ran an article that compiled mental tricks from 7 of the Olympics’ biggest names that gives a window into their mental process. I’ve headlined them below. Take a look and see which outlook is most similar to what helps YOU succeed.
Allyson Felix tunes out distractions.
Michael Phelps visualizes a plan for every scenario.
Lexi Thompson calms herself with happy thoughts.
Daryl Homer uses positive self-talk.
Garrett Weber-Gale doesn’t even consider losing.
Kayla Harrison imagines the perfect game day on repeat.
Merrill Moses leaves some things to fate.
Read the whole article for more insight into each Olympic athlete’s story.