When striving to reach our goals we often have an all or nothing mentality. If yesterday was not perfect, we can tend to perseverate on that imperfection, forgetting that today is a new day to make improvements.
Improvement is not usually all or nothing, rather small baby steps that move us little by little in the direction of our goals. What one thing can you change about today, that will move you in the direction of your goals? Little by little, make a change.
My next Mindfulness for Athletes practice session is Tuesday October 11th at 7:00pm at my office in Sacramento. I have 4 spots open. If you are an athlete of any kind and you are in the Sacramento area, please feel free to join other athletes for an hour of mindfulness, Tuesday October 11th at 7pm at my office in Sacramento. CLICK below to register:
As appreciators of physical and mental excellence, it is easy for us to get overly involved in focusing on weakness. This is especially true for those of us who compete or simply want to improve a body part or two. Instead of looking at how beautiful our biceps are, we tend to focus on that belly, or that little extra fat in the bum. It makes sense because part of how we got to the level of excellence we are at is by looking at flaws and working on improving them.
But what if we play just for a minute with our strengths? What would that be like if you knew your strengths? What if you could tap into those strengths at a moment’s notice whenever you were feeling down on yourself or in a bit of a rut? Sometimes we can get obsessive and our negative focus takes a downward spiral and we have trouble digging ourselves out of a hole. But, if we know our strengths, then we can tap into those and utilize them to empower us and make our lives better in a more enriching way.
So here are some ideas to tap into your strengths and find out what it is you are really good at.
Think about a time when you were most like you?
What were you doing? What were you experiencing? What qualities did you poses when you were most like you? Write it out if you like and get a really good idea. Jot down maybe 5-10 characteristics or strengths that you really felt resonated with you during this time.
- Answer the following questions:
What are you good at? What do people compliment you on? What are you most proud of about your personality?
How do you get through challenging times?
Think about a time when you were challenged. How did you overcome this challenge? What resources did you access in order to pull yourself out and get through this challenging situation? Write out 5-10 different strengths that you used to help yourself in this situation.
Create a top 10 character strengths.
Much like we create a list of values, we can also create a list of strengths so that we can be contentious of them at any moment and use them as a resource to empower us.
Take the Character Strengths Survey:
The survey is based on the work of Martin Seligman and Positive Psychology. It is an empirically tested list of the top 24 character strengths universal to humans. There are no weaknesses according to the model, only strengths that you identify with more and strengths you identify with less.
Focusing on our strengths allows us to tap into our natural resources when we are in a bind. Understanding our strengths is the first step to using them. When we utilize our strengths we feel more empowered to live the life that we choose.
You guys are going to keep harassing me until I bring nutrition coaching back aren’t you? I have to say, it has been very unexpected and also I have to say I have really missed the nutrition aspect of contest prep. So now you have it. Nutrition coaching for contest prep, off-season and non-competitors is back. Thanks for the motivation, and for missing me.
You can get nutrition coaching combined with mental coaching, or mental coaching alone or nutrition alone. I think this way will make everyone happy and also help me to bring to the fitness community the much needed resource of mental skills. What I am really most interested in is helping you to have a confident and successful journey that feels empowering and takes you to the next level, mind and body. Getting in amazing shape should be an evolutionary process that empowers you and helps you in all areas of life.
Give me a shout if you are wanting nutrition, I have a few openings, here is the link for more info:
Offering Figure contest prep coaching, bikini contest prep coaching, figure and bikini off-season coaching and non-competitor nutrition.
In honor of the Olympia weekend coming up in the next couple of days, I thought it would be fitting to talk about the mindset of champions. What is interesting about when someone has an ironclad mental game is that most people around them also know it.
Have you ever watched the pre-game interview of sport and knew who the winner would be? I feel certain you have. I have been to competitions where I knew who was going to win just by attitude and on a few occasions that person was me. Sometimes you are going to win, and you just know it, you have the proper flow, the correct mental game, and everything seems to be going your way.
But can we actually cultivate an internal environment that makes winning more likely? Can we set ourselves up mentally to be better equipped come show time? I believe we can.
Here are my Top 5 Mental Secrets of The Champions. There are obviously countless other things that are important, like doing the training, cardio and eating properly. From a champion’s perspective, those things are just the bare minimum.
Top 5 Mental Secrets of The Champions
- Champions don’t over think things:
They have their game plan, and they have their team and they plug away without issues or questions. They don’t wonder or worry if they are doing it right, not because they are afraid to ask questions but because they have hand selected a team that they can trust has their best interests. Once that is set up, all they have to do, is run the game plan, and get results.
Champions don’t gossip:
They don’t invest time in small talk about potential competition politics, why this person or that person placed higher than someone else. They don’t gossip with family or friends. They keep their words positive and constructive. This is not to say that if a friend has an issue they won’t lend an ear, but they will stay neutral and positive. Gossiping turns into a downward spiral, and once you participate, you can bet your friends will be looking for you again and again to feed their negativity. Stay away!
- Champions mind their own business: Now this may seem similar to refraining from gossiping, but there is an important distinction, social comparison. Champions don’t worry or get involved in who is competing, what they look like at 8 weeks out, or what their training schedule is. Champions may take a social comparison peek in order to gauge the trends of the current industry standard, but they spend more time in the gym working on themselves than online watching others work on themselves.
- Champions do the work and then some:
Doing the work, as I mentioned before is according to a champion, the bare minimum. Champions go above and beyond the bare minimum by increasing intensity and putting passion and zest into their every move at the gym. The focus on their goal, day in and day out. The visualize success in their downtime. They make use of their minds by focusing on what they are creating, staying positive and being committed and dedicated. They have daily mental rituals that help keep them focused and committed.
Champions believe in themselves:
Champions are not perfect. They have their doubts, but the overall tone is that of belief. Any doubts they have they quickly work on eliminating. They take proper action to live congruently by their values and standards. When one lives according to their own standards, they have a much easier time believing in themselves.
That’s my top 5. Like I said, I know there’s more and I am sure you have some examples of your own. Hopefully this top five has helped you to re-dedicate yourself and commit to the sport you love with passion and enthusiasm.
I have just announced a second Mindfulness for Athletes Meet-up. My first one filled up in 24 hours, so I opened another session. If you are an athlete of any kind and you are in the Sacramento area, please feel free to join other athletes for an hour of mindfulness. Wednesday September 21st at 7pm at my office in Sacramento.
Inner strength comes from our willingness to look at all that is good and right in our lives, because it is love, not anger that energizes and motivates us to be our best selves in whatever we pursue.
Are you new to Mental Training? One way to start is through meditation, or hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy is a relaxing way to allow your unconscious mind to release limiting beliefs that get in your way, without any effort, all while relaxing. Check out my hypnotherapy offerings for competitive figure, bikini, fitness and physique athletes for more info. You train your body like a champion, but what about your mind?
When we have big dreams, we often have big fears. Don’t look at fear as a bad thing, rather a messenger to become more internally and externally fit. Make friends with fear, invite it for tea, ask it questions. How can fear inform you and prepare you to be even better at your sport? Let fear be an ally, on your way to becoming a better athlete.
Do I deserve it? Often we say we want something, then we pull back. We flinch away from it. There is this dance we do, of thinking we deserve it, then don’t deserve it. We are not really sure. Ambivalence, then causes it to take longer because we are half in, and half out, instead of all in. When we are half in, then we say, see, I knew it wasn’t coming. But, when we are all in, the arrival of our vision, our dream, our desire, becomes irrelevant. We have so much fun opening …up to it, that as we move towards it, if feels like it has already arrived.
What can you do today, to release incongruency? How can you allow in what you tell yourself you want? How can you open up to it fully and allow it to come to you?
You deserve everything you desire. You are meant to make what is in your heart a reality. When it feels big, get support, but don’t flinch away from it. It is yours, receive the dream, then do the work to make it happen.