Dr. Stan Beecham is a sports psychologist and leadership consultant, and is the founder of The Leadership Resource Center, based in Atlanta, Georgia. His work with collegiate, Olympic, and professional athletes from many sports has afforded him insights into the minds of great competitors. He has taken his wisdom into the business world, creating leadership development programs for corporate clients. He is also the author of the book “Elite Minds: Creating the Competitive Advantage.”
In this interview, Stan begins by discussing how much innate talent and training contribute to a person’s accomplishments. He distinguishes the difference between thoughts and beliefs, and talks about how beliefs affect performance. Stan outlines the two core beliefs that we need to be aware of in order to perform at a high level. He also explains why it’s so important to believe we are good enough, and how a constant desire to improve actually undermines our abilities.
We ask Stan to provide some key strategies for building a successful mindset. He walks us through the process of examining and shifting our beliefs to ones that serve us better. He discusses the importance of being present and accepting, quieting the mind, and trusting ourselves and our senses. Stan explains why he believes that skill comes from passion rather than drive. He also talks about accepting the ups and downs of life as part of the process.
Stan then discusses the myth of individual performance, and why no one becomes successful on their own. He emphasizes the importance of community, and acknowledging our vulnerability and dependence on others. Stan also talks about the power of luck, opportunity, and being in the right place at the right time. He explains how success is a product of both acting on free will, as well as seizing opportunities as they arise.
Finally, Stan talks about the connection between enjoyment and success. He explains how spending time on things that are meaningful leads to us feeling more alive and awake, as well as joyful and peaceful. He says that one of the top priorities of life is to find our purpose, because living without one can lead to internal pain and suffering.