Talking Yourself Into Success

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Talking Yourself Into Success

I love talking to myself. I don’t always have the nicest things to say, but when I do, I am unstoppable. The trick is figuring out those buzz words that work for you that get you out of bed and into the gym, focused on your mission and eating your food like an Olympic athlete. Sometimes the not so nice things are what gets me motivated, and sometimes I need a good old fashioned glob of positivity to help me through the day.

How can you find those words that really resonate and fit with you that offer optimal levels of inspiration? I have a few ideas…

1. Start Where You Are:
There really is nothing worse than a well intended motivational message that energetically doesn’t resonate with you. If you are just starting a new goal and you don’t yet believe you can do it, saying you are the Ms. Olympia Champion is most likely not going to inspire you. Instead, take your message one step beyond where you currently are at energetically. For example, let’s say you have a new goal, but it is something you have never done before. Maybe you are going to take up Marathoning, or maybe you want to try a figure competition. The goal seems exciting and scary at the same time. You want to believe in yourself. You are not quite there yet, but you want it. Say to yourself: “I want to believe.” This is the first step. Then when you start feeling like it is possible, bump it up a bit, say to yourself: “I got this.” Can you feel the difference in energy from the first one to the second? There is more confidence in the second one, but don’t be afraid to start where you are, and for it to be ok where you are.

2. Know Where You Are Going:
Even though your goal may be far off in the distance, tap into and connect with the energy of how you will want to eventually feel. Have an energetic end goal if you will. We all have goals of what we want, but what about how we want to feel along the way. I never had a bad ending to an awesome journey. So really connect with where you are going energetically, so you can recognize it when you get there.

3. Create Visual Reminders:
It is easy to forgot what we want to say to ourselves without visual reminders. Put a sticky note on your bathroom mirror, wear a bracelet or ring with your message on it. Put the message somewhere you can see it so you can remind yourself of it and continue to say the word or phrase in your head over and over throughout the day.

4. Remember to Upgrade:
Once your message no longer has the juice anymore to get you going, it is time for an upgrade. Create a new message that is the next step closer to your goal. Keep on upgrading. If you can’t think of any ideas, look to some of your role models and get some ideas from them.

I hope you found this helpful. Be sure to check out the link below for my new Silver Coaching Program. Have a great month of February.

Nancy Georges
IFBB Figure Pro
Contest Prep Coach
Mental Coach
http://www.nancygeorges.com/programs.html

Fighting For What You Want

woman boxerFighting For What You Want

Are you ready to put up a fight for what you want? What are your personal standards of excellence that you desire to live up to? As cliché as it is, at the turn of the year, we are all making plans for how we are going to make our upcoming year better than the previous year. It is not wishful thinking, rather good planning. If you plan your dream out in full and vivid detail, you are well on your way to achieving your desired outcomes. Here are some techniques that I use when it comes to the turn of the year goal planning.

1. Make your goal something that is important to you. 
If you don’t care all that much about achieving your goal, when the road gets difficult, it is unlikely that you are going to stick it out. Dig deep and ask yourself, what do you want to accomplish for yourself? Not for anyone else, but for you? That is where we are going to get our driving power.

2. Make sure that your goal lines up with your values.
Know what you value. Living a life of values is an important part of the goal planning process. When you make goals that you care about at the deepest level, when you need to dig deep to find your inner drive, it will be there waiting to be revved up.

3. Don’t compare your goal to other people’s goals or what you think your goal should be.
It is easy to make goals based on what other people are doing. Sometimes what is right for someone else is not the best for you. Use others as a source of motivation and inspiration, then ask yourself this question. What is the goal that is true and right for me, that is in this same area of achievement?

4. Make a detailed plan of action. 
A goal is a great start, a detailed plan of action with short term, medium and long term goals along the way is a great way to stay connected and moving forward toward your goal.
 
5. Create a supportive environment.
It takes an army of a support team to help me with my goal of becoming pain-free. I work with a chiropractor, go to Cryotherapy, work with a sport psychologist, nutrition coach and I make sure that my family and friends are at least neutral about my goals. I don’t need constant cheerleading every single day, but I want people around me that believe in me and support my efforts. Make sure you surround yourself with a support team that moves you in the direction of your goals.

6. Don’t give up.
It is possible you won’t reach your goal in the timeframe you have set out. That does not mean you have failed; it just means you need to readjust the plan of attack. Get rested, and then reset your new plan with a new target date. Develop mental toughness by being flexible with how you go about achieving your goal.
 
7. Make sure that you are in control of making your goal happen. 
It is great to have goals such as winning, but we also want to make sure that we set goals that are within our control. We want to have behavioral goals as well as outcome goals.Life is not going to just hand you what you want; you have to fight for it! What are you willing to fight for today? Pick goals that are worth your time and effort.

Nancy Georges

IFBB Figure Pro
Contest Prep Coach
Mental Game Coach

Mental Skills with IFBB Pro Susan Graham

susan2Once in a while an athlete comes along that inspires me and makes me sad that my competition days are over. Susan Graham is one of the hardest working athletes I know. It is no surprise that her body is a fortress of perfection. Working with Susan was a delight and a challenge in every way that I enjoy. Thank you Susan for the opportunity to help you with mental skills for the 2016 competition season. You are an incredible athlete! I respect your commitment and dedication to the sport. Enjoy the break. I hope to see you on stage again in 2017. Here is Susan’s story…

Susan’s Story

“Working on mental coaching with Nancy during my last contest prep was truly beneficial. I am a IFBB pro and compete in Women’s Physique. I’m dedicated to the process of getting to the stage, but I felt I could step up my game mentally. Since so much of what we do as competitors is mental, I knew with Nancy’s knowledge and experience she could help me step up my game. Each week we would talk and sometime I would not have obvious problems, but with Nancy’s intuitive questions we would find issues that needed to be addressed. After talking, I would feel empowered and motivated to keep moving forward towards my goals. Nancy is a veteran to the stage and understands any issue a competitor faces. She helps work through issues without judgement no matter how big or small.”

Susan Graham
IFBB Pro Physique Athlete

For more information about contest prep and mental training for figure, physique, bikini and bodybuilding, contact Nancy at http://www.nancygeorges.com or nnancypro@aol.com

Nancy Georges

IFBB Figure Pro
Contest Prep Coach
Mental Game Coach

 

Using Cue Words to Stay Motivated

Woman Doing Yoga Exercises In Gym, Sport Fitness Girl Sitting Lotus PoseUsing Cue Words to Stay Motivated
Lately I have been playing around with the voices in my head. OK, I admit, that sounds rather strange, but follow me for a minute. We all talk to ourselves. I think I probably talk to myself non-stop throughout the day when I am not engaged in an actual conversation with another person. I would love to have a transcript of all the things I say to myself throughout the day. I am guessing I am not alone on this.

Do you talk to yourself? What does the voice sound like? Is it generally pleasant, or it is mean and critical? One way we have a positive effect on our goals is by changing up the way we talk to ourselves, using cue words. I will admit, I won’t be able to change all the negative voices in your head in one article, however, cue words are a very effective way to easily help us stay on track with our goals.

Here is an example of how the process of developing cue words can work. This week I have been rather busy studying for finals. When I study, I feel extra snacky. I want snacks!!! The café cookies and brownies were looking extra good this day. I took a moment to check in with my body and really connect with my cravings. Urge surfing is a technique that I walk through with my clients in session that have challenges with snacking. So I checked in with my body and I said to my body, what is this feeling? Then I noticed I said to myself: “I feel unsettled.” I took a deep breath and did some brief mindfulness and I said to myself “Settle in.” Ahhhhh!! Instantly I relaxed and felt better. I repeated settle in a few times and the craving went away.

Now you can use this technique to help with cravings, to motivate yourself for a workout, or any other behavior that you are wanting a little extra motivation with. Cue words are usually used in a performance context, but I tweaked it, because those of us on a fitness journey of sculpting our bodies have additional challenges with our sport or lifestyle when it comes to hunger.
 

Step 1: Identify an area that you want to have more motivation with. It could be to workout, to eat healthy.

Step 2: Connect with the feeling. It is good to do this in real time. For example, if you are not wanting to go to the gym, do this right then on the spot. Check in with your feeling and ask yourself: “What is this feeling about?” Or something like that. Take a few moments to connect with it.

Step 3: Take a few nice deep breaths and you wait for the communication from your body. Relax into whatever the feeling is.

Step 4: Identify a cue word based on how you feel. For example, I was feeling unsettled, so I said to myself settle in.

Step 5: Repeat your cue word several times to test the effectiveness. If it is not very strong, repeat the steps and create a new cue word.

Step 6: Write your cue word down and use it as often as you like for similar situations.

That’s it, that’s all there is to it. I hope you enjoy this technique and find it helpful especially now at a very tempting time of the year. I like to say, if you can eat healthy this time of year, you can do it anytime.

Also be sure to visit my audios if you are wanting some extra motivation in this potentially challenging time of the year. Here is the link:

And if you are interested in some personalized attention, check out my customized programs. I would be happy to offer you a complete custom nutrition plan along with all the mental tricks custom to your situation. 

Until next time,

Nancy Georges

IFBB Figure Pro
Contest Prep Coach
Mental Game Coach

What gives athletes their power?

What gives athletes their power?

Focusing on what is in their control. We can’t control people and environment, we can control our attitude, or effort, or passion, our mindset and our joy for sport. When we do that, we win every time! Trophies are icing on the cake!

Female model with muscular body

It’s a mental game! Play with passion!

Mental Exercise for Creating Your Future

There is always a point at the start of dream creation where we say to ourselves: “No way can I do this, this goal is too big.” But we want it nonetheless. Eventually we start to believe the “lies” we tell ourselves that we can do it, and even further on down the road, we begin to make our dreams a reality.
Your future self, is looking at you right now. It knows you don’t believe in you. But your future self, knows you WILL accomplish your goal. Have faith in your future self, and do the work to move you in the direction of your goal. Do what it takes, belief will come later. Don’t wait to believe, take action and grow into the belief.
I created a mental skills visualization to help you step into your future before it arrives. Check out the link.
Don’t wait to believe. Take action and grow into the belief.
I hope you have enjoyed this exercise. Please feel free to email me topics that you would like covered for future articles. I love to hear from you your ideas and suggestions.

Creating Flow Experiences

How do you create a flow experience? As an athlete it is just as important to do our mental training as it is to do our physical training. Here are the elements of flow:

1. The task you are taking on is a match to your skill level. Is what you are taking on too hard, or too easy? If so, flow is more challenging.

2. You become one with your movement. Whether you are working out in the gym or participating in an event, you seem to meld into and become one with what you are doing.

3. You have a clear focus on your goals and your intention is focused as well.

4. You are free from distractions. Although you may be aware of external factors, they seem to be blurred and fall by the wayside and irrelevant variables.

5. You feel in control and yet as if you don’t need to be controlling. Everything you are doing feels effortless.

6. Your internal dialog is positive, supportive and uplifting.

7. Time distortion. It may slow down or speed up.

8. You are greatly enjoying what you are doing. The process is the reward and there is almost no need for an external reward, trophy, prize or acknowledgement from people you care about.

Getting into flow states can be trained through Psychological Skills Training. Interested in learning more? check out my Inner Athlete Coaching Program for details.

http://www.mentalgamefitness.com/inner-athlete-coaching.html

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Strength comes from seeing the sunshine in your darkest hour.

I am strong, AND I am weak. I do not try to eliminate any part of me. No part gets left behind at the expense of inflated self-worth. I feel my self-worth, even when I am doubting. I feel my worth in my pain, and in my success. Without the struggles, there is no understanding of where to grow. Triumph is not possible without self-understanding, self-reflection, and personal development.

I have faith in my dreams, even when they seem far away? Why? Because I put them there, therefore, they are mine to nurture and grow. My only job is to enjoy the process of growing into my dreams.

Some days are easier than others. When it is difficult, I remind myself, there is a season for everything. Embrace all of you! Negative emotions exist to let us know an important message. Listen, learn, grow and step into what you designed in your mind, and make that a reality.

Love to you all! Let’s make our dreams happen!

Focusing on Your Strengths

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.
  1. 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.
  2. Answer the following questions:
    What are you good at? What do people compliment you on? What are you most proud of about your personality?
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Top 5 Mental Secrets of The Champions

boxer2In 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
  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
Nancy