Champions Corner

5 Olympic hopefuls share their advice on how you can exceed your goals

With just about two months to go until the 2018 Winter Olympics take place in Pyeongchang, South Korea from February 8 - 25, Team USA athletes are currently attempting to qualify for the worldwide competition.

To become an Olympian, you must be strong both physically and mentally. So who better to ask about what it takes to meet and surpass your goals than Olympic hopefuls?

Here's what five Team USA contenders told CNBC Make It about meeting and exceeding your expectations:

Ignore the naysayers

There will always be people who doubt your abilities, says free-skier Aaron Blunck, 21. Ignore them and keep trudging forward, he tells CNBC Make It.

"Don't let someone try and bring you down," says Blunk, who in 2014 represented Team USA in the first Olympic ski halfpipe event. "Whether it's another competitor or someone that you work with or even just a friend."

Focus on yourself and on what you want to achieve he adds. "Hard work and dedication pays off."

And when someone does try and bring you down? Just brush it off.

"Go out there and be yourself. Be you," Blunk advises. "Don't let someone crush you and bring you down."

Do what makes you happy

It becomes much easier to exceed your goals when you're doing something that genuinely makes you happy, says skier Morgan Schild.

Once that's established, she says, "it takes hard work, dedication and focus" to actually achieve your goal.

Schild, who has taken home three top-10 World Cup finishes, says that after a recent injury, her main goal was to recover in time for the winter Olympics.

"In order for me to get there, I had to put in the time at the gym. I had to go to the workouts. I had to go to the [personal trainer]."

The 20-year-old adds that there was also a mental component in pushing her body past its limits, noting that she went through pain and emotions.

However, she says, "that dedication and hard work that I had to do, that is what got me to this point."

Be confident in your abilities

Figure skater Mirai Nagasu says that a healthy dose of confidence is vital if you want to come out on top.

"I really believe in myself," she says. "When someone really truly believes in themselves magic happens."

The 24-year-old says that she recently took a personality assessment for a management course that she's enrolled in.

After completing her assessment, she found that her narcissism score was double the class average.

But the figure skater, who almost made the 2014 Olympic team, doesn't see this characteristic as a negative. She even went as far as to write a two-page paper on the importance of having some narcissism.

"Narcissism is just self-confidence," she says, and when you're confident your possibilities become endless.

She leaves people looking to achieve their goals with this word of advice: "Just really believe in yourself and stay true to yourself."

Hold yourself accountable

Ski racer Mikaela Shiffrin, 22, says that you must hold yourself accountable to meet your goals. That starts by actively speaking it into existence.

"If you have a dream and you're passionate about it then there's no reason why you shouldn't do it," says the Olympic gold medalist, who has been dubbed the best slalom skier in the world.

What stops most people from achieving success, she says, is being scared of those dreams and ambitions.

"People are afraid to say what their ambitions are. They're afraid to say that they want to do something amazing," says Shiffrin. "They don't want to tell it to other people. They don't want to say it to their self."

But it's important that you do so, she says, because by simply uttering what you want in life it forces you to hold yourself accountable to that dream. However, it doesn't stop there.

"You have to focus on [that dream] and you have to put in the work," the ski racer explains."And it doesn't mean you can't have fun but a lot of the fun is just learning how to enjoy the process of getting there."

Focus on the smaller goals

Your end goal will seem less daunting if you focus on accomplishing smaller goals along the way, according to freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy, 26.

"Stay focused, stay on track," he says, "but also [don't] focus too much on the end goal."

Kenworthy secured two silver medals at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and was recently named to Forbes 30 under 30. The Olympian tells CNBC Make It that too often we get "hung up" thinking about the future and that final goal.

Even if your final goal is as lofty as the Olympics, he says, there are so many smaller goals along the way and those need to be the things that you focus on each time.

Give priority to the next hurdle or the next issue at hand and then slowly make your way to your final destination, says the skier. "It's definitely a trek and not a sprint."

Video produced by Luqman Adeniyi

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See also:

Olympic gold medalist Simone Manuel on defying the odds

The advice that helped Shawn Johnson East get over her fear of failure

5 daily habits Olympian Michael Phelps swears by