– Written by Rudo Loock

Every four years, we get to watch thousands of athletes battle it out at the Olympic Games. When you hear the word Olympic champion, you immediately think of names like Michael Phelps, Simone Biles, and Usain Bolt, to only name a few. However, only a select few have the honor of being crowned Olympic champions.

The Olympic Games is where all the top athletes compete against each other, but not all of them have what it takes to become Olympic Champions. The athletes that stand out above the rest have mastered something extraordinary that very few athletes have. Fortunately for you, it is something we all can learn.

What sets Olympic champions apart from other Olympians?

The best athletes in the world have all mastered something referred to as the growth mindset. What is a growth mindset? Athletes with a growth mindset chase greatness. In one of my earlier blogs, Never Let It Rest, I talked about how we should never stop when we’re ahead.  

When you have a growth mindset, winning isn’t enough anymore. You are always hungry for more and willing to do whatever it takes to make your way to the top. Why does having a growth mindset give you such a significant advantage?

Top 3 benefits of having a growth mindset

1. It allows you to grow

As the word implies, a growth mindset allows us to grow. A significant part of being an athlete is always looking for ways to gain an advantage over the rest of the field. When you stay hungry, you are willing to take more risks and try new things to ​get that extra edge over your opponent.​

Man getting ready to lift kettlebell

One of the hardest things to do is beating someone who refuses to go down. How fast do you get back up after being knocked down? ​

2. You begin to embrace your imperfections

Let’s face it, we are all human. Even the top athletes in the world have made countless mistakes throughout their careers. That is why they are where they are today. Instead of criticizing yourself for all your mistakes, see it as an opportunity to get better.

Man walking in obstacles to get to success

In my article, Practice Makes Better, I talked about how no one will ever be perfect. Perfection is something you can chase but most likely will never catch. All your flaws and failures are opportunities to improve yourself and become a better athlete. As a result, letting go of your failures becomes much more manageable, and you learn to move on quicker. ​

3. The process becomes more important than the result

Success will never happen overnight. It takes many hours of sweat, tears, and dedication. Any elite athlete can tell you how important the process is to them. They trust the process with everything they have.

How do you trust the process? By focusing on what you can control. Outside factors have a minimal effect on elite athletes because they know it is out of their control. If you remain disciplined in the process, then the end result will come.

Man running

When you fully trust your process, you stop caring about what others think of you. You become so focused on your path and process that everything else becomes white noise. You know what you need to do to get where you want to be.

As I have mentioned before, a growth mindset is something that can be learned. It won’t happen overnight, but it can be mastered with the right amount of discipline and patience. Who knows, one day it might be YOU standing on the Olympic podium watching your flag being raised. 

Dream. Dare. Succeed.

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