So far, in this course on inspired thinking, we have discussed the value of routine, viewpoint and exercise as keys to the expression of knowledge you gain in life. We have presented the idea of mind powers and now we can deliver more to our bottom line in life through Self-Leadership.
Today I will present to you the four cornerstones of mind power. But first let me explain the entire concept of leadership and why it has become so challenging and therefore why mind power is even more the key to success as a leader than ever before. Remembering before you begin, that people can feel you long before they meet you. And this awareness is called Self-Leadership. Let’s now begin today’s lesson. It begins with the concept of obedience.
The universe is held together by laws and forces that are all powerful. If any one of these laws were to cease to operate, disaster would follow. Nothing is left to chance. The supposed blind activity of nature is contradicted by the most deliberate and careful adjustment of all parts of the greater universe.
The forces involved in the government of this world and family of worlds, are mighty in their power, and yet humble in their obedience. They must conform. We’ve seen lightning leap across the sky and tear its way into the earth, seemingly following some movement that was due to chance; but every scientist who has studied lightning, knows that it obeys a fixed rule in all it’s activities. It will never deviate a hairs breath from that fixed rule.
The sun itself gives out original light. No other member of its family of planets does this. All borrow their light and reflect it back. If you look at the sky at night you will notice some of the bodies shine with a steady light that never flicker, while others have a constant twinkling. Those that twinkle are the stars, and each has its own solar system, with planets and moons. The orbs that never flicker are planets. Out of the stars you can build constellations having imaginary shapes, and you will find the same 1000 years from now. But the planets move from night to night, and can never form groups, because they lose their positions so quickly. They are traveling around the sun. They cannot get away. They go just so far out into space and there they keep their fixed distance from the sun.
Every family in the sky is of the same material, substance and governed by the same cosmic laws as our own family, that somehow, even by the fact that they are in operating under the same laws of attraction and repulsion, all are related, but the ego gets involved and tries to reshape the eternally present universal laws that govern everything.
The difference between a universal viewpoint and that of the ordinary person is the former views the whole at once, while the latter sees only the part. This distinction, slight as it seems at first, means the vast scope of the universe on the one hand and the worst of all personal and human interest on the other hand – the EGO. Now which is the more important?
You will now begin to see that this earth is just one world in the solar system which also contains a number of other worlds each under the control of the sun. Altogether this makes up one family in the sky. This family is given a part of cosmic space all by itself. Every star that shines, and there are billions and billions and billions, is the head of a family far away; so far away in fact, that the distance is inconceivable. It can’t be measured, it is so vast that the human mind staggers under the thought of it.
Everything in the universe reports to a higher power. It is the law of the one and the many. Obedience is the nature of things. To defy that obedience is a the disastrous life and weak leadership.
The same law of central control holds each moon to its mother planet. If the smaller body could get away from the greater, it would become a free agent, and its course in space would mark uncertainty if not ruin. We would never know at what moment some stray moon might crash into our planet.
The sun has a long leash, like ropes that extend in all directions, leading out from itself to all planets, and that with these leashes each planet is held in check. The sun feeds them all with light and therefore energy, she defines their path through the sky and she controls their rate of speed. Now you will have a good idea of the control that is exercised by the sun over its family, the a solar system. and maybe now begin to see the parallels in leadership.
The Sun is the leader giving light to dark, the planets are the follower fulfilling their own density guided by the light of the sun. The earth is free to fulfill it’s purpose, but cannot escape the leash of the sun, it is bound by it’s laws. Any contradiction to this would result in the expulsion of the earth from the family of this sun.
Corporate Culture are these larger laws, job function are the individual purpose. All of life fits these rules.
The same is true of every one of the mighty operations of nature. All is government; all is mastery of self-leadership ; all is the cause of obedience.
All things have a central power that controls them. This is a self-evident law. There never was or could be a tribe that did not have its chief. Nor has there been a city or a town without a mayor or leader. There is no body of people that is without a leader. No government has ever existed without a leader, or a group of leaders; All business’s have their leader. And partnerships that are supposed to be composed of two people holding equal rights and rank, always have the senior partner, and one voice is stronger than the other in the management of the business.
This fact is due to the necessity of centralizing the control of everything. You for example, as a student of inspiration, will have one single life purpose and seven visions that link to that purpose. Purpose therefore is the centralising force of you, and your planets are your visions. Your goals are your mechanism of control (gravity and light) and your daily habits are the leashes. It is all a mirror of the universe. Nobody invented these ideas. They copied them from the stars. Therefore, you, as a leader are a Sun.
But it is also instinctively derived from the same law that pervades all creation. The individual who cannot obey the guidance of their higher power, their soul their creator, cannot hope to tap the universal ocean, nor reach beyond an earthly viewpoint., they are what is called Self centered because the center of their universe, to them, is within them.
THE FOUR PILLARS OF MENTAL STRENGTH
You’ve worked it out already: you go in and out, on and off, around and about your need to fight this to stay on track and the best way to maintain trajectory in your daily life is to by preventing trouble. Staying one step ahead of your curve: implementing smart super self-leadership so that you keep your best fuel in life for what it’s meant for: living, loving, enjoying, making money, having fun, giving, doing, being, winning, shining, and being smoking hot at what you do.
Like you, I’m no stranger to high achievement. I know what it feels like to push myself to the edge, to test my limits. I know the desire to keep improving, to get better and do more.
And perhaps like you, I used to doubt myself more than I should. My motivation ebbed and flowed. I wondered if I could.
I often got nervous. I didn’t always learn from my experiences.
And, sometimes my confidence seemed as far away as the top of Mt Everest, my favourite Himalayan mountain. I could feel strong physically, but not always mentally.
And probably like you, there was a time when I never seriously tried to change that.
But ask any coach or elite executive and they’ll tell you: The mind is even more important than the body. Mental strength training is a key part of how they prepare for success. So why do we pay so little attention to this in business and life?
We spend so much energy trying to emulate great leaders — the way they act, the human science they use, the clothes they wear, even the food they eat — but 99% of us don’t even consider mental strength as something worth focusing on.
Why is that? It’s true we may not be vying for the top step of the corporate ladder in a fortune 100 firm, but we all have goals. We all want to improve and be successful in our own way.
If anything, a strong mental game is even more important for those of us with career ambitions, families, and limited time to exercise than it is for a professional athlete.
And so I give you The Innerwealth Mental Training Programme, another part of our Inspired Leadership and Corporate Consciousness Training System covering all Seven Areas of Life.
Developed with leading sports psychologists, as well as elite performance coaches, I’m extremely excited about this programme. We’ve worked hard to demystify mental training, giving you simple, practical and useful ways to develop a powerful mental game.
Having created the programme myself, it’s changed how I approach client’s growth needs, how I deal with pain, and how inspired I am to do the work I need to do to stay on top of my game. Above all, it’s helped me think more positively about my capabilities.
And so, I’m going to do the same for you. And just imagine what you can accomplish when you truly, deeply know what you want, why you want it and have the conviction that you can do it.
Believe in yourself. You can do it. The key here is to remember that the four pillars of mental strength are inseparable. Many have one or two, few have the four and this is the vital secret key to mental strength, four pillars all working together.
THE FOUR PILLARS OF THE MENTALLY STRONG
- GOAL SETTING: Having a clear plan of action is essential to any undertaking. Setting concrete, actionable goals will keep you motivated and on track, whether you’re eyeing the top step of the podium or the top of the local climb. We’ll help you figure out where you are today, where you want to be, and identify the steps you need to take in order to get there.
- REVIEW AND IMPROVE: As Plato said, ‘An unexamined life is not worth living.’ Reflecting upon and improving your performance will ensure you’re moving forward and allow you to make corrections early if you start to go off track. These sessions will help you build a strong habit of thinking critically about what you’re doing, how it’s working, and what you can do better.
- STRONG FOCUS: Focus is essential to high performance. Without it, you can become distracted, give in to self- doubt and lose motivation. These sessions will give you the mental skills to lock-in concentration, stay motivated, deal with setbacks and get ‘in the zone’ when it really counts.
- POSITIVE ATTITUDE: Thoughts matter. To accomplish big goals you need the ability to maintain a positive mindset, regardless of what life throws at you. These sessions will introduce a series of techniques that will help you believe in yourself. You’ll learn how to overcome obstacles, push aside negative thoughts, and build your self- confidence.
1. GOAL SETTING
Goals are subsets of visions. Visions are subsets of purpose. Before you set goals you need the centralising and organising principles of a vision, and a purpose.
About your Vision, Inspiration and Purpose.
You own it. It’s simple. It’s portable and it’s inside of you. It affects your productivity, your health, your happiness. It affects your relationship, your friendships, your children and your P&L at work. If you tap it, there’s no stopping you, if you don’t then it’s all just hard work and struggle. Your Vision, Inspiration and Purpose affects everything important and it is without doubt the single most important ingredient in determining the quality of your life, work life balance and the essential exchange in relationships. It’s not fluff, just try being without hope for a day and see how it feels and how many people want to invest in you. Inspired thinking is simple. It’s Universal principles of leadership, and the laws that make planets obedient presented so you can be the leaders you are meant to be, at home and at work, to be in complete control of your dialogue with yourself and others.
Most of us know what we want. Less of this, more of that. But why? The reason behind our wants can be drawn from such a darkness of pain and fear or inspired by purpose. This is why the why is so critical. When you explain where you want to be in the future you can easily think “because I’ll be happier” or “because I’ll be more wonderful” but these transient WHY are sadly driven by mental health problems and cause stress. A purpose on the other hand creates a WHY way larger than this little view of the self.
A vision quest each two or three months is essential.
So, lets review where we’re up to setting a clear vision — and putting in place a goal setting habit —is a five step process: Those steps are:
1. Establish your starting point: you’re not going anywhere if you don’t know where and who you are today.
2. Identify your “PURPOSE” — your final destination: the Why behind the what because when the why is big enough the how’s take care of themselves. Don’t bypass this… it’s the only way to get past your ego.
3. “Know your priorities, your BIG GOAL and your “other goals”. What is it that you want to achieve more than anything else? We call this the summit of your personal Ama Dablam.
4. Plan monthly targets: What do you have to accomplish each month in order to reach that summit?
5. Set weekly challenges and rewards: What are the small weekly goals – and rewards – that will help you make progress?
Well, with that done, let’s move on to the second area: clearly identifying your big goal.
This is the mythical mountain in the distance, the one you dream of conquering.
This is your personal Mt Everest (For me, I love the mountain Ama Dablam.)
Amazingly, few people take the time to clearly identify this goal and even fewer use a deep understanding of it to pull themselves closer to success.
But knowing where you ultimately want to be is critical to performance.
Without that summit in mind, it’s easy to get comfortable, lose motivation, to just work and spend and earn and train and diet aimlessly … maybe even make a few detours across the border into ‘sleepyhollow.’
So just going through this process is already putting you a step closer to success.
Find some me time after dinner. Go outside if possible. Look up at the stars, check the wonder of life, look over the horizon if you can, see the moon, be in awe of the size of everything – take three powerful deep breaths as if you are about to jump off a cliff and ready yourself for the leap of faith you are about to take… and look up at 45 degrees raise your eyes to the sky and say to yourself “oh, soul, what would you love me to be do and have … and one by one go around the seven areas of life. After each area write your answer, then do the next area of life. the answers can be fun, enjoyable, unexplained. Trust your higher self to guide you. Be private, hidden from the public eye.
Everyone’s Mt Everest is personal.
This is your journey, and the path to the summit will be yours alone.
The peak you are striving toward could be a new job, new relationship, an event, a financial target, losing weight, getting into a new business or completing some kind of personal challenge, like doing an Innerwealth Back on Track 30 day Real Life Challenge.
Do you have some big ideas?
Now, even if it seems a little crazy, let’s amplify things: let’s make those ideas a little bigger.
Get out of your comfort zone.
Whatever you had in mind as potential goals, see if you can go a step further.
See if you could head in others directions – maybe ones you hadn’t considered.
Build these into ideas that really, really excite you.
What, if you could accomplish it, would motivate you to to leave the comfort of your bed and do the work required, to make sacrifices, to work, to train hard, to learn new things and change who you are today.
Maybe you think your big vision is to start a new business, or new career.
But what if your goal was to do well enough in that new business or career to buy yourself that dream home or pay off the mortgage for an existing one?
Or maybe your vision is as simple as to lose 5 kilos.
But what if you could not only lose 5 kilos, but also build a new more muscular physique?
As you think BIG, you should now have several options for your Ama Dablam in mind — and that’s exactly what we want.
Create a worksheet called
‘Getting Clear on visions.’
In the left hand column, under ‘Draft visions’ write down the visions you just came up with.
Don’t do any filtering now — just write them all down, no matter how big, small or impossible they seem.
Go ahead and pause the audio at this point, restarting when you’re done writing.
How do these visions look?
Do they make you want to START WORKING ON THEM, HURTING TO ACHIEVE THEM RIGHT NOW?”
Now, take another look.
If you feel some anxiety whole you’re looking over your visions, that’s great — you’re pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.
Take another look at the visions you’ve written down.
In the right hand column of that same page, tweek them until they are something you’d be inspired to stand up and say to the world. Something that echos in your heart. I’m going to… I have a dream to … I will commit my life to…
Use your imagination… think big.
Hit pause while you do this.
So let’s further improve these visions before picking THE one that will act as your AMA Dablam.
On the same sheet, see if you can automatically trust your authenticity to ask “which of these is the most engaging?” i don’t mean morally correct, or impressive to your peers or family, or should or shouldn’t do. I mean, the dream that frightens the crapper out of you, that inspires you. Try to be expansive.
It is key here to remember that all the seven dreams will manifest if you get the “Mt Everest” vision to the top. We’re going to link all visions together in the next step.
Stop the audio now and see if you can prioritise your visions from most inspiring to least.
Now the most inspiring vision can be called your mission, your vision, your inspiration and purpose. This, as i noted before doesn’t mean others don’t get prioritised, and that’s the key here.
We’re going to learn the process of vision/goal linking. It’s a major chunk of back on track program, but I’ll do my best here to give you the overview.
We sabotage anything that we can’t link to our major vision, the Mt Everest. So, if we want to achieve a balanced vision portfolio, a wholistic life, a happy home with a successful career, we must be able to link everything we do to our bigger vision, purpose, goal.
I call this the Corporate LCI process. Loyalty, commitment and Inspiration process.
- 1. What am I doing right now?
- 2. What is my Mt Everest?
- 3, How is what I’m doing getting me to my Mt Everest?
- 4. What am I doing right now?
- 5. How is what I’m doing right now creating the community/company/ or organisations vision?
2. REVIEW AND IMPROVE
Once you have completed that all-important first step: clearly defining your goals. You will fully accept the practice that to be successful you need to set concrete, actionable goals and you will identify, through coaching, the one thing you want to accomplish more than anything else: your Mountain, your Mt Everest. You also lay the foundation for a strong goal-setting habit by identifying monthly and weekly goals (and rewards!) that will help you maintain momentum.
Now, If you haven’t done so already, take some time today to review your goal from last week, and reward yourself if you hit that target. If you fell a little short, don’t get discouraged…just commit fully to whatever goal and reward you set for the upcoming week.
Both the modules you completed in coaching to build your goal setting habit were designed to build the first of the four habits of the mentally strong: Goal Setting. Now, we’re going to focus on two of the other habits: Positive Thinking and Strong Focus.
First up is ‘Getting Positive’, which you will see is super important. As simple as it sounds, maintaining a positive mindset is one of the most important drivers of your self-confidence. But it needs practice, so I’ll introduce you to a couple of easy-to-use techniques that will help you stop negative thoughts and maintain a more positive outlook.
Inspiration is especially critical to mental strength. So, toward the end of the each week you’ll be best to do the “Remembering Why” where you’ll uncover the underlying inspiration driving you towards the summit of your personal Mt Everest. You’ll learn how to burn those reasons why deep into your memory so you can draw on them whenever you need them to help push you forward.”
Improving your focus doesn’t happen by accident, and it isn’t easy.
We live in a chaotic and unpredictable world, with people, events, devices and even our own minds and bodies trying to distract us from our goals.
That’s even more true when you’re competing, like in sport or at work. (believe us when we say work is not a team sport)
You may be the strongest individual in a group, but when you’re going flat out, sleepless for a few nights, pushing the envelope to the limit of stress and you’re already exhausted, you need more power, strength and endurance to get to the top.
You need to focus, to get into the zone and shut out the pain, body and distractions. You need to concentrate on performing at your best.
The ability to focus, to shut everything out and get on with the job at hand, inept necessarily something you’re born with.
And, thought it’s so fundamental to performance, focus is something few people work on – so you can consider this yet another ace up your sleeve and another pillar to your growing mental strength.
To improve focus, you need to practice it. Incorporating a regular focus exercise into your workout routine can provide significant benefits in meetings, problem solving, creativity, events or competition.
These could range from being more prepared to give your all when the going gets tough, to improving your listening and learning attention or staying focussed during negotiations while others drift off in emotional digressions. You can jump to the front when before the rest of the competition knows what hit them.
A regular focus exercise will also help your physical training.
Concentrating on a specific effort or interval and being able to shut out the emotion and pain will allow you to dig deeper and maximise the returns on your efforts.
Lastly, better focus will improve your ability to generate positive self-talk, something you’ve already learned the importance of.
To just get a bit scientific for a second, a regular focus exercise can increase the presence of Alpha waves in your brain.
Alpha waves are a frequency of brainwaves that occur when we are in a state of highly focussed concentration and when elite physical performance is unlocked.
They play a critical role in the coordination of complex neural networks in our brain, and are strongly correlated with an increase in concentration and performance.
If you look at the brain of a Zen master deep in meditation or a world-class athlete in the zone or an executive in deep focus, you see one common trait: a concentration of Alpha waves.
The focus exercise that you’ll complete right after this module – and which you’ll make part of your training routine – will help you become more familiar with those Alpha waves, the process of establishing focus and then carrying that concentration into your athletic performance.
The more familiar you become with that process, the better you get at it and the more natural it becomes and the easier it is for you to “turn on” when you need it for crunch time when you’re under pressure.
Now, just be aware: the first time you complete this exercise, you may find that clearing your mind isn’t that easy.
You might even find it frustrating, with intruding thoughts just telling you to get on with it and start your day.
But remember the first time you rode a bicycle, those first, wobbly pedal strokes before you started crushing everyone before you?
It takes time and practice to develop a new skill. Concentration is no different.
So, if you want to take your business, sport or relationship performance to the next level, stick with it and make it as much a part of your pre-workout routine as putting on your shoes.
Train your concentration as diligently as you train your body.
Ok, it’s time to get to work. When this module ends, and right before you start a workout or work, start up the Focus Exercise module.
You can listen to that module before every workout until you’ve memorised the routine.
Once you have it memorised, then you can simply go through it on your own before work, workouts or special events.
Remember, what separates Innerwealth Inspired Leaders from the ordinary people of mediocrity isn’t just physical or intellectual prowess.
Those who are making progress toward their goals have mastered not only their bodies, but the minds, and environments as well, creating a singular, unshakeable focus on the Summit.
Ok, you’re ready to start work or begin your training.
Continue to listen to the DENY, AFFIRM AND VISUALISE module before your work until you’ve memorised the routine.
From that point on, simply repeat on your own before every day, workout or event. As you improve, you’ll find you can more easily establish your focus when you need it.
Welcome to the Innerwealth Mental Training Programme focus exercises.
This is “remembering Why” part of the Strong Focus habit.
You will need your workbook, including the sheets you filled out in the very first module of the programme, something to write with and about 25 minutes.
You’ve already learned that one half of building incredible willpower is understanding what you want.
Today, we’ll work on the second half. When you’re done, you’ll have what you need to strengthen your will, increase your determination and take your mental game up another level.
This about all the parts on a bicycle. By themselves, each part is unremarkable. On their own, they are useless.
But when assembled by a skilled mechanic, these individual components form a single, efficient, high-performance machine.
Bit if you remove even the smallest part, like a pedal or a cable stop, the machine won’t function.
Everything has to be in place.
Inspired Leaders are no different.
All the aspects of conditioning – Knowledge, language, communication, confidence, problem solving, a focussed sense of purpose, a positive mindset, – combine to create a winning, stress shedding machine.
If a single piece is missing, you won’t be at your best.
When your vision is blurred from the challenges of life and work and your brain and heart cry out for mercy, you need to remember your ‘WHY.’
It’s likely you have a vague idea why you’re striving to be more than you are today. But when you only have a vague picture, you’re not harnessing the mental strength that comes from true clarity – from a deep understanding of your motivators.
When you truly know why, your willpower will be strong enough to carry you through the dark periods – even the ones in the Discard Form.
So today we’re going to get clear on why you do what you do, adding another piece to strengthen your mental game.
We’ll start by reviewing what you wrote in the initial goal-setting exercise.
In your workbook, read through the description you wrote of who you are today and then re-read the goal that represents your Innerwealth Summit.
Pause the audio while you do this, and restart when you’re ready to continue.
Now create a page in your workbook titled “Remembering Why.” You’ll draw 10 boxes on this page.
In the top half of each of those boxes, below the word, “Because,” you can write down the one reason you’re striving for your Mt Everest. Why you want what you want.
We want you to dig deep and get to the core of why you’re climbing towards that personal summit.
These are the motivators you focus on during the vision – blurring pain of your work, workouts and home life, the thoughts that spur you into action.
These reasons could be something as simple as. “Because I want a trophy” or “Because I want to pay off my mortgage” or “Inspiring my Family” or “it makes me a better person.
There are no wrong answers. Some of the reasons will come easily. Some will take more thought and honest reflection.
Some will seem really important and others a little trivial.
Nonetheless, they’re all part of the complex web of things that motivate you.
This is one of those rare times in Innerwealth where you’re allowed to take as much time as you need, so savour it. Make sure you’re writing down real reasons why you’re pursuing your gal — we’re not looking for goals here, but for the underlying motivators for the goal you’ve already identified.
Pause the recording now and compile your list.
When you have 10 you’re confident about, resume the audio.
So, that’s why you’re working so hard!
As you glance back over them, know that these are the reasons why you’re pushing on toward that distant summit of Mt Everest.
When you ask yourself why you’re pushing yourself so hard, why you’re fighting to improve, why you’re making sacrifices to achieve your goals — these are the answers from which you can draw strength.
But let’s take it a step further.
Let’s turbocharge your mental strength and start building positive habits around these reasons why.
You can accomplish this by taking a positive action every time you see one of those reasons.
Tying actions to your reminders will help you maintain momentum and build positive habits to ensure you’re continually working toward your goal even when you’re not actively working.
So, in the bottom half of each of those boxes, next to the word “Action,” write down a small, specific thing you can do when you see that reason.
Keep these actions very simple so you’re more likely to do them when you see the reminder. They can be as easy as visualising yourself winning a race, reciting a couple of lines of positive self talk – which you’ll learn more about in a later module – or holding a plank for 60 seconds to improve your core strength. The reminder and action should be linked.
For example, if one of your reasons is: To lose weight ‘the action when you see the reminder is to plan a healthy meal for dinner.
Or if your reason is “To be a good role model for my family” your action could be to go and spend a bit of time with your family.
Pause this audio while you write down an action for each one of your reminders.
Ok. Have your reminders and actions done? Now you need to keep the in the centre of your daily awareness.
Writing them down once and closing up your workbook isn’t going to do it. You need to USE them.
It’s time to set up a system that will remind you, on a daily basis, of these reasons.
We want to burn them into your subconscious.
The more often, and the more deeply you remember why you do what you do, the easier it will be to buckle down, punch in, and do the work necessary to achieve your goal.
How you remind yourself of your reasons is up to you.
The important thing is that you read at least one of your reasons every day and take that small, positive action to reinforce progress toward your goal.
The idea is to keep you on track, inspired, and focussed on your goal as you go about your daily routine.
We recommend keeping things simple, and perhaps the best way to remind yourself of your reasons is to cut out these squares, or write them down again on a stack of index cards, and put them on your desk at work — or somewhere else you will see them.
Then, each day, read the top reason, take the associated action, and then put it to the back of the deck.
As times goes on, and you think of new reasons, just write them down and add them to the deck.
If you want to get really tech savvy, you could use a reminder app such as Google Keep, or just search the internet for reminders and you’ll pull up several options.
Whatever you do, invest a bit of time now so that you will easily see a reminder every day.
Pause this audio now and figure out how you’ll see one of your reasons each day.
When you’ve got it figured out, press play again.
Ok, you should have your system figured out, so after this audio ends, start putting the system into place right away.
Get it done so that, starting tomorrow, you’ll see one of your reasons, and take that small, positive, action every day.
Think about it: 30 days from now, you’ll have strengthened your will every day and completed 30 positive actions that you might not otherwise have taken.
That’s mental strength progress.
It may take some practice at first, but in short order these motivations reminders and specific actions will become an integral part of your daily routine, as natural as breathing or exceeding your client’s expectations and blowing them out the window.
Make no mistake: being mentally strong requires practice.
The investment you make here of just a couple of minutes a day will pay off immeasurably when you need to draw on your inner strength to get through patches or fly faster over touch obstacles.
And we’re positive about that.
4. A POSITIVE MINDSET
The way we talk to each other matters, but the way we talk to ourselves is even more critical.
The most important conversations we have are the ones that take place in our heads. This constant, internal dialogue, what psychologists call “self talk,” isn’t just idle chatter.
It’s instrumental in creating our sense of identity – it’s the ever-deepening story we tell ourselves about who we are:
You know the script:
I can’t do it
Yes you can. Keep going.
This is killing me.
C’mon – you can do it
But – but but it’s too hard
So it goes…..
At the highest levels of human performance, among the stars of Mt Everest in Leadership the difference in mental ability is pretty small.
What separates those who do great leadership over and over again from those who don’t isn’t necessarily their knowledge — it’s their mental strength.
As you already know, positive thinking is one of the four habits of the mentally strong.
And positive – self talk is critical to a positive mindset. It’s how an athlete, executive, entrepreneur, mother in labour can talk themselves through pain and control their effort through internal dialogue.
As you probably already know, when you talk yourself down, your performance suffers.
When you talk yourself up, your performance improves. This positive self-talk can be learned, improved and used to drive yourself forward. And that’s what we’re going to do right now.
The first thing to know is that there are three importance types of self-talk: Motivational, Instructional and Reward.
Or PARENT – ADULT – CHILD.
First, and probably most familiar to you, is Motivational self-talk. This includes all of those affirmations and mini pep-talks you use to get yourself going.
It’s how you talk yourself into or out of everything you do.
Thinks like, “I can do this,” or “You can make partner: or “I can rebound from this and fall in love again!”
A bit like The Force, however, motivational self-talk has a light side and a dark side, a positive and negative manifestation.
Negative motivational self talk is the voice of the doubter, the inner skeptic whispering in your ear.
It’s the voice you hear on those awful days when errors happen at work or you have a falling out with someone you hoped would love you forever, hissing “There’s no way I’m going to make it. Everyone seems to be happier or better than me.”
It’s the voice telling you, “You’re getting tired. You should back off, settle for less, resign, find an easier life, give up, lower your hopes.”
With negative motivational self talk, you try to convince yourself that it’s not worth the effort.
It’s like the cosmic wifi stuck on a dark channel broadcasting negativity inside your head.
And when you listen to that “dark channel” those messages clearly tell you to give up … and you know what? You start to give up.
Let’s show you how this works!
With your eyes closed, repeat the phrase “you are a loser” over and over 20 times. Then open them.
How do you feel?
Probably weak. Probably not good enough..
And probably not looking forward to challenging yourself on a leadership communication issue again. Or anything for that matter.
If you’re using negative motivational self-talk, even unconsciously, during a working day, during a workout, in your relationship, you’re dragging yourself down, sapping your own reserves, and negating most of the benefits of your efforts,
That’s the power words have.
But when you change the stations – tune into a more positive station, a higher frequency, amazing things can happen.
When your self-talk is phrased in a supportive, motivational and goal focussed way, you’ll feel your emotions change, your body language become more focussed, and what seems like insurmountable challenge and obstacles evaporate before your eyes so you can see the opportunity in front of you.
You believe in yourself.
Close your eyes and repeat “YOU ARE A WINNER” 20 times. Then open them. PS Don’t do this if you are driving, the same exercise works with your eyes open.
Open your eyes,
How do you feel?
Most likely pretty good – certainly better than when you talked yourself down.
And you’re probably looking forward to really smashing that next opportunity.
It doesn’t matter if it’s hanging on when someone pushes your buttons at work, or getting out of bed after a hard day and facing another one, forgoing that chocolate late at night, or ice cream for desert, or dealing with something at home: Motivational self-talk is the fuel that gets you moving.
It keeps you focussed on your goals and helps you push through the pain on your journey towards those goals.
If you’re like most people, you’re probably better at talking yourself down than cheering yourself on.
So, we’re going to change that.
To effectively use Motivational self-talk, there are two things you need to practice:
First, you need to talk to yourself as if you were an observer, using the word “You” instead of “I.”
Research into positive self-talk shows it’s more effective when you talk to yourself in the second person, much like a coach would talk to you.
Instead of “I can do this” say “You can do this.”
This simple change can make all the difference.
Second, and this is the really obvious part, you need to look at the bright side.
Look at negative situations in a positive light … use the tools for a positive mindset that you learned about last week.
Let’s imagine you’re in a meeting and the tension is really high, someone is really giving you the shits, you’re struggling to take the lead, feeling insecure, almost shy, and you fear that you’re going to bust out and say something stupid or be asked a question and get all personal in your answer.
Negative self-talk says:
Positive self-talk says: “this is exactly what you need, It’s making you stronger.”
Negative self-talk says:
“I’m not getting any better.”
Positive self-talk says: “You’re moving forward. You’re learning from this.”
Negative self-talk says:
“I’m embarrassed and fearful, I should just get out the door and let them get on with it.
Positive self-talk says: This is how you should be feeling. The others are struggling, too. They’ll give up before you do”
Make sense? Great. Let’s move on. The second type of self-talk is instructional
This is that detail-oriented, ever watchful coach in your head who keeps telling you what to do.
It’s that judge scrutinising your every movement.
Effective Instructional self-talk is focussed on the specifics of technique, of the mechanics of how to do things properly.
- Keep your back straight
- Focus on the now
- Stay calm
- Get your breathing under control
Instructional self-talk isn’t just about physical movement and form, though. It’s also about your attitude.
That’s when your instructional self talk kicks in, telling you things like:
- You need to get creative about how to overcome this
- Just focus and think about what’s happening around you.
- You just have to see the balance, think gratitude, to get through this.
When you combine Motivational and Instructional self-talk with thought redirection, you can focus more effectively on overcoming challenges, even when you’re deep in the pain cave.
Let’s imagine you’ve had a rough day at work and you’re in a lousy mood.
When you get home, you still have a lot to do and you certainly don’t feel like going out for your exercise. You start to talk yourself down:
- You’re too tired to train tonight.
- You’re not very organised, this is your fault.
- This is really going to set you back – your work promotion program and therefore your health is going off the rails.
But! As a dedicated student of the Innerwealth Mental Training programme, you recognise this negative mindset and quickly throw up a stop sign to halt that thought and redirect your thinking towards a more positive outcome.
Engaging a motivational self-talk you tell yourself: “you can get your workout in. You made positive steps today. nYou know you can do it if you really try to make it happen.”
Following it up with instructional talk, you say: “Get home and get all your equipment set up right away so you don’t have any excuses.”
In no time, you’ll have pulled yourself together with a renewed determination, focussed on what’s possible and positive.
Already, you’re further ahead than if you had talked yourself down.
And, as we’ve already learned in this programme, the more you do this, the deeper your neural pathways become and the more easily you’ll bring positive Motivational and Instructional self-talk to your experiences.
By the time an event / situation comes around where you need it, like when your partner is pissed with you, you’ll automatically talk yourself into peak performances that otherwise might not have been possible.
Lastly, let’s talk about Reward Self-Talk.
This is when you say “Well done” after getting though a particular difficulty or a strong effort as a way of congratulating yourself.
It’s not just praise for praise sake – reward self-talk actually helps build your self-confidence.
And when your confidence goes up, your mindset grows ever more positive, your will strengthens and your motivation goes through the roof.
It’s important to reward yourself for hard work.
You can use phrases like:
- Well done!
- You really smashed it that time!
- That was an amazing effort!
- You’re getting so much stronger!
Of course somethings you’ll slump into some negative self-talk when you might not do as well as you hoped. You’ll say:
- You gave up too soon.
- You should have tried harder.
- That was a terrible effort.
When those thoughts start to intrude, throw up your stop-sign and re-direct them to more positive reward talk, like:
- You tried hard, next time you’ll make it all the way.
- Well done! You really pushed it and found some new limits!
- You have more inside you and you know you can give it next time.
You can now recognise the three types of self-talk:
Motivational, Instructional and Reward.
Now it’s time to improve how you talk to yourself.
Here’s what to do next: Take a page in a workbook entitled ‘positive self-talk.’
For your next three serious working days, you need to listen to your self-talk before, during and after work.
Don’t pass judgement on it. just listen to what you’re saying to yourself.
As soon as you finish each of those three work days, write down how you’re talking to yourself in each of the three areas; Motivational, Instructional and Reward.
You don’t have to write down everything – just the phrases that you hear most often.
Be honest – get both positive and negative aspects of your conversations with yourself.
If you find that you don’t say anything to yourself in a particular area, well, make a note of that, too.
Once you’ve done that, in the next column, write down a few ideas on how you can improve your self-talk.
Pay close attention to the things you’re saying. For example: if you find that you don’t use any Reward talk at all, then be sure to write down a few reward phrases that you can start using.
When you’ve done that for the three days, you’ll have a good starter list of positive self-talk phrases that you can start using immediately.
As you begin using them, you may find that some are more effective in motivating you than others – that’s to be expected.
Everyone is different and, just like everything you’ve learned so far, you need to practice it, improve it and make it a habit.
Keep paying attention to your self-talk in subsequence workouts and events and become your own best cheerleader.
Believe in yourself.
Be the one that screams your name all the way to Glory.
You, Can. Do. This.