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Column Leadership

Mindset Matters

thought life

As the global pandemic continues to ripple its way through our life, it is easier than it has ever been to let our thought life get totally out of control.

If we are not careful, as a club operator or owner, we can slip into thoughts like, “I need to get my club reopened so I don’t go out of business,” or “If I lay off anybody else, I’m not going to have an operations team open with.” Any of that might sound familiar, but depending on what your situation is, your internal dialogue is going to look different.

Why do I bring this up? I want to challenge you to evaluate what you’re thinking about, and monitor how your thoughts begin shaping the reality you create. This is mission-critical to ensuring your head is in a stable place to make decisions for your business. If your mind is living in a place of fear, it’s going to be really hard to make sound decisions in favor of the success of your future business.

So, what are some ways to inventory your thought life and get clear about the reality you are creating?

First, realize the critical truth: your thoughts control your inner dialogue and the narrative your mind keeps on repeat.

Have you ever felt like your thought patterns resemble that of a hamster running on an exercise wheel? You go from the grocery list to emails to meetings, it all takes place in the span of three seconds, and you can’t remember where you left your keys? If you can relate, more than likely, you could benefit from creating a mindfulness routine of meditation or quiet time.

Your thoughts control how you see the world, so if you’re having trouble controlling the direction and speed of your thought life, learning to hone that speed is critical to decision-making. Find a practice that allows you to quiet your mind and then hone that skill — I know, I know, it’s extremely inconvenient to slow down in this way, but I can tell you it will pay dividends long-term.

Second, your words become your reality — a simple and very powerful truth.

When you think something long enough on repeat, it becomes the way you see the world. If you find you are thinking in a way that is riddled with fear or catastrophizing, that’s going to be your reality. In the same way you have to control your mind, you also have to control what comes out of your mouth.

My personal favorite way of monitoring this is the simplicity of pausing — literally slowing down the speed I am speaking, and being thoughtful about the words I say. If you’re naturally a fast talker, help yourself by writing down what you’re going to say first. Then you’re at least working with thoughts on paper, and you can speak them out as quickly as your heart desires.

The last (but not to be confused as the least important) point on adjusting your mindset is to look at your circle of influence and how it is impacting your thought life.

Right now, it’s very hard to monitor your circle of influence because most of the people we are with right now are digital relationships on social media or video calls. For the most part, the people we are with in-person are family members. So ask yourself if the content you’re taking in online and the three to five people virtually surrounding you all the time are bringing out your best self.

Alternatively, are you functioning from a place of self-sabotage because you’re stuck in comparison or worse, trying to hold yourself to a standard you simply cannot deliver? One of my favorite concepts I’m living by right now is that you cannot compare your Chapter 1 to someone else’s Chapter 10. We have no business comparing our world to someone else’s — it will simply get you nowhere fast.

I leave you with this: Whoever you surround yourself with, at this time more than ever, make sure you are up leveling your perspective all the time. Look outside the fitness industry for trends and best practices to lead you. Read, and listen to new podcasts. 

Because you are in a leadership role, it is critical you do not depend on your teammates to fuel you throughout the day, or that you are tasked with fueling them. Be sure to start your day with a routine that fuels you completely, separate from anybody else, demonstrate to your team to do the same, and put on your oxygen mask first. Then, once your cup is full, go out there and let your mindset fuel the fire. Our industry needs you.

Lindsey Rainwater

Lindsey Rainwater is an experienced business advisor, executive coach and the founder of The Women in Fitness Association (WIFA). WIFA is the global association supporting women in their career trajectory helping them rise to their fullest potential in business and life.

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