7 keys to an elite performer’s mindset

For elite performance, you have to think like an elite performer first. And in this post, we’re going to look at modelling the mindset that fuels outstanding success.

Key 1: The Thinker

Life follows thought; so be careful what you think. Where your thinking goes, your energy flows. There’s no point in setting goals and outcomes and then having uncontrolled thoughts about not achieving them. Make sure your thinking supports the outcomes you desire. Make this a daily practice and activate the positive thinker behind the thoughts.

Key 2: How’s Your Mini-Me?

Watch out for your self-talk. You know, that little voice in your head. I affectionately call it your Mini-Me. Some people hear it consciously more than others; however, we all have one. Get it on your side! Inner monologue/dialogue is a manifestation of the mindsets you have in your unconscious mind.

The unconscious mind, also known as the subconscious mind, is the greater part of your mind and contains your auto-pilot. Neuroscience research states that your unconscious mind controls what you think at a very deep level 95% of the time. Elite performers control how they speak to themselves. If need be, re-train your own Mini-Me, and make sure it only says things that support what you want to achieve.

Key 3: Build Your Ignoring Muscle

When going for your goals, ignore the negative circumstances around you. This is a trait of super-achievers and the high-net worth entrepreneurs that I coach. They do not allow any negativity around them to knock them off course — including negative people. So make sure you put your negativity deflection armour on and keep going. If you find this difficult to do, you really need to implement Key 5 below.

Key 4: What’s Playing At Your Cinema?

Stop referring to failures from your past. If you’re the type of person that does this, you need to stop it immediately. It’s the perfect way to condition yourself for failure and one sure-fire way of sabotaging your goals. Besides, would you go to see a bad movie at the cinema over and over again? Just do the opposite and refer to past successes, no matter how small they may be. Go on, be the star and load a great movie instead!

Key 5: Are You Boring Your Own Mind Cells?

Over the years I have noticed that people can often fail because their goals are too small. Why is this? One reason is that people set small goals to avoid disappointment. It’s a fear of failure and a lack mentality, and will often create the opposite conditions needed for success. A series of smaller goals linked to a big goal is fine; however, small discrete goals run the risk of not getting you excited enough and not giving you enough purpose to reach success.

Have you noticed that super-achievers — from money-makers to inventors to humanitarians — all set big goals that really excite and juice them? So please don’t bore your own mind cells! Set big goals and get something exciting in motion.

Key 6: Mission Impossible?

Successful people understand that the environment they are in will affect and condition their thinking. This includes who they hang around with — their peer group.

It is said that you become the sum of the five people you are in contact with the most. So maybe this is a good time to take stock and have a good look around you? Remember, you may not spend most of your time with your best friends. It may be with work colleagues or others. Whoever it is, do they think and speak in the way that inspires success? Do they support your goals? Are they on the same mission as you?

Key 7: A Little Help…

Richard Branson asked the question: what do he, Larry Page and Steve Jobs have in common? They all, at some time or another, had support from a mentor. Larry Page, executive chairman of Google, said that the best advice he ever received was to hire a mentor. Elite performers, whether in sport or business, often have someone they can turn to. They understand that they do not have all the answers themselves, and they embrace the need for continuous improvement.

There are generally two types of support available in this area. The first is a technical mentor; someone experienced in your field that can give you advice on doing your job or business better. The second is a coach who can help you with your mindset and other areas such as communication, leadership, creativity, etc. If you work for an organisation, there may be an internal mentoring scheme in place. If not, you may wish to make a proposal to have one set up. I also recommend you invest in yourself and look to hire a coach that will support you on the road to future success.

Good luck!


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About the author

Manj W is one of the UK’s premier coaches, an international keynote speaker and a best-selling author. He holds several non-executive directorships, is a visiting speaker at the London Business School, has co-produced a series of audio books published by the BBC and is the creator of the success system, The Merlin Approach™. Manj heads up three coaching brands and has consulted for Peers from the UK House of Lords on the areas of mindfulness and leadership and is regularly interviewed by the media. He is a performance consultant to highly regarded organisations including Vodafone, New Look Retailers, Santander, Logitech, Lloyds Banking Group and British Telecom, as well as being a trusted advisor to high net worth entrepreneurs. More blog posts by Manj W ››
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  • Professor Morris

    Excellent outline and good reminders!

  • Viki Johnston

    I agree with Mentoring being important, and as i self employed consultant I have a coach but it is difficult to find a Mentor without spending a fortune, any suggestions?

    • Gemma, Citrix Interactions

      Hi Viki! Manj has responded. See his comment above.

  • Yoana

    Sharp and straight to the point! Will keep it as a reminder guide in hard times. Thank you!

    • Gemma, Citrix Interactions

      I agree Yoana – it’s worth saving as a bookmark so you can refer to it again and again

  • Dina Bustami

    A very good Read! Thank you

  • Isabel Amorim

    This is really inspiring! Simple, logic, clear. Thank you :-)

    • Gemma, Citrix Interactions

      Glad you like the post Isabel!

  • AnandLeo

    The first 6 keys are instilling. Mentor is a necessity;
    however I might not always agree but will have to concede with. Thank you.

  • Pingback: 7 keys to an elite performer’s mindset | ...()

    Thank you for your comments guys. Using these keys as a model will definitely help your levels of personal success. 

    If you’re looking for a mentor, you do not always have to buy their services. You can try either of the following:

    1. For a professional mentor – offer an exchange of services, if possible.

    2. For a non- professional mentor i.e. someone in business in your industry – network to them or write to several asking them to mentor you. It’s a numbers game. Include the most senior and most successful. You may just surprise yourself, especially if you set a strong outcome! 

  • Ashraf Elsaghir

    i like it so much very inspiring and true :)

  • Nazar M Shabour


  • Zachary Oyo

    Positive mental attitude. You defeat your opponent in combat or race when you have positive thinking. Once doubt settles in you the downward slop begins.

  • Ura

    Great post. Very important to protect your mind. I started “changing my mind” few weeks ago and I find myself moving forward and taking bolder steps in my business. We underestimate the power of the mind. Thanks Manj. Thanks Gemma.


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