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May 24, 20243 min read

Is the need to achieve a personality type or a mindset?

In 1960 Atkinson identified the need to achieve and the need to avoid failure and it has been pinned to a personality type, particularly in sport.

I hate labels in life. We are all too quick to slap a label on something or someone to give it/them definition. In response, the thing or person BECOMES the label. It's nuts!!

But...... I read an email by James Smith today and he spoke of NACH and NAF as mindset factors that relate to a situation or environment instead of the aforementioned personality type. It really got me thinking about how much control we have over our goals and achievements and the power of our mindset.

Nothing happens overnight, right? We all know this! Top performing Actors, Dancers, Footballers, Rugby players, Tennis players, Musicians, Surgeons (you get the gist) don't just pick up the relevant tools and then 'happen' to be amazing at their choices. They become amazing by the incremental, consistent improvements. Every. Single. Day. Over a long period of time. They have a DESIRE (A need) to get better and to improve.

I ran the London Marathon last year (2023) and the first rule of running a Marathon is to tell everyone that you have run a Marathon!! Joking aside, I didn't just put my trainers on and run 26.6 miles. It was a long process of short runs, getting longer, getting injured, feeling frustrated, the list goes on. But my goal was to get my body ready for running 26.6 miles. I NEEDED to reach that goal and my smaller steps got me there. For a good number of years before, I avoided entering the Marathon ballot because I was worried I couldn't get myself to that distance. I opted to avoid the risk of failing. Last year I realised I could change my mindset! Easy Peasy! Well, kind of!

In relation to the length of a football pitch, our time on this beautiful Earth is but one blade of grass. Should we be using that time to avoid doing what we would LOVE to do for fear of "failing"?

What does failing mean? To quote my Dad (and the millions of other parents who have said something similar) "Better to try and not succeed than to never have tried at all" or "If you never try, you will never know".

So my point is.... If you have something that you are working towards: An audition, an event, a sports try out, a job interview, a date (!!) Know that you can determine your NACH or NAF by simply adjusting your mindset. If I haven't convinced you to give it a go, think about the result. How would the achievement feel? How would you feel if you never gave it your best shot?

I am not suggesting you get stressed out and putting unnecessary pressure on yourself to achieve big things just to please other people. That is absolutely not good. Think of something that you would LOVE to do and GO FOR IT without any fear of failure! How amazing would it feel to accomplish that goal? Success is never instant, never. Try and give yourself something to achieve everyday and it will completely shift your mindset as you approach bigger goals. My goals today were to write this post and make a curry! I am currently winning! and it feels good!!

I have every faith in you! Go get the good stuff!!

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