Process Over Outcome: The Mindset of Michael Phelps

Process Over Outcome: The Mindset of Michael Phelps

On the blog recently, I’ve been talking a lot about process versus outcome-focused thinking. In my blog post titled F#ck Your Goals (which my Mom loved of course) I stated:

“As individuals and as a society, we are way too focused on the outcome of our efforts. We judge our success on a binary scale of 0 or 1. If we didn’t achieve our desired outcome, then we failed.”

The other day I was watching an interview between Bob Costas and the most decorated Olympian of all-time, Michael Phelps. Costas asked Phelps a question that was solely focused on the outcome…

Costas: “In your last event in Rio, if you were to place second and come away with a silver, instead of gold, would that haunt you?”
Phelps: “No – because I know my coach (Bob Bowman) and I did absolutely everything we could do to prepare ourselves to win. I’m willing to accept any results that I get.”

Phelps response shifted the focus from outcome to process, and in doing so, revealed his mindset as it relates to focusing on the PROCESS instead of the outcome. Phelps’ answer reveals why PROCESS-FOCUSED thinking is the mindset that we all need to adapt to really achieve top performance…

In conclusion:

Stop focusing on and obsessing with the outcome. Focus on what you CAN control, which is busting your ass every day to succeed, and trust that doing so will allow you to achieve top-level performance.

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