Trevor Moawad, Vice President of Pro and Elite Sports at EXOS, has worked with top college and professional athletes, as well as high-powered corporate clients, for years. In his experience he's learned how important one's mindset is to actually obtaining what they're striving for, and how a person can really retrain themselves their mindset when it's needed. Here are his top four tips for getting your mindset in the right place.
- Pressure is a reflection of ambition.
Moawad attributes this quote to legendary track star Michael Johnson, with whom he worked for 10 years, The idea is that nothing worth having — whether it's a gold medal or a promotion or an infusion of venture capital — is going to happen without pressure. So rather than viewing the pressure as a negative, look at it as a great opportunity. It means that you know what you want, and that you actually have a chance of obtaining it.
- Preparation guarantees nothing.
"You may have done everything right to get ready for this opportunity or this quarter or this promotion, and you still might not get it," he says. You must simultaneously grasp this harsh reality and at the same time continue to prepare as best you can. Why? You can control your preparation. What you can't control are outcomes. Negative outcomes hurt, but they hurt a little less if you know you did everything in your power to create a positive one.
- Anxiety comes when we don't know what to expect.
"You have to understand what it is you're getting ready for," he says. Say you have a big meeting at 7 a.m. in a hotel lobby, and you'll be flying in the night before. You need to not only practice your presentation in general, but also to practice giving it under those circumstances. Will you be able to perform early in the morning on no breakfast after a bad night of hotel room sleep? That's what you need to prepare for. If you know you can do it, your anxiety level will diminish.
- You can only have a few priorities, or it's no longer a priority.
"Great athletes simplify their focus," he says. "They're similar to an average person in a grocery store. If I don't have a list, I'll come home with a bunch of things I didn't plan on getting." His advice, in business settings, is to keep a very simple focus on what you need to do in the short term to be successful. Measuring that short term is important, too. "Great coaches and athletes create finish lines. There's a reason 90-day diets work. That's all we're focused on."