Have an important event coming up? Whether it’s a presentation at work, a performance, a crucial conversation with someone you care for, or a competition — do this one simple thing that has been scientifically proven to improve your chance of success:
Set your positive mindset right before the event.
Sounds simple, but does it really work? Yes. In fact, there are several scientific studies that have shown a correlation between having a positive mindset going into an event and the outcome of the event. One Study with Asian school girls showed that their performance on a math test was affected by their mindset right before the test. Their scores were higher when they were implicitly reminded that Asians do better on math tests than the general population. However, their scores were lower when they were implicitly reminded that girls do worse on math tests than boys. Another study by Dr. Amy Cuddy at Harvard showed that even your body posture affects your mindset and that mindset affects performance in a job interview. People who stood or sat in a confident pose for 3 minutes prior to the interview were more likely to be selected than people that stood or sat in a weak pose for 3 minutes.
There are many other scientific studies that have proven that our attitudes affect our performance. With MRI image studies, doctors have shown that when you are in a positive mindset, you are more fully engaging your pre-frontal cortex – the part of your brain you use for your “executive functions” like problem solving and communicating. It’s not surprising, therefore, that if we are in a confident, positive mindset, we perform better.
So, the next time you have an important event, plan to take five minutes before the event to do something that makes you feel confident or positive. It can be as simple as standing or sitting in a confident pose for five minutes. Another option to set a positive mindset is to give someone a specific compliment and tell them how you appreciated what they did or said and what it meant to you. You can also exercise, or do something you enjoy. The list of things that will put you in a positive mindset is unique to each person and it is endless.
Just pick one and do it. This one quick, simple task before an important event in your life will make a difference in your performance and improve your chance of success at the event. Give it a try and let me know how it goes. For more tips to improve your attitude and performance take the positivity quiz to learn the three best positivity principles for you.