“Successful people use adversity to grow and thrive.” ― Ben Bergeron, Chasing Excellence: A Story About Building the World’s Fittest Athletes
Rob and I recently had the privilege of interviewing Ben Bergeron on The Living Richly Podcast. Ben is a highly-respected leader in the world of CrossFit who works with elite athletes, including coaching seven CrossFit Games champions. He’s the bestselling author of “Chasing Excellence,” a book that has impacted us profoundly. He hosts a weekly podcast by the same name. On the show, Ben shared his insights on the importance of physical and mental fitness, the power of mindset, and achieving optimal health. He also provided powerful leadership nuggets and practical advice for entrepreneurs and business owners everywhere. You can watch the whole conversation here.
Ben’s wisdom transcends the realm of physical fitness. It delves into the mental landscape that shapes champions in every field—including business.
The Universal Power of Mindset
His philosophy is simple yet profound: mindset matters most. Whether you’re lifting weights or lifting a startup off the ground, your mental framework is the linchpin. During his interview on our podcast, Ben shared his “Hierarchy of Mindset,” a model he’s used to train world champions. This model isn’t just for the athletic elite; it’s a universal blueprint for anyone aiming for greatness.
The Five Levels of Mindset
1. The Victim
In this mindset stage, you’re at the mercy of external circumstances. Life happens to you, rather than you happening to life. Everyone and everything else is to blame, and you live as a helpless victim of what life throws your way.
2. The Pessimist.
You’re a step ahead of the victim at this stage. You take action but do so with a cloud of negativity hanging over you. You focus on what’s wrong instead of what’s strong.
3. The Optimist.
At this level, you’re hopeful but lack a concrete plan. You believe things will work out but don’t necessarily know how. You may also gloss over inconvenient truths to appear more positive. While the optimist is in a much stronger position than the victim and the pessimist, Ben points out that this is only the middle position in the Mindset Hierarchy.
4. The Realist.
You see the world for what it is at this stage—its opportunities and challenges. You’re not swayed by extreme emotions but take a balanced approach. You’ve stopped telling yourself stories and face reality with courage and determination.
5. The Warrior.
This is the zenith that all leaders and winners should strive for. The warrior actively seeks challenges that align with their goals and values, knowing that this is the playground for growth and mastery. You embrace hardships as stepping stones to greatness.
Your Roadmap to Transformation
Now, let’s get practical. How can you apply Ben Bergeron’s Hierarchy of Mindset to your journey toward unlimited potential?
- Acknowledge Your Current Level: Awareness is the first step in any transformation. Identify where you currently stand on this model.
- Challenge Your Thought Patterns: If you find yourself at the Victim or Pessimist level, start questioning your automatic thoughts. Are they serving you or holding you back?
- Strategize: If you’re an Optimist, it’s time to back up that positive outlook with a solid plan. What steps will you take to make your vision a reality? What realities do you need to start facing head-on?
- Be Mindful: If you’re a Realist, practice mindfulness to ensure your balanced view leads to balanced actions. Be present to the opportunities and challenges you face, and take appropriate action.
- Pursue Aligned Challenges: If you’re already at the Warrior level, continue to seek out challenges that align with your purpose and push your boundaries. Remember: you become the best version of yourself through pain and adversity. It’s the only way you grow.
The champion’s mindset is not a rare gem reserved for the fortunate few; it’s a diamond all of us can cultivate. Ben Bergeron has laid out the steps; now it’s your turn to climb. Take these action steps to heart, implement them, and watch as you ascend to new heights in both business and life.
Here’s to your unparalleled success!