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Transform Your Thinking with this 3-Step Mindset Makeover

Growth Mindset

“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” – Zig Ziglar

Nature versus nurture… it’s an age-old debate. Are we born with innate skills, talents and capabilities, with our potential predetermined by our genetic make-up? Or do we have the power to transform ourselves through learning, effort and dedication? That’s the difference between a ‘fixed’ and a ‘growth’ mindset, between self-imposed limits and a whole world of possibilities.

Back in 2006, Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck introduced the revolutionary idea of the ‘growth mindset’ – a belief that abilities and intelligence can be developed through hard work, dedication and continuous learning, rather than being predestined. It’s since become a bit of a cult concept, widely accepted around the world as a critical driver of success.  

A growth mindset isn’t simply about being open-minded or having a positive outlook (although they’re wonderful attributes). It’s about grit and resilience, proactively overcoming negative thought patterns, embracing challenges and feedback, seeing failure as an opportunity to learn – truly believing you’re the master of your own future. It’s the ultimate motivator, and it’s the key to realising your potential.

One of the greatest quotes to capture the distinction between mindsets was articulated by Muhammad Ali – “Impossible is just a word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”

If you want to smash through those fixed, self-limiting beliefs and uncover your ‘impossible’ potential, here’s what you need to do…

1. Turn the negatives around

“Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right.” – Henry Ford

Emma Murray, renowned high performance mindset coach with a client list including AFL Premiership clubs and Olympic stars, believes that negative thoughts are one of the biggest roadblocks to fulfilling your potential. She says that “we have between 50,000 and 90,000 thoughts every day and mostly they revolve around the same 7-9 unhelpful themes, and they stop us doing fun stuff, taking risks, stretching ourselves and performing at our best.”

The kicker is, our thoughts aren’t necessarily real. Emma says, “They’re just stories that our over-protective minds tell us as a way of keeping us safe.” She believes that by questioning the stories we tell ourselves and recognising the thoughts that are holding us back, we can begin to achieve our potential.

High-performance coach Stephanie Bown also believes that you need to “catch yourself in the doom loop of your own making.” She suggests asking yourself whether the negative thought is helpful or unhelpful, questioning where it comes from and whether it’s just a habit you’re caught in. According to Stephanie, the way we talk to ourselves, our relationship with ourselves, can be “the difference between living in a prison of self-imposed limitations, or a sanctuary of freedom and purpose.”

Another way to turn around ‘negative’ thoughts is by reframing them. Burns survivor and humanitarian Turia Pitt suggests that next time you’re not looking forward to something, let’s say a training session, try reframing it as something you get to do, not something you have to do. It’s a simple growth mindset switch that completely changes your outlook.

In Carol Dweck’s TEDx talk, she tells a story about a high school in Chicago that, instead of giving kids a ‘fail’ for courses they don’t pass, grades them as ‘not yet’. Those two simple words, so critical to a growth mindset, instil a belief in those kids that with work and perseverance, they will eventually succeed. It’s a beautiful way to turn a ‘negative’ around.

As Carol says, “Mindsets are an important part of your personality, but you can change them. Just by knowing about the two mindsets, you can start thinking and reacting in new ways.”

2. Learn something new

A large part of a growth mindset is realising that there are weaknesses and strengths you haven’t developed yet, opportunities you haven’t explored and so many things to learn. And that means breaking out of your comfort zone and challenging yourself to try new things.

Whether it’s learning a new language, speaking in front of a crowd, mastering a musical instrument or cooking a fancy new dish, trying new things doesn’t just make you a better linguist… or public speaker… or musician… or cook… it actually makes you smarter. True, it’s called neuroplasticity.

According to the brainiacs at CCSU Business & Development, practicing a new skill increases the density of myelin – the white matter in your brain that improves performance. It also stimulates brain neurons, creating fresh pathways and connections that become stronger the more you use them.

Stephanie Bown calls this the ‘potential zone’ – the place where learning and growth happen. Where latent talent hasn’t yet been realised, where those fresh connections in your brain haven’t yet been created. Stephanie says that “Realising potential means putting your natural strengths and capabilities to work in new ways and strengthening brain interconnectivity.”

You brain learns what you teach it. It’s literally wired to adapt to the challenges and conditions you present it with. So, if you want to cultivate a growth mindset, go ahead and put it to the test!

Fun fact: To optimise the brain’s circuits, pathways and connections you rarely use simply fade away (it’s called synaptic pruning) – it’s why you probably can’t remember any of the Latin you learned in Year 7. Use it or lose it!

3. Make friends with failure

Michael Jordan, arguably the best basketball player of all time, once said, “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career, I’ve lost almost 3,000 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Many people fail, some spectacularly, before they achieve great success. J.K. Rowlings manuscript of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was rejected by 12 publishing houses before it was picked up. Steven Spielberg was rejected twice by the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. Jerry Seinfeld was booed off stage during his first stand-up comedy gig. History is littered with famous ‘failures’ who have gone on to achieve enormous success.

But just imagine if failure had stopped them in their tracks.

Ben Crowe, professional mentor and mindset coach to stars including Ash Barty, Stephanie Gilmore and the Australian cricket team, believes wholeheartedly that “the greatest threat to success is avoiding failure.” 

According to Ben, 90% of performances are sabotaged by the fear of failure or focusing on the result. He believes that if we treated failure like a scientist would – a negative result is simply a data point that helps prove or disprove a hypothesis, rather than a reflection of the scientist’s capability – then failure wouldn’t be an issue.

When we choose to reframe failure as learning, failure ceases to exist.

Adventurous entrepreneur Richard Branson is also one that embraces failure as a learning tool, vocal in his opinion that “You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over.” Dusting yourself off and getting up again is the essence of a growth mindset.

In the end, the power to write your own story and realise your full potential lies within the choices you make. As concentration camp survivor Viktor Frankl reminds us, “everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” Your mindset is absolutely a choice. So why not choose growth?

We have some of Australia’s leading mindset coaches and high performance experts, including Stephanie Bown, Emma Murray, Ben Crowe and Turia Pitt, ready to provide your team with life-changing practical tools to help them harness the power of a growth mindset. If you’d like us to introduce you, simply get in touch with us for a chat!

Sometimes It’s Not the Message, it’s the Messenger!

“If you don’t believe the messenger, you won’t believe the message.” – James M. Kouzes

Ever give your partner some great advice that they airily dismiss… only to watch them take onboard that same advice when someone else gives it to them? I hear you laughing, we’ve all been there!  

When someone has a place in your life, whether that be partner, boss or friend, sometimes it’s hard to accept their views when you know it’s not in their wheelhouse. It’s the law of familiarity. Like an actor that’s been typecast, they’ve been defined by their audience, and it’s a tough mould to break.  

The upshot? Sometimes, it’s not the message, it’s the messenger. If you want someone to simply share information with your team, then keep the job in-house. But if you want someone to inspire change, transform behaviours or motivate people to act, you need the right messenger – and a professional motivational speaker, with specialised expertise and a powerful presence, is the external voice you want. 

The best motivational speakers have more than just a knack for public speaking. They’re incredibly skilled at capturing attention and commanding respect, finding masterful ways to tackle tough topics and captivate an audience. They bring new perspectives and fresh ideas. With expert knowledge and experience, along with sharply-honed presentation skills, they ignite passion and – most importantly – inspire action. Their impact is enormous. 

Social commentator and Co-Founder of The Behaviour Report, Dan Gregory, believes, “People don’t hear what you say, they hear who you are. Context matters as much as content, if not more, so this needs to be factored into how a message might be interpreted.” 

So if you’re looking to level up a specialised area of your business, and your messengers are struggling to get your message across, bring in an external expert to lead the charge. Australia is blessed with some of the best motivational speakers in the world – incredible thinkers skilled at changing minds and influencing specific behaviours. For example: 

** Want to inspire your team to sell better? Get Chris Helder
** Want to overhaul your workplace culture? Get Elizabeth Broderick
** Want to show your leaders how to magnify their influence? Get Dan Gregory
** Want to elevate your team’s performance? Get Stephanie Bown
** Want to turn your customers into your biggest fans? Get Amanda Stevens
** Want to master the art of communication? Get Anthony Laye
** Want to tune your team into a high-performance mindset? Get Emma Murray

With so many incredible motivational speakers to choose from, we understand finding the right one for your job can be a daunting prospect. Which is why we’re always happy to put together a bespoke list of speaker options to suit your specific business needs. Just get in touch with us for a chat to get the ball rolling! 

Meet Australia’s Top 10 Motivational Speakers

motivational speakers

In a world thirsty for inspiration, Australia delivers in spades. As a growing country, we outshine many of the bigger nations when it comes to technology and innovation, the economy, leadership, education and sporting excellence. So it comes as no surprise we’re also home to world-class Motivational Speakers hailing from a variety of fields and industries – trailblazers who are out there on the global stage inspiring the next generation of great leaders and thinkers.

Whether you’re looking for a multi-award winning creative genius to inspire new thinking, a true survivor to reframe your definition of resilience or a global sporting hero to inject some team spirit, our Australian Motivational Speakers are a cut above. Passionate, dynamic and thought-provoking, these 10 master storytellers will create an impression that lasts well beyond the final curtain call. Let us introduce you…

Australia’s Top 10 Motivational Speakers

1. Todd Sampson

motivational speakers

Renowned creative genius, Todd Sampson, is a familiar face to viewers of ABC’s popular TV series ‘The Gruen Transfer’. Having helmed some of the most successful creative agencies in the world, he dissects the global advertising industry’s hits and misses with cunning astuteness and humour. Todd is also a gutsy adventurer, award-winning documentary-maker and television presenter, with international credits including the Discovery Channel’s Documentary of the Year ‘Redesign my Brain’, ‘Body Hack’ which has been nominated for Best Factual Series and Most Outstanding Documentary of the Year and ‘Life on the Line’. Read more about Todd here.

2. Sam Bloom

sam bloom

Sam Bloom’s life changed forever after a tragic accident in Thailand resulted in life-threatening injuries, including a shattered spine. Despite a devastating diagnosis, Sam’s recovery took a positive turn when her family adopted an injured magpie. Affectionately named Penguin by her sons, the bird inspired Sam to reconnect with her love of sport, setting her on a journey that would lead her to become three-time World Para Surfing champion and Surfing Australia Female Para Surfer of the Year. Her husband, photographer Cameron Bloom, captured the heartwarming bond between Sam and Penguin – photos that inspired a best-selling book and Box-Office hit film, ‘Penguin Bloom’, starring Naomi Watts. Read more about Sam here. 

3. Dylan Alcott OAM

In 2021, Dylan Alcott became the first male in history, of any ability, to claim the highly coveted tennis Golden Slam – a win at Wimbledon, US Open, French Open, Australian Open and Olympic gold in a single year. And when he retired after the 2022 Australian Open, he did so with 15 grand slam singles titles, eight grand slam doubles titles, four Paralympic gold medals and two silver medals to his credit. But it’s his off-court efforts to transform society’s perception of individuals with disabilities that really sets this Aussie legend apart, earning him numerous accolades including the 2022 Australian of the Year award. Read more about Dylan here.

4. Turia Pitt

turia pitt

In 2011, model and fitness fanatic Turia Pitt embarked on a 100km ultra-marathon in the Kimberley region, unaware of the grassfire that would change the course of her life. Sustaining horrific burns to over 65% of her body, Turia spent two months in a coma, given little chance of survival. After undergoing more than 200 surgeries, losing seven fingers and enduring a gruelling rehabilitation regimen, Turia’s incredible fortitude has seen her complete an Ironman triathlon and 20km swim race, cycle from Sydney to Uluru and trek the Great Wall of China. She has also raised over $200,000 for Interplast, a charitable organisation providing reconstructive surgery to people in developing countries. Read more about Turia here.

5. Dr Richard Harris OAM and Dr Craig Challen OAM

motivational speakers

When 12 boys from a Thai soccer team became trapped in a flooded cave in 2018, Dr. Craig Challen and Dr. Richard Harris, two of Australia’s leading underwater cave divers, were asked to join the international rescue mission to save them. They worked 16 hour days to help the boys to safety in a story that gripped the world, and has since been immortalised in the Hollywood movie ‘Thirteen Lives’). Craig and Richard were awarded a Star of Courage as well as the Order of Australia for service to the international community for their selfless bravery during the successful rescue, and were also named as the first dual Australians of the Year for their heroic efforts. Read more about Richard and Craig.

6. Nedd Brockman

nedd brockman

Nedd Brockman turned a personal goal into a social sensation by running 4,000km from Perth to Bondi, setting a record as the fastest Australian and the second fastest in the world over the distance. Completing the journey in just over 46 days, he averaged an impressive 80km each day, documenting his adventure on Instagram along the way. Nedd captured the hearts of the nation, receiving support from a diverse crowd including truckies and farmers, roadside workers and kids from all walks of life. Messages of support from the Prime Minister, celebrities like Jimmy Barnes and Ash Barty, and even Hollywood actor Lily James helped Nedd raise a staggering $2.5 million for the homeless charity Mobilise. Read more about Nedd here. 

7. Dr. Jessica Gallagher

motivational speakers

Dr. Jessica Gallagher holds the distinction of being the first Australian athlete, Olympic or Paralympic, to medal in both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games, representing Australia in Alpine Skiing, athletics and cycling. As a sight-impaired, high-performance athlete competing in a perilous, high-speed environment, Jess imparts practical techniques for shaping risk appetite and translating fear into an indispensable aspect of mindset, ability and performance. Read more about Jessica here.

8. Anthony Laye

anthony laye

From incredible mind-reading tricks to moments of sheer laughter and amazement, Anthony Laye is the master at building the ultimate team-building experience. As a celebrity mentalist and regular on TV, he takes audiences on an interactive journey that will leave them spellbound with wonder and magic, questioning “how on earth did he do that?” Anthony’s dynamic and engaging approach not only entertains, but also teaches powerful business communication and influence tools to help audience members grow as leaders, influencers and communicators. Read more about Anthony here

9. Dr. Louise Mahler

louise maher

Dr. Louise Mahler, a renowned authority on face-to-face engagement, combines her extensive experience on the European opera stage with an award-winning phD in Business, to equip individuals with the ability to ‘be heard’ in hostile environments. Using her expertise as a Master Practitioner in Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Louise coaches audiences on the crucial mind-body-voice connection that she terms ‘Vocal Intelligence’, an exceptional and transformative motivational speaker experience. Read more about Louise here.

10. Kurt Fearnley AO

motivational speakers

Despite being born without the lower part of his spinal cord, Kurt Fearnley’s determination to live his life to the fullest has never wavered. He chased his dream of travelling and playing professional sport, becoming a world-class athlete, earning the nickname ‘Marathon Man’ for his wheelchair sporting achievements. With 5 World Championship titles and 4 Paralympic medals, including 2 golds, Kurt’s athletic feats are legendary. However, it’s his unwavering dedication to helping those with disabilities and from disadvantaged backgrounds that sets him apart, and has earned him honours including Australian of the Year and Officer of the Order of Australia. Read more about Kurt here.

With so much world-class talent on offer, our task of selecting the 10 best Australian Motivational Speakers was a difficult one! If you have a brief for us we’d be happy to provide you with a curated list of speakers specific to your needs… just get in touch with us for a chat to get the ball rolling!