Four-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton is no stranger to extremely high-pressure situations.
He’s been driving with Mercedes since the age of 13, after all, as he shared during a Q&A at a Mercedes–AMG Motorsport Night event in Montreal the night before the Canadian Grand Prix race.
“The pressure from 21 races from February to the end of November — it’s so hard to come out and deliver for your sponsors, for your team, for your mechanics, and also for yourself. But, you’ve always just got to stay positive,” he said.
And positive he stayed, despite the challenging day on the track that followed:
We will come back stronger for the next race. It’s how you get back up that matters the most. We win and lose together, thank you so much for the support and positivity #TeamLH. Looking forward to France and until then we will keep our heads down and keep pushing @MercedesAMGF1 pic.twitter.com/6PDJpPDHaP
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) June 10, 2018
But you don’t need to be a racing driver to adopt this type of winning mindset. Here are three lessons to learn from Hamilton:
1. Don’t get too comfortable…
Despite the fact that Hamilton is the highest-paid driver in the world and has shattered records — at 23, he became the youngest world champion in Formula One history, and he is the only black driver to have won a Grand Prix and a championship — he still aims to continuously improve.
“I’ve been driving, now this is my 11th or 12th season, I think it is, and every year you’re always trying to up your game, you’re always trying to improve in so many areas,” he said.
2. …but do know when to let go
When asked how he spends the day before a big race, Hamilton had a surprisingly laid-back answer:
“Tomorrow is such a heavy, busy day, there’s so much pressure on it. You can’t even imagine how much pressure is on tomorrow, every single point counts. I’m leading the group by 14 points. The guys I’m competing against, he’s on hold, so, I’ve gotta minimize that loss, if not convert it to a healthier lead,” he said.
“So, tonight I’m gonna have good meal, relax, watch a movie, and then hope it comes through tomorrow.”
Remember that you can’t ever fully control the outcome of a situation, but if you worked hard and you are prepared, sometimes the only thing left to do is to kick back, get some rest and have faith.
3. Don’t let yourself feel threatened by the competition
“In any sport if you think ‘I might lose this’ you have already lost. Doesn’t matter where I start on the grid I don’t look at any driver and think: ‘I might lose to that person.’ I think: ‘How can I better them? How can I be better?’ I am going to keep doing that,” Hamilton told The Guardian.
The same can be said about life situations that don’t involve a race track. Take, for example, the idea of gunning for a promotion. You may know that some of your other coworkers are talented and deserving. But if you start feeling intimidated, you will lose focus. Once again, the only thing you can ultimately control is how hard you work at being the best version of yourself.