15 Traits That Champions Possess

champions podcast Jun 11, 2019

When I first started the podcast, Power Up Your Performance, I did it with a mission of learning more about how high achievers think. If someone is a champion in their personal life, their work or sport, what are the thought processes that drive them? What do these people have in common? And what can we learn from them that we might be able to try in our own lives?

At the end of each podcast, I ask the question, "What three traits do you believe all champions possess?" In this episode (embedded above), you can listen to seven high achievers talk about three traits they believe are important.

Here, I'm going to elaborate on a few of those traits (but listen to the podcast because you'll want to hear it in their own words):

  1. Resilience. High achievers are not deterred by obstacles. They bounce back. If they struggle, they try again. They seek out ideas and education so they can refine their methods until they ultimately are successful.
  2. Grit. You have to be willing to grind and do the hard work. And, when things are tough, you embrace the suck. Because we all have limited willpower, champions know it's important to develop habits and routines that make the critical behaviors automatic.
  3. Trust. Champions trust the process and trust their teams. They surround themselves with people and processes that will lead them to the path of success.
  4. Overcomers. When faced with a setback, these superstars rise even higher.  They understand that failure is part of the process, and that if we aren't pushing ourselves to the point of occasional failure, we might not be truly challenging ourselves.
  5. Give Back. They share their knowledge freely and give back to their community. They understand we are all stronger together and believe in the value of lifting others up.
  6. Flip the script. They know they have the power to write the story of their own lives. They flip negative self-talk, understanding that our thoughts lead to our feelings, which dictate our behavior. We all have the ability to change the meaning that we assign to any feeling or action, allowing anyone to shape their future.
  7. Can Do. They focus on what they CAN DO, rather than what they cannot yet do. They embrace the person they are today instead of dwelling on the past.
  8. Optimism. They look at the world as being full of possibilities, and they know that a positive mindset is critical to success. As the saying goes, "The body achieves what the mind believes." (TRY IT- for a week, or a day, catch yourself each time a negative thought pops into your head. How can you change that thought to support what you're trying to achieve in the moment?)
  9. Forgiveness. They forgive themselves when they stumble and they treat themselves with compassion. We are human. We make mistakes. We need to be kind to ourselves so we have the courage to start again, as many times as it takes.
  10. Gratitude. They look back on their training, their education, and their experiences with gratitude and reflect on the situations that have made them who they are. Rather than focusing on all they have not achieved, they look back with appreciation.

This episode contains clips from the following people and episodes. You can listen to the full episodes by clicking on the links below.

Linda Mitchell is an author, podcaster, and fitness studio owner all under The Sisterhood of S.W.E.A.T. brand. Her book and the studio are all about helping women build confidence and self-esteem and learning to feel 100% great about themselves.

Laura Schmidt is the Chief Positive Person at notes to self. Laura started notes to self to put her belief in the power of positive thinking into action --  (and on people’s feet!). Laura’s hard work and a positive attitude have resulted in success in the corporate world, in direct sales, and as a dedicated mother of three in Prairie Village, Kansas.

Nick Symmonds is a two time Olympian. He competed for the U.S. in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. He focused on the 800 meters for the majority of his career, and now in retirement, has set a personal goal of beating 11 seconds in the 100 meters. Nick is also cofounder of Run Gum, and has a wildly-popular YouTube channel where he shares the wisdom he acquired over his 20 year running career. 

Meredith Atwood is a 4 x ironman triathlete who some of you might know better as Swim Bike Mom. She is a recovering attorney, motivational speaker and author of the newly released, Triathlon for the Every Woman: You Can Be a Triathlete. Yes. You. She is also the host of the podcast, The Same 24 Hours. Her next book, The Year of No Nonsense, will be released December 2019.

Delice Hofen is a breast cancer survivor and the founder of Braden’s Hope for Childhood cancer, named after her son, Braden Hofen who was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma when he was three years old. She started Braden’s Hope For Childhood Cancer to try to insure no other family would hear the words, “No Known Cure”.

Kathrine Switzer is the first woman to register for and run the Boston Marathon. Her entry revolutionized the sports world and she has spent the majority of her career creating change for and empowering women. She is also the founder of 261 Fearless, a global running organization that empowers women

Deena Kastor  is the 2004 Olympic Marathon Bronze Medalist and the American record holder in the marathon. She is also the author of, "Let Your Mind Run. A Memoir of Thinking My Way to Victory." Training your mind to be more optimistic is one of the best things you can do for your running, your career, your marriage… anywhere you want to be more successful. 

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