What does it take to have the mindset of an Olympian? I recently interviewed speed skater Apolo Ohno, the most decorated U.S. Winter Olympian of all time, to find out how we can unlock our inner potential and be inspired to achieve at the highest level, even in challenging and uncertain circumstances. Here are some of the main takeaways:

Take the Long View

When faced with difficulty, you need to ‘get up on the balcony’ and allow things to settle a little before you make any decisions. When you’re in the midst of a battle on a daily basis, it’s very difficult to have the long view. You can experience moments of uncertainty and helplessness that can lead to a potentially very negative downward spiral. However, if you metaphorically climb up on the balcony, disengage from the field of battle for a beat and look out over the landscape, you will be able to get perspective and make more clearheaded decisions. You can assess the situation, identify the key areas that you need to pursue and see light at the end of the tunnel. On the balcony, you can remove emotion from the equation and make cool, calculated decisions about what to do next in a way that will best serve you.

Have a High-Performance Mindset

Raw talent alone is not enough to become a champion – it is merely the starting line. To win, you must possess the competitive inner drive and fire of the high-performance mindset. Mindset is the single greatest tool that we have. Focus on the process, put in the time and concentrate on the work, and you will have that limitless mindset. Becoming a champion requires all-in commitment, hard work and consistency. Consistency in the daily things that we do compounded over time always yields the greatest returns. And remember – continue to learn and stay hungry, no matter what.

Believe in Yourself

To be a champion, you must believe in your path. Believe that you can rebound from anything. Believe that what you seek you can have, if you truly believe. We all face challenges in our lives, but don’t allow negativity to detract you from your relationships, your work or your goals. Being derailed is a part of life. But remember that you have within your control the power to get back on the wagon, reassess the situation and go on the attack again. Unless you do that, you’re always going to be a passenger in the speeding train instead of the conductor.

Listen to the latest episode of “The Brian Buffini Show” to hear more about unleashing your inner Olympian.

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