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To separate yourself from the crowd, you must stand out in a sea of average. To stand out, do the opposite of average.

Getting better is hard. We all need help. Even the highest level professionals in the world have a coach. Use these tips and strategies to help yourself get a better today.


Is It Really Worth The Effort?

Your answer to this question depends on whether you have learned helplessness or industriousness.

The term learned helplessness was first introduced over 50 years ago by psychologist Martin Seligman. The concept refers to a person’s tendency to stop trying when they don’t see positive results after repeated effort.

When people don’t see the connection between their effort and their outcomes, they will eventually stop trying at all. “They actually learn to be helpless when they feel their work is hopeless.”

The opposite effect is learned industriousness. People who have learned industriousness try harder for longer periods of time when they see even the smallest positive results. The willingness to keep trying creates an unstoppable loop of increased effort and positive outcomes.

Confidence Connection: Both learned helplessness and learned industriousness behaviors will transfer from one activity to another. When you see your efforts pay off, you are more likely to try hard on new tasks. Be industrious, not helpless.


Keep Your Cool When Emotions Run Hot

Keeping your emotional composure during key, high stakes situations is essential.

When you run hot, your ability to process and remember information is inhibited.

Maintaining emotional composure helps you think clearly and act quickly. It can also help you find unusual, creative, and flexible solutions that you can’t see when you are emotionally charged.

Here are three things you can try next time you need to keep your composure in an important situation.

  • Focus on your breathing. Focusing on your breathing is calming. It can help activate your prefrontal cortex (the critical thinking portion of your brain).
  • Ask questions. When you ask a question, it directs your thoughts away from you. A well time question can also give you a few seconds to gather your thoughts before speaking.
  • Take a break. Pausing a conversation can prevent an unnecessary eruption filled with impulse reactions and poor behavior.

Composure Connection: You can’t control other people, but you must be able to keep your own cool when the stakes are high. Not keeping your emotional composure can seriously jeopardize professional and personal opportunities.


Think Like a Professional Instead of an Amateur

Some people are hugely successful. Most of us struggle to stay afloat. One of the main reasons is our tendency to think like an amateur instead of a pro.

Shane Parrish is one of my favorite thought leaders. This article from his Farnam Street blog is one of my favorites.

Below are five of my favorite differences between the mindset of amateurs and pros.

  • Amateurs have a goal. Professionals have a process.
  • Amateurs see feedback and coaching as someone criticizing them as a person. Professionals know they have weak spots and seek out thoughtful criticism.
  • Amateurs show up to practice to have fun. Professionals realize that what happens in practice happens in games.
  • Amateurs blame others. Professionals accept responsibility.
  • Amateurs show up inconsistently. Professionals show up every day.

Consistency Connection: If you want to get to the next level, you must have the right mindset. When you have the right mindset, you believe you can handle anything the world throws at you. Stop thinking like an amateur and start thinking like a professional.

Quote of the Week:

““Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.” – John Wooden
Be excellent this week. Do the opposite of average!

Yancey Sanderson
Follow me on Twitter @YanceySanderson

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