As I approach this weekend’s World Cup Men’s Giant Slalom and Slalom ski race at our local ski resort, Palisades Tahoe (formerly known as Squaw Valley), I get excited about watching some of the world’s fastest skiers carve down the mountain course with such fluid precision. I watched many of them yesterday practicing on the course and marveled at how powerful, fast, and relaxed they were. As a lifelong skier myself, I could appreciate how these guys perform at a level way above any of us mortals.
Like any pro athlete, these skiers have a natural gift, drive, and dedication to the sport that allows them to compete at the top level. They have trained their minds to get out of the way and allow their bodies to take over as they barrel down a technical course at unbelievable speed.
Having said that, they would sit at the top of the course before clipping into their skis and visualize running every gate on the course in their mind. In essence, they program their bodies to carve the perfect turn around each of the gates. They would then click into their skis, turn off their minds, relax, and let their bodies take over.
This type of visualization can translate into our professional lives. Visualizing what we want coupled with hard work can produce results far beyond our expectations. The challenge with many professionals is that they let doubt get in their way of forward progress. The mind takes over with negative thoughts and never gets out of the way of allowing them to utilize their natural (and learned) skills to perform business development at a higher level.
Building a successful business relies so much on committing in our minds what our ideal business looks like and locking that into our brains. Visualizing a successful client pitch or presentation. Writing down what the ideal client and type of work look like and then actively targeting those clients and matters. Focusing on what we want and not on what we don’t have or can’t do.
This mindset takes me back to one of my favorite quotes – “If you think you can, you’re right. If you think you can’t, your right.” We all have a choice of what we want to focus on. In either case, we will find a way to manifest that path.
I can guarantee you that when these World Cup ski racers click into their skis and get ready to attack a course where the difference of getting on the podium can be determined by one hundreds of a second, doubt never enters their mind. Their only focus is skiing the perfect race. They run that through their minds several times before letting their bodies take over.
Think of what you can do if you start adopting this mental training on a regular basis. We all can improve and get better at our craft. It really comes down to focusing on what we want and never letting doubt get in the way.