3 Mindset and Motivational Quotes from Olympic Athletes

Looking for some motivational quotes to get into a winning mindset? Here are some real-life strategies from Olympic gold medal winners. Whether you’re trying to get out of bed and into your sneakers for a morning run, are psyching yourself up to hit the books before an exam, or are chasing a professional goal like getting your dream job or earning a big promotion at work, your attitude can make the difference between hitting the mark and missing your opportunity. These words of wisdom from Olympic champions can help you win your own personal gold medal in the marathon of daily life.

Be Joyful like Jackie

 - Jackie Joyner-Kersee

Jackie Joyner-Kersee is famous for throwing a javelin, but once you get to know her attitudes and outlook you’ll see that this winner knows there’s more to life than perfect aim or the biggest bicep. When asked for her best advice, she once gave a younger athlete this nugget of wisdom: “Work 100 percent, but enjoy every moment along the way.” Can you channel Jackie’s outlook and find the joy in what you’re doing? Think of when you’ve seen someone who’s the best at what they do, whether it’s a top athlete or an executive giving a big presentation. Would you say they’re struggling or suffering, or would you say they’re having a great time? Nobody achieves big things without hard work, but a joy-focused mindset will keep you energized so that you can keep moving forward.

Learn like Summer

Olympic swimmer Summer Sanders hopes that people will join her in celebrating what they learn for its own sake, not just for what that learning leads to. The champion told one interviewer “The things you learn from sports–setting goals, being part of a team, confidence–that’s invaluable. It’s not about trophies and ribbons.” As you work towards your own big wins, can you find satisfaction in the wisdom and skills you’re gaining along the way? Although it’s great to visualize a certain reward or outcome, you’re more likely to put in the time and effort to excel at what you’re working on if you can celebrate the value of the process itself. When you focus your attention on the good things that the journey to reach your goal is already bringing into your life (like discipline or excitement), you’ll instantly boost both your resilience and your willpower to stick with it.

Find Confidence like Carl Lewis

 - Carl Lewis

“If you don’t have confidence, you’ll always find a way not to win” says track and field gold medalist Carl Lewis. The first person who has to believe that you can win is you. If you find your confidence, it becomes easier to make self-supportive choices (like showing up and working hard) instead of doing things that could sabotage your success (like cutting corners or failing to follow through). Confidence helped Lewis become one of the fastest men alive and earned him eight gold medals. If you believe in yourself like he believed in himself, who knows what you can achieve.

If you can feel your joy, learn through the journey, and find your confidence, you’ll have a gold-medal mindset. With these motivation tips, you can cultivate a winning attitude just like Jackie, Summer, and Carl. While nobody succeeds just by thinking, adjusting your outlook can be the first step towards reaching the biggest goal of your life.

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