Why Most People Fail When It Comes To Success | Sian Beilock on The School of Greatness

Check out The School of Greatness Episode Page & Show Notes

Key Takeaways

  • People are both chokers and thrivers
    • They may choke in some pressure situations, like a test, but thrive in other stressful situations, like a handball game
  • The process of visualization and actual practice trains your brain to succeed at that task
  • If you do choke, don’t listen to much to your negative inner voice and be compassionate with yourself
    • “That inner voice can be really mean to ourselves” – Sian Beilock
      • It also helps to talk to yourself in the third person as if you were talking to a friend 
  • When you experience negative thoughts or worry, write them down. This will make them less likely to pop up later and you’ll dwell on them less.
  • Sian recites a quote from Yogi Berra : “How can you hit and think at the same time?”
    • “It’s about doing the reps, putting the hard work in, and then when everything is on the line, throwing everything aside and just going for it” Sian Beilock
  • Instead of telling your kids, they’re a natural at a certain task, tell them that hard work and effort will make them good at it
    • That way the next time they don’t succeed at something, it isn’t because they aren’t talented or gifted, it’s because they didn’t put in the required work to be good at that skill
      • “Just that tweak in how you talk about it can be so important” – Sian Beilock
  • The physiological response of being scared and excited is the same, how we interpret it is what makes the difference
    • “Reminding yourself, yeah these sweaty palms and beating heart mean I’m ready to go…it matters, just saying that” – Sian Beilock

Intro

Books Mentioned

Why People Choke In Big Moments

  • What is choking? Performing worse than your current skill level
  • People are both chokers and thrivers
    • They may choke in some pressure situations, like a test, but thrive in other stressful situations, like a handball game
      • How you feel about a situation plays a large role in your performance
        • Sometimes becoming too aware can backfire and you end up not performing as well
          • “You can actually mess yourself up by thinking too much” – Sian Beilock
  • “Your fear of choking can be something in the past but it can be something in the present to” – Sian Beilock
    • You can choke in any situation: both big or small

How To Not Choke

  • The process of visualization and actual practice trains your brain to succeed at that task
  • Focus on why you should succeed rather than on why you should fail
    • Reminding yourself how much you studied for a test or how much you practiced for a game can help put you on your A-game
      • “It’s about training your brain” – Sian Beilock
  • Sian recites a quote from Yogi Berra: “How can you hit and think at the same time?”
    • “It’s about doing the reps, putting the hard work in, and then when everything is on the line, throwing everything aside and just going for it” Sian Beilock
  • Practice performing under pressure
    • “Practice being uncomfortable, that’s how you get used to being uncomfortable” – Sian Beilock
      • One of the best ways to practice being uncomfortable is to practice while someone records you
  • You want to close the gap between training and competition. Try to make them as close as possible.

 What To Do When You Choke

  • If you do choke, don’t listen to much to your negative inner voice and be compassionate with yourself
    • “That inner voice can be really mean to ourselves” – Sian Beilock
      • It also helps to talk to yourself in the third person as if you were talking to a friend 
  • When you experience negative thoughts or worry, write them down. This will make them less likely to pop up later and you’ll dwell on them less.

 Advice For Parents

  • Instead of telling your kids they’re a natural at a certain task, tell them that hard work and effort will made them good at it
    • That way the next time they don’t succeed at something, it isn’t because they aren’t talented or gifted, it’s because they didn’t put in the required work to be good at that skill
      • “Just that tweak in how you talk about it can be so important” – Sian Beilock
        • You can to show them that failure is a sign of not pushing yourself, not a lack of a gift
  • Don’t celebrate talent, celebrate effort and hard work
    • It’s okay to dissect a failure. Figure out what didn’t work and what you’ll do the next time around.
  • Even though a kid may not be the best at one activity, they can transfer over the skills they learned into another around and excel there

 Sian’s 3 Truths

  • 1) It’s really important to be happy
    • FInd things that make you happy in life
  • 2) Have compassion for yourself
    • Work on your self-talk and be kind to yourself
  • 3) You can learn things
    • You can learn to perform under pressure or learn to perform a new skill

Additional Notes

  • Our brains are constantly changing: If you practice juggling for 6 weeks, the area of your brain that controls motion will grow more connections
  • The physiological response of being scared and excited is the same, how we interpret it is what makes the difference
    • “Reminding yourself, yeah these sweaty palms and beating heart mean I’m ready to go…it matters, just saying that” – Sian Beilock
  • Research shows that having a diverse team makes leaders better
  • Listening to feedback doesn’t mean you have to accept all of it

School of Greatness : , , , , ,
Notes By Alex Wiec

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