Self determination and a winner’s mentality

By Sloan Sheridan Williams

In this day and age we not only need to be physically fit but also emotionally fit and mentally tough. With athletes, playing the sport you love and excelling in it creates fulfilment and contentment. Using the same mental strategies we can get ahead in the workplace and achieving personal bests in our career contributes to our personal growth which is one of the six emotional needs.

Self determination

The more self-motivation and energy you have the better your personal development and the better the outcome. To set this cycle in motion, you need to implement the three C’s and conquer the art of self determination. Certainty, connection and choice are the personal needs required in order to work at optimum performance.

Certainty is critical if you want to be the best you can be and get ahead in your career. We all need to know we are good at something, to contribute to something greater than ourselves and use our skills and knowledge to the best ability. The environment you operate in has to play to your strengths and capabilities for you to develop a winner’s mentality.

Connection is also critical as it is concerned with how we relate to those around us. Our working relationships within the organisation allow us to feel part of a group of people who are all striving towards common goals. By developing effective relationships with like-minded people we can build strong networks which support our determination to succeed and excel.

Choice allows for an innovative approach which fosters creative decision-making when carrying out an activity. In any role it is important to feel freedom of choice and have a level of autonomy as this results in the determined focused mentality of winners.

What motivates you?

Next you need to ask yourself what drives your ambition. It is either an internal or external driver. If you gain satisfaction doing the job itself then you are driven by something internal and your motivation is based on personal factors. External factors related to outcomes and job performance will be more important for people whose ambitions need to be fuelled by external reward or recognition.

Athletes are either externally driven and motivated by beating the competition and winning medals or intrinsically motivated and place more importance on beating their personal best and improving individual performance. Depending on what motivates you, it is really important that you either put yourself in a position where the job you are doing is enough or choose a role which gives you adequate external reward otherwise there won’t be enough passion and drive to get you to where you want to be and your working life will be severely challenged. You can do this by taking time to work out what is important to you, not the beliefs of others be it your peers, you boss or even your family, but working out what your drivers would be if you had unlimited time, unlimited money and no inner critic.

Winning comes from moving forward

I often tell my clients that it is crucial to take personal responsibility and not always look outside of themselves for external affirmation instead focusing their efforts on developing greater internal motivation so they can take the control back into their lives and achieve constant progression. After all, as athletes will tell you, moving forward is the only way to stay focused on the prize and achieve the results you desire.

Internal motivation can easily push an individual to perform above their perceived potential be that genetic or acquired. Winners don’t hold back anything in reserve, they give it 100% and don’t save anything for the swim home. This is the mentality which enables them to achieve extraordinary results. If you have that same powerful self-determination to push your potential to the very limit then you will achieve your goals and become a winner

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