The Study of Excellence - What Makes Some Excel and Others Merely Competent

The Study of Excellence – What Makes Some Excel and Others Merely Competent

In the 1970s linguist John Grinder and mathematician Richard Bandler studied individuals who were excellent in their field to find out what made them different to those who were merely competent.  They discovered that their beliefs, mindset and strategies are what set them apart.


Did you know that our perceived limits are not our actual limits?

Most of us are limited by what we believe is possible.  For example, no one believed it humanly possible to run a mile in four minutes.  When Roger Banister was training for this feat, doctors told him that his body would not cope.  They said his lungs would explode and his heart would stop under the pressure.  He didn’t listen to them.  He just did it!  He ran a mile in 4 minutes and lived to tell the tale.  That same year 35 runners completed a mile in four minutes too. Once they believed it was possible, they challenged themselves to do it and they did it!  A teacher once told me that I was no good at foreign languages, so I stopped studying French at school.  Years later I had the opportunity to live in Spain but was worried about the language barrier, so much so that I nearly didn’t go.  Within three months I was contributing confidently to conversations and many Spaniards said I had a great accent.

Are there things in your business that you would like to achieve but believe to be impossible?  Are there things that you think are possible ‘for other people’ but not for you?  I encourage you to challenge your own beliefs.  Do you believe that you will have thousands of customers requesting your products and do you know that one day you will become a millionaire?   If not, why not?  Other people have done it.  Do you truly believe that you are an entrepreneur running your own business or do you just think that you are lucky to be working from home?

For your confidence, it is important to remember that every company sells something whether it is their time, skill or product.  So don’t be apologetic when promoting your product, booking a call or extending an invitation.  Believe that you are doing your customers a favour when you introduce them to your amazing products that have the potential to solve their problem.  Start adopting empowering beliefs NOW!


People with a fixed mindset see things as black and white, positive or negative, right or wrong.  They tend to judge others by their standards and they struggle to get on in life.  Those with a growth mindset see things as just ‘different’ and they are open to life being made up of shades of grey.

Scientists have proven that the quality of our thoughts have an impact on our whole body.  The mind and body communicate through our emotions.  Our emotions are a result of our feelings and our feelings are a result of our thoughts. It is well know that depressed people have a tendency to get sick more often than those who have a brighter outlook.

In my late twenties I had an experience that proved this theory.  I was single, overworked and stressed.  I put my business before everything else: long hours, no exercise, no down time, no fun, just work, work, work.  As a result I became run down and ill.  I asked my mum to come and keep me company for a few days (a four hour train trip for her).   The next day an interesting thing happened….

A guy I really liked, phoned and asked me out for lunch!  I leapt out of bed, put on my favourite dress, applied my make-up, styled my hair and bounced out the door to meet him.  My mum couldn’t believe the difference in me, and no longer feeling needed, she went back home.  The only thing that had changed was my thinking and my outlook on life!   If you are finding your work overwhelming and are often laid low with a touch of flu, or tummy bug or headaches, it might be time to check out your thinking patterns.


It’s not what you do, but the way that you do it that really makes a difference.  The systems that you implement in your business are there to help you be efficient and save time, if your systems are causing you more hassle then ditch them or pay someone else to keep on top of them.  There are so many automated systems and it is truly worth investing in one.  Set it up,  and then let it take care of menial tasks so you can dedicate your energy to being the expert.  Leaders are not afraid to delegate, businesses thrive when the owner is free to work on growing it, instead of being in it!  Strategies are like habits and can be good or bad.  Often we do things a certain way just because that is the way we have always done them.  It is worth taking a step back from your business and really analysing the strategies you currently have in place and measuring what return they bring.  If this is not positive then you must break this habit and start to implement new strategies, I like to call them ‘powerful procedures’.  Teach them to every team member and make sure they follow these new habits every day, soon it will become the way we always do things around here.

With positive beliefs, an open mindset and systematic strategies you are sure to succeed.


Anne McKeown helps people to uncover their true purpose and live the life they were born to live (personal and professional), through one-on-one coaching sessions, training workshops and her keynote speeches.  Tel: 0449 571 974.