Cindra Kamphoff

Way We Work Webinar Recap: Dr. Cindra Kamphoff

By Brendon Schrader, Founder & CEO

Dr. Cindra Kamphoff is the author of the Amazon bestselling book “Beyond Grit: Ten Powerful Practices to Gain the High Performance Edge”, host of the High Performance Mindset podcast and a coach for business executives, leaders and professional athletes like Adam Theilen.

Dr. Kamphoff joined host Brendon Schrader, Founder & CEO of Antenna, to share practices from her work that can help leaders better understand the thoughts that hold them back and re-examine their mindset to power through challenging situations and periods of change.

Dr. Kamphoff outlined four ways to go from surviving to thriving:

1. Grow your grit

Grit has been studied and tied to higher pay and better performance at work. It also leads to longer marriages and feeling more satisfied with life. The research states that grit is a more reliable predictor of success than natural talent or abilities. All great reasons to cultivate grit.

Dr. Kamphoff suggested setting both short-term and long-term goals, internalizing positive emotions and affirmation to power the grind for grit. She recommended a “kinder, gentler approach with yourself, quieting that inner negative voice” to let optimistic thoughts push leaders to build the business they want or to thrive in their job. Think of these business goals as a pearl, something precious that forms over many years from a fleck of grit. “Without grit, we can’t get that pearl-whatever we’re working towards,’ she said.

2. Remember your purpose

Leaders should remind themselves each day of their purpose and Kamphoff recommended a quick exercise.

Consider two questions: “What good comes from the work I do?” and “Why do I do it?” This can be a powerful reminder of the people leaders serve and impact. “When we turn our attention to serving and helping others, that helps us thrive,not just survive,” Dr. Kamphoff said.

3. Initiate your courage zone

Big goals can be scary, so courage is essential to growing into our potential. Dr. Kamphoff urged leaders to define failure on their own terms in order to be brave and bold. She said it is important to quickly “flush” missteps and move on without fixating on them to overcome fear of failure. What if we chose to celebrate failure? “The more that you can frame your understanding of failure and define it on your terms, then you start opening up your courage and your boldness,” she said.

4. Talk to yourself powerfully

Human brains work on a negativity bias. That means frightening or negative events get stored in a person’s mind and linger longer than happy memories. To combat this phenomenon, Dr. Kamphoff suggested the “12-second rule”: Leaders should make a point of pausing for that long to savor and process when something good happens in their lives.

Savoring the positive can move that moment from a person’s short-term memory to their long-term memory. “It can be these small moments with your family or these small moments where you can celebrate success in your business,” she said.

It’s nearly impossible to avoid negative thoughts as our brains are wired for fear and keeping us safe. Dr. Kamphoff recommended redirecting negative thoughts by refocusing on the positive, not on what’s missing or wrong. What people focus on determines how they feel. She suggested that leaders ask themselves questions like “What’s the opportunity here?” and “What is wonderful about my work?”

“All of a sudden when we change the question, that helps change our focus and changes how we feel.”

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