HIGH PERFORMANCE MINDSET
Everything You Need to Know About A High Performance Mindset, Including My 6 Key Components You Can Use to Create A Winning Mindset That You Love
What is a Mindset?
At the most basic level, a mindset is “a person’s way of thinking and their opinions.”
But the impact of our mindset is immeasurable, because they determine who we are.
Our mindsets determine how we feel about ourselves. They shape our entire worldview and are comprised of our beliefs, thoughts, and opinions.
Mindsets, therefore, carry immense power and importance;
“A mindset is a belief that orients the way we handle situations—the way we sort out what is going on and what we should do. Our mindsets help us spot opportunities, but they can also trap us in self-defeating cycles.”
Why Your Mindset is Everything
There’s a saying that “mindset is everything”—and that’s true because there’s not a single area of your life that’s not impacted by your mindset.
It influences your health, your finances, your self-worth, your relationships, and everything in between.
Let’s look at some examples below to see how your mindsets shape all areas of your life.
HEALTH & FITNESS
Ugh I’m so tired from working, I honestly just can’t be bothered with exercise today. I’ll do it tomorrow.
I’m so tired from working all day, but I know that if I do some exercise, I’ll feel 10 times better than I do right now! I’ll just put my shoes on and go.
I wish I could get this job but there are at least 3 things listed on this job description I’m not very good at, so I’d never even be in the running for this.
I won’t even bother, it’d just be a waste of time.
I would love to get this job! I know I don’t have every skill they’ve listed, but I can learn anything when I put my mind to it.
Even if I don’t get it, I’ll still learn something from applying so either way it’s a win-win.
All relationships lose their passion over time, it’s only natural.
I’m more in love with my partner today than I was when we first met 12 years ago! Everything we’ve been through makes us stronger, and we have lots of different rituals and habits that make sure our connection gets even deeper.
Doing what you love for work is just unrealistic, especiallly if you want to make a decent living.
Everyone told me I could never make money from starting my online cake business but I did the math and I knew that I could make it work. I love creating cakes for people, and they love buying and eating them!
RESPONDING TO SETBACKS & FAILURE
I’m just no good at this. I should quit now before I waste any more time. I’m so disappointed in myself.
This really hurts not getting the result I wanted, but I believe everything is there to teach me something. What are all the things I can learn from this? What can I do differently next time? Even if it takes a really long time, I’m happy just trying because it makes me a better person. And one day, I’ll make it!
RESPONDING TO SUCCESS
There’s so much pressure on me now. What if I can’t ever do this again? God, I hate all this attention. I’m probably going to stuff everything up now.
This is amazing! I know that I won’t always win so I’m going to enjoy this moment while I can! I’m also going to get really clear on everything I did that helped me win so that I can try to keep repeating this outcome.
RESPONDING TO LOVE
This is incredible but it’s too good to be true! It makes me feel so scared. I mean, what if I lose it all? I can’t bear to have my heart broken again. I really couldn’t cope.
This love is out of this world! It makes me feel so alive. I’m so grateful to experience a love like this.
Imagine the huge difference in how you’d experience life if you had either of these mindsets?
In each example, the first mindset leads to a life full of limitations, struggles, and fear.
The second mindset leads to a life full of growth, opportunity, and fulfillment.
THIS is the power of your mindset.
Your mindset makes you a creator—a creator of yourself and of your life.
How Your Mindset is Formed
There are 3 primary influences that shape your mindset:
1. The country & culture you grow up in
2. Your family or who you grow up with
3. Your self-talk
Let’s take a look at how each contributes to shaping your mindset.
1. How The Country & Culture You Grow Up In Shapes Your Mindset
Every country around the world has a unique culture, and that culture significantly impacts your mindset.
If I grow up in France, for example, I grow up believing that the correct way of greeting people is with 2, 3, or 4 kisses depending on which region you’re from.
But if I grow up in Japan or Turkey or Swaziland–or in any other country besides France–I would have an entirely different set of rules about how to correctly greet someone.
So each country has its own comprehensive set of social rules that we are forced to adopt in order to be “normal” and “good” in the eyes of pretty much everyone there.
These social rules create a sense of cohesion, uniformity, and community.
They serve to create a sense of order and certainty in an otherwise (seemingly) random and chaotic world.
These “rules” are also a form of social conditioning. By consequence, they perpetuate fixed and limited thinking.
Many people follow their country’s rules without question and regard them as pure “facts” for how life must be done.
In reality though, if you grew up on the exact opposite side of the planet from when you were born—in a totally different culture or even as a totally different gender–there’s every chance you would completely disagree with your current beliefs—the same beliefs you’re probably wholeheartedly invested in today.
Overall, these social constructs about what is good and bad, right and wrong, directly inform your beliefs, your opinions, and therefore, your mindset.
2. How Your Family Shapes Your Mindset
When we were toddlers, we had no idea about social conventions or rules about how life must be.
For all we cared, we’d wear our shoes on the wrong foot, we’d put skirts around our necks as capes, or we were just as happy running around with no clothes on at all.
It’s not until our parents—or whoever we grow up with—teach us “the right way” to do things, that the conditioning of our mindsets begin.
Wear these colours.
Wear these shaped pieces of clothing.
Read these books, don’t read those.
Play with these toys, not those toys!
Believe this. Don’t believe that.
In short, they teach us their own truths about reality, which usually falls more or less in line with their country, culture, and their parents’ beliefs.
On top of the social conditioning that they experienced from their society’s era and their own family, their beliefs also became infused with their subjective experience and views on how the world works.
These viewpoints are then directly imposed onto us.
Some of those viewpoints are empowering, uplifting, and supportive.
But some of those viewpoints are limited, discouraging, and disempowering.
As innocent and naïve children, with no other contrasting evidence at this early stage of our lives, we believe our parents wholeheartedly.
That is of course, only until we begin to socialise with others, go to school, read books, watch television, surf the internet, and travel.
As you expand your circle of influence (and intellect), you discover that there’s an infinite diversity to people, opinions, views, cultures, and ways of living.
To varying degrees, these will all serve to influence or change your beliefs, views, and, ultimately, your mindsets.
But until you engage the wider world like this, your beliefs and opinions will typically echo the same beliefs and opinions of your parents.
3. How Your Self-Talk Shapes Your Mindset
Whilst the messages of both society and our family are strong, loud, and often deeply ingrained, there is still an override button that we can use.
It’s the way that we think and talk to ourselves.
If my parents tell me I’m a loser because I didn’t get the education, job, or partner they thought I should have, I don’t have to buy into that judgement.
If the culture I came from says that I really should get married by 30 and have 2.5 kids to be happy, I really don’t need to conform.
Instead, I can make up my own mind about who I want to be in this world, and what my standards are for me. I can choose my personal ambitions, goals, and definitions of success.
As a child, sure, it’s pretty hard to resist socially acceptable traditions and beliefs.
But as a fully conscious adult, my mindset is now 100% up to me.
What Is A High-Performance Mindset, & How Can You Create One?
What would you say that a high-performance mindset, or an amazing mindset, actually is?
Usually we get told from experts in mindset that “top performers think this”, or “the best of the best think that”. Basically, they’re telling you how you should think.
I believe this is very limiting and creates an unoriginal, cookie-cutter mentality.
You shouldn’t have to try to be a version of what someone else thinks you should be.
So instead of telling you what to think, first I’m going to share with you what I believe a high-performance mindset is.
Then I’m going to share the 6 Key components that drive such a mindset.
Then you can use these exact components to fuel your own mindset, in the way that best serves you.
Let’s do this!
6 KEY Components to a High Performance Mindset
Mindset KEY #1- Mindset By Design
First and foremost, a core foundation of any High-Performance mindset is a mindset that you’ve consciously chosen.
Specifically, it’s Mindset by Design.
NEVER by default.
If we’re acting by default, then we’re on autopilot, acting from a lower level of consciousness and awareness. When we’re acting by default, it’s almost guaranteed that we’re acting out of social conditioning or from habit.
These could be beliefs or learned behaviours that we’ve unconsciously picked up from society, or from our family.
A High-Performance Mindset, though, is one that you choose and that you intentionally create for yourself.
It’s Mindset by Design.
Mindset KEY #2- Self-Awareness
Self- awareness is essential to all high performers.
If you’re not sure about this, just imagine someone who’s really unaware—someone who has no idea of who they are, how they behave, or the effects they are having on themselves or others. Do you know someone like that?
On the other hand, if I’m super self-aware—if I have a really deep and accurate awareness of myself and how I relate to the world—then the better I can understand what I think, and I can notice and understand how I’m reacting.
Only then can I accurately see what’s great and what’s not so great about myself, and the more I can consciously change and evolve into a better version of myself.
High performers are creators of themselves and the world around them, they’re not victims.
The more self-awareness we have, the better position we’re in to be able to do this.
Mindset KEY #3- Emotional Intelligence
Our mindset determines who we are.
But we are ultimately only as capable as our emotional states allow us to be.
So if you want to be a high performer, you also need to be able to master your emotional state as well as your mindset.
Your thoughts and emotions are totally interconnected, and a poor emotional state will inevitably impact your mindset.
After I competed in my first karate World Cup, it became incredibly clear to me that if I didn’t effectively manage my emotional states, I’d perform really badly.
What I learnt is that our emotional state has to support our mindset.
In emotional intelligence terms, this is called self-management or emotional management.
But this alone isn’t emotional intelligence. It also includes a lot of other skills, like awareness of others, social awareness, and emotional reasoning, just to name just a few.
And because life is always about you AND others, the best performers in life are also accomplished in many areas of emotional intelligence.
Mindset KEY #4- Core Beliefs
Our mindsets actually stem from our core beliefs, and I want to show you how this works in this simple yet super powerful iceberg model.
Mindset KEY #5- Growth Mindset
The quickest way to a high-performance mindset is through a growth mindset.
It’s definitely not through a mindset that is fixed and stuck.
An example of a fixed mindset is when you always have to be right and you feel really insulted or ashamed if you’re wrong.
A growth mindset is about being curious about learning and adapting. It’s knowing that it’s totally OK to be flawed or to get things wrong.
The thing is, according to almost everyone is a combination of both fixed and growth mindsets. Carol Dweck, the psychologist and Stanford Professor who coined the terms fixed and growth mindset, discovered this.
I believe that the best performers and people with amazing mindsets, they know that they’re a combination of fixed and growth mindsets.
So what they do is actively seek out robust thinkers with alternative points of view to help expose their blind spots.
They want people to respectfully disagree with them, to help stretch their thinking beyond what they already know and believe.
A low performance mindset is the opposite: someone who’s never open to hearing alternate points of view, someone who’s super defensive if you see things differently—these are big red flags for a fixed mindset.
A fixed mindset is also really defeatist, and self-flagellating.
It says, “I could never learn that,” or “I could never do that”.
But a growth mindset is supportive and encouraging.
I can learn this. I’m not very good at it right now and that’s ok.
I don’t need to be perfect.
I’m going to keep going, and I’m going to make this happen.
And even right now, exactly as I am, I am enough.
Now that’s what I believe is a high-performance mindset!
Mindset KEY #6- A Still Mind
A high-performance mindset is also a mindset that can be still.
It’s not just about being endlessly driven and smart or solution focused—it’s also about being able to quiet your mind.
It’s why so many top performers meditate—they know the power of having a quiet mind.
A still mind allows you to connect with a much deeper level of awareness, and it opens up a whole new world of infinite possibilities.
It’s beautiful, and profoundly powerful.
Can You Change Your Mindset?
The short answer is yes!
You can most definitely change your mindset.
You and I aren’t stuck in some kind of mental Groundhog Day.
You can change your mindset about anything, at any time.
But first you must ask do you even want to?
Are you willing to see things differently? Are you prepared to disagree with yourself so that you can stop being so committed to what you already think and believe?
Because you cannot change your mindset whilst you believe you are right.
Even if you want to, you cannot change your mindset when it’s fixed and stuck.
Instead, you need a mindset that is curious to learn, grow, listen to alternate viewpoints, and adapt. You also need a mindset that is ready to be flawed and wrong. These are the qualities of a growth mindset.
It’s true that you’ll find some of your mindsets and beliefs a lot harder to change or let go of.
These might be your mindsets about your self-worth, your capabilities, or how life works overall. These overarching beliefs are usually very deeply ingrained.
Such core mindsets stick with us for decades.
They seem harder to change because we’ve convinced ourselves that they’re the truth.
We bring these beliefs and mindsets from the one experience into the next, from the past, to the present and into the future.
In these situations, you don’t change your mindset.
You stay fixed and stuck in the past, lugging it with you, everywhere you go.
The reality though, is that you can always create new thoughts, choose new beliefs, and create new mindsets for yourself, in any given moment.
Creating a new mindset requires the desire to evolve.
It requires an awareness of your existing mindsets, and to understand the impacts they have on your life.
From there you can consciously commit to building new beliefs, which we grow, develop, and build certainly in over time.
When you take actions in line with your new beliefs and thoughts, you can begin to build the belief that your new mindset is totally valid and true.