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5 Olympian habits to adopt in the workplace

lessons from Olympians
We recently saw hundreds of Olympians compete at Rio 2016 – an event that is the culmination of years (and sometimes a lifetime) of hard work, perseverance and determination. But we haven’t just witnessed their wins and medal ceremonies, we’ve also seen their struggles.

Similar to Olympic athletes, employees have to jump through hoops and experience a series of ups and downs on their way to climb the career ladder. Many people dedicate their lives to reaching the top of their fields.

You might think it’s a tenuous link to make, but we reckon there are more similarities than you think between the office go-getters and the Olympic champions. Here are some habits of Olympic athletes that you can learn from to lead you to your own version of success.

1. Set your goals
Athletes compete with one goal in mind – to do their ultimate best (and hopefully return home as winners)

What’s your motivation for doing what you do? Are you gunning for a promotion? Are you trying to change the world? Do you want to get handpicked to be groomed for your boss’s job? Whatever the case may be, you will have a goal you’re hoping to reach. Even if it takes longer than you had hoped, the only way to get there is by setting your sights on the prize and doing your best to reach it.

Define what you wish to achieve and create a master plan that will serve as your guide in reaching your goals. By doing this, you’ll know which paths to take, who the people are you need to interact with, and what the perfect approach is.

2. Focus on yourself
A runner doesn’t spend the race looking at where his competitors are – he just runs!

Instead of caring about what your colleagues are doing, or where your competitors are at, keep your focus on yourself. Constantly comparing yourself to others isn’t healthy, and it can often lead to insecurities that actually work against you. The only person you should be in competition with is yourself – so make sure you progress every day. An athlete doesn’t set a personal best only to then give up… they keep trying to beat it!

3. Take advice and find a mentor
Olympians reach the top because of their talent – but also because they were coached

Even the greatest athletes have people in the background who have pushed, advised, scolded and encouraged them. Coaches are the reason for their success.

In the workplace, it’s incredibly important that you remain open to other people’s advice, suggestions and feedback. Don’t get defensive if someone suggests another way of completing a task – consider it. No matter how good you are, there’s always room for improvement. Also, remember that no one is an expert in every area, so leave the ego at the door.

4. Push yourself to the limit
Athletes have a “never give up” attitude and are motivated by challenges and failures

You will face many obstacles in life, and there will be times when you will doubt yourself – but don’t give up. This limit is the perfect moment for you to push yourself further and work that little bit harder to get closer to your goal. If you let your struggles and failures get you down (and trust us, there will be many) you will never move forward.

5. Do it because you love it
Athletes dedicate their lives to sport because it’s a passion!

Above all, the most important habit you can learn is to work for your passion and have fun. There is no better motivation than doing what you love and learning new things about your craft. You will not only grow as an employee, but you will also grow as a person.

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