Elite Minds

Stan Beecham

with Stan Beecham

Performance Psychologist for Athletes and Leaders of Business

Elite Minds

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One of the things that draws me to the work that we do is the study of elite performance – whether it’s in sports or business, those who rise to the top are very deliberate about their path and their approach.  Dr. Stan Beecham is a sports psychologist and leadership consultant who has worked with professional and olympic athletes, collegiate sports teams and some of the world’s most distinguished leaders on elevating performance; and what you’ll discover in this conversation is not only a different approach to excellence, more importantly, you’ll understand why the work of the super Elites seems so effortless.  

Insights & Perspectives from Dr. Stan Beecham

Better is the enemy of Best. The desire to pursue better is what keeps you from doing your best.  

Most people aren’t fulfilling their potential. The ability to access one’s best is still a rare occurrence.  The challenge and opportunity is to identify the things that you’ve believed in for 20 years and commit to let them go.

We as human beings are much more alike than we are different.  The difference between you and the elites is quite small – ignore them.

If you go out today and you perform at the highest level that you can. In other words, you perform at your best, and you do that consistently over time, what would happen?

If you need to be better, you’re telling yourself that you’re not good enough.  If you understand that you have everything within you, it’s just how do you access it – the model then shifts from a better model to just do the best I can model because you know that if you do the best that you can, that will be good enough.

When you’re performing at your optimal level, you have no awareness of yourself —  you have no sense of you.  There’s no ego, there’s no self.   You don’t think about yourself, you don’t think about your performance – you’re not wondering ‘what other people think about you’; you’re so engrossed with the task at hand that you and what you do become one.  

When you’re performing at your highest level, you’re not thinking, you’re just doing.

When you’re at work and it seems like it’s really difficult, you’re not performing at your best.  When you’re at your best, there’s an ease that comes with everything that you do.  It’s a pleasurable experience.

The person who’s telling you that ‘you’re not good enough’ is just projecting their own beliefs onto you – don’t believe them.  You ARE good enough and your proof is that you had moments when you were performing at your best, and it went really well for you.

The problem isn’t that you’re not good enough, it’s how do get back to that.  And, the way you get back to that is to understand that your best is good enough – it’s always acceptable.  

What is the future?  The future is not a thing.  When your mind thinks of the future, it’s basically making up a story.  And, if you get to make up any story you want about the future – what story would you make up.

When you have intentions, you don’t need goals.

Performance is always in the now – you don’t do anything in the future.  All you do is think about the future, but you will always perform in the now.

When you understand that you create your own monsters, you’ll accept that you manufacture your own worry and stress.  Once you get that, your whole experience with anxiety and fear changes.

The athlete who consistently does well in pressure situations is not thinking about what’s he is about to do – A kicker isn’t thinking about ‘making or missing the kick’ -he’s thinking about ‘kicking the kick’.  He knows that whether he makes or misses the kick, nothing about him will change.

All money does is amplify who you are, it doesn’t change who you are.

We live in a culture where the way you become successful is to avoid failure. Elite performers, however, know that their greatness is defined by what they do after the failure.  

Failure is guaranteed. The people who do big things don’t try to avoid failure, they run to it.  They deliberately make their practices much tougher than the real games.

In order to get into the zone, you’ve got to go through a phase of struggle. Embrace it.

You can learn to love struggle when you understand what struggle is doing to you. You get to pick the pain, would you like to have physical pain now followed by emotional joy afterwards; or would you rather stop the physical pain now and have emotional pain and suffering for the next 2 or 3 weeks?

A lot of people are comfortable with other people doing amazing things, but they don’t think that it’s their birthright.  You were designed to do the amazing things; pursue them.

Francis of Assisi | Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.  

You don’t focus with your eyes. in optimal performance, you focus with your brain. The brain becomes part of your five senses.  You see, hear, and react, and all thinking does is get in the way.

Your Best Is Good Enough.