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Prepping Your Mindset To Propel Your Performance

(it’s the cherry on top)


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Tallulah Goldsmith

a year ago | 3 min read

Very quickly, important meetings, pitches, and situations can become pressure inducing. Especially if you’re leading your employees into a new venture- something that may be terrifying to you full stop. Naturally, good preparation can help with these performance jitters.

Many bosses will stop reading here… I get it, you know how to plan your week. Calendars and lists, post-its, etc. Setting out a clear and concise schedule is important. But not as important as planning your mindset.

Mindset has been discussed extensively in recent years, information spread far and wide regarding the growth versus fixed approach to pressure, mistakes, and trying new things. Without a doubt, a growth mindset is crucial for a great leader- you should be open to suggestions from colleagues, hold your hands up when blunders have occurred, and be a change maker.

These traits are most important when you’re experiencing a time crunch, or a stressful situation. And it’s up to you to be prepared for this mentally because the fact checking, and pitch perfecting has already been done!

It’s all about that ‘zest for work’.

Personally, I’d argue that depending on the activity, day, and how much I’ve eaten (hangriness exists!!), I can switch between the two unconsciously. Identifying your own fixed mindset is incredibly useful and will help you to detect the reservations of your employees when it comes to certain situations too. Once you have mastered planning your own mindset, you will have the capacity to support your team too. My fixed mindset sounds like this, for example.

Photo by Henley Design Studio on Unsplash

Personally, I’d argue that depending on the activity, day, and how much I’ve eaten (hangriness exists!!), I can switch between the two unconsciously. Identifying your own fixed mindset is incredibly useful and will help you to detect the reservations of your employees when it comes to certain situations too. Once you have mastered planning your own mindset, you will have the capacity to support your team too. My fixed mindset sounds like this, for example.

A. ‘I can’t do that’

B. ‘Ask someone else to help’

C. ‘I’m scared to try in case I mess up’

Photo by Biel Morro on Unsplash

When I change my mindset actively, I can replace these phrases with better ones…

A. ‘I need some practice at this’

B. ‘Could I work with a group so I can learn?’

C. ‘I’m ok with messing this up and trying again’

Making these changes takes work but ensuring success in the most challenging situations is more likely when you’ve planned for tough days in advance, so that you’re ready to take it on mentally, with an open but fortified mindset (it’s called winning). And here’s how to prep for that winning mindset, whatever the situation.

Step one: Identify those stress inducing situations. Finding yourself nervous before an important meeting, or just any interaction that involves people that make you tick, is completely ok and normal. What wouldn’t be ok is ignoring the way you are changed by these events…

Step two: This brings us to the next step. Acknowledging how you change in certain situations. If there’s anything that throws you off your game, it’s vital that your mindset is remaining positive, open, and accepting. Being comfortable with our weaknesses can show your employees that it’s ok to struggle sometimes, so long as you’re doing your best to improve.

Photo by DJ Johnson on Unsplash

Step three: Correct. This is the toughest one. How can you take your stressful situation, acknowledge the negative implications it causes to your performance, and reduce these undesirable results? The definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. But if you practice a positive mindset, with the right preparation, again and again? Well, your skills and knowledge may still be the same, but your performance and office space will irrevocably improve.

Let’s prep our mindset then.

  1. Give yourself time before that meeting to do something completely unrelated to the task at hand. This means go for a walk, meditate, reduce your caffeine intake. Your planner for the week will have a nice green circle around that high pressure interaction, and you’ll know that means you’ve got to feel your best. You can’t fake inner calmness; you need to practice it.

2. Reassure yourself that your preparation has been adequate, you are actively ready to take on this task.

3. Consciously breathe before, during and after the situation. You will keep your mind clear, and it will help you to not speak too fast.

Why is mindset important to your performance?

Performance is heavily influenced by your anxiety, arousal/attention, and care. The optimum levels of arousal and anxiety will produce the best performance, as demonstrated by the Yerkes-Dodson Law.

The Yerkes-Dodson Law, Healthline

The care and enthusiasm demonstrated in leaders makes them more likely to be anxious/feel pressure regarding the task at hand. As explained through my piece ‘How a little anxiety can make you a great employee-or employer’, whilst nerves are good, too much pressure can result in poor performance.

Hence, it’s important to learn the best ways to keep this and your mindset in check. So, remember, Identify, Acknowledge, Correct, and propel up your behaviour and business to another level.

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Tallulah Goldsmith

Content writer and copywriter for psychology related articles.

Psychology student writing about behavioural sciences, business psychology and child development


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