Attitude is everything and our mindset, positive or negative, has a powerful influence on outcome.

Regardless of whether we like to admit it or not, we are always attempting to influence outcome in sport, business, training, or just daily life. With this in mind, we must recognize the importance of approaching every situation with the most positive attitude we can muster.

Positive thoughts and belief in oneself lead to accomplishing goals and being successful. 

I grew up playing soccer (among other team sports) and was fortunate enough to have two very positive, influential coaches that made a large impact on me as I grew up.

Despite their different backgrounds (one from Ireland, and one from Nigeria), there was one common teaching from them both…lead by example. As a team captain I did my best to lead by example, by working harder than the guy next to me even though I was not the most talented, and by being extremely positive about any given situation.

Throughout my years playing sports I came to understand that “leading by example” is made up of two things, action and attitude. Without action, you’re no more than a personality and people see through the facade. Without a positive attitude, it is difficult to inspire a group of people to significant success.

And the teams I was a part of had our share of successes, including several national titles and being featured on a Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes cereal box. I mention this only because the power of positive attitude can inspire people achieve powerful things. 

I now use fitness as the way to simplify and implement this idea of positive thinking with people on a daily basis at Roark Gyms San Francisco, and through online coaching in both fitness and business.

In San Francisco we are building a community where ordinary people can come and accomplish extraordinary things, and a large part of that is built on positive attitude. Our training sessions always finish with a simple (not easy, but simple) task built to foster self-confidence and an earned sense of accomplishment, along with the longer term health benefits associated with exercise.

I encourage people to push their limits in the gym where it is relatively safe way and free of repercussions (compared to say, a job). They are constantly reminded that if they believe in themselves, put in the time and effort, they will accomplish their goals. Over time each person that buys in and puts in the effort sees results and begins to develop a stronger belief in themselves.

With this self-confidence comes a more positive attitude, a mindset that realizes the greater potential in what they might be able to achieve. And as they realize greater potential in themselves, something amazing happens…they realize greater potential in those around them, and that is when truly incredible things start to happen.

I’ve seen people lose weight, quit jobs, start businesses, pursue passion projects, and just enjoy their life that little bit more, all because they developed a more positive attitude.

A few things you can do to develop a more positive mindset, start breaking through your own mental barriers, and achieve your goals are:

  1. Believe in yourself. It may sound obvious, but too often people defeat themselves before they even attempt something.

  2. Trim the fat. Cut out people in your life that bring you down and are not supportive. Life is too short to be held back by those that aren’t courageous enough to take the risk and go for the big promotion or follow a passion project. You’re a product of the five people you spend the most time with, so make sure those five people have your best interests at heart, that they challenge you and make you better.

  3. Set tangible goals. What are you interested in accomplishing? It can be small, like running a 10k race, or something bigger like a full lifestyle or career change. Either way, be honest with yourself, write it down, and then make a plan to get from where you are now to where you want to be. Talk it out with friends or a mentor…it can help.

  4. Work hard. Things aren’t just handed to successful people. They’ve put in the work, and earned what they have. Expect to do the same. Stay up late, wake up early, do more than expected of you. It will feel that much better when you’ve earned it.

So remember, attitude is contagious. Is yours worth catching?

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