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mindset My Journey overcoming challenges

How I made it to #1 on the Amazon Best Seller List!

When I checked my bookshelf in my amazon KDP account I saw #25 and some words

This information was new to me so I wasn’t exactly sure what I was looking at

I clicked on the link that took me to a page with more numbers and then I saw #1

Could this be possible? Could I actually be at #1?

Let me take you back a few months to the start of this journey, a time when I needed an outlet and a new way to share my knowledge

The Research

I watched a webinar on the Internet about how you can make money by publishing books. It was delivered by two young lads who were very convincing and energetic and as I watched the webinar I took note of some of the names they mentioned

I’m someone who doesn’t like to be scammed so I reached out to one person and surprisingly he was really helpful and showed me his figures and told me it would be hard work, I’d have to put the effort in but he now makes 3k a month by doing nothing

Wow!

I had to put faith in my ability to do things and as a former high level athlete I know when you put the work in you get results. I was willing to put the work in

The course I enrolled in is very informative, honest and new and I had a steep learning curve to climb

There were things I was learning I knew nothing about but overcoming challenges is what I thrive in, so I continued to learn and implement the teachings

As a mental performance coach and with a passion for mental health, the self help niche was the one I wanted to explore, but the experts told me to stay away as its a saturated market

But I understood that warning was aimed at novices and I had something unique. I had experience, clients had found success with me and I had a unique angle.

I was going to go for it!

The Journey

One of the first things I had to do was seek out key words and phrases which took a few weeks to get my head around but once that was done, things began to get easier

Now I had to find someone to turn my idea into something substantial

I wrote an outline and included the essential parts and sent it to a writing agency who would give my ideas some meat

Here we go!

Excitedly I connected with a writer and began to see my idea take shape. This was the start of something amazing. In two weeks I’d have my completed manuscript

But…

After three weeks and little progress she left the organisation

I was shocked

The agency told me they would allocated a new writer quickly and after a few days the new writer introduced herself to me and we started from scratch

Her communication was brilliant and her eagerness to complete the book seemed genuine

But…

After a few weeks she left!

She had written about 3000 words of the 30,000 and now she was gone

WTF!

Overcoming Challenges

Again I was told a new writer would be allocated to me and I was offered a discount which I negotiated and as haply with the plans put in place to move forward

I’m not the kind of person to hold grudges but I am the kind of person who seeks out solutions when things go wrong. Third time lucky?

This time the momentum gathered and I built a small team of 3. Writer, cover designer and copy writer. In just 4 weeks I had my manuscript, cover and copy, all downloaded to my folder. All I had to do now was log onto my KDP account and upload the separate documents.. What could go wrong?!

Perhaps it was the past events that led me to be cautious or a little bit of imposter syndrome kicking in but when I published the book, I expected the worse. Quite literally, the reverse happened

Good Fortune

Part of the process is to offer the book for free to gain some interest and I sent it to about 15 family and friends so when I saw the number of downloads I was confused. In just 2 days I’d had over 1500 people download it which led to the #1 ranking in my niche of self help and counselling for free downloads and #25 in all genres!

This ranking told me something about myself – I was able to follow instructions and take action and somehow made the decision to say yes to the manuscript, yes to the cover design and yes to the keywords, put them all together and create a book that grabs people’s attention

Now I have to start a paid promotion to get the book in front of paying customers with the aim to help as many people I can around the world

Shut up! #1 ranking

The book titled Shut Up! 7 simple steps to master your negative self talk, remove anxiety symptoms, stop beating yourself up then take back control and build good habits is availbe now by clicking here

Will I make #1 as a paid book? At only £0.99 or $0.99 it’s worth having a look right?

Categories
#mental health Become who you want to be mindset overcoming challenges

Why did the professional basketball player look at his wrist?

The Reality

Jamell Anderson knew his reality and knew something wasn’t right but he wasn’t sure what it was or what to do about it. Accepting the reality is the first step towards finding success.

Some athletes choose not to do anything and try to work through the struggles. But sometimes they never find the solution. Jamell reached out to me and this journey to understand his ‘why’ began

Opening up and honesty

When you’re truthful to yourself without the fear of being judged or criticised, solutions come quickly because the mask is removed. Hiding behind the mask serves no purpose other to continue to deflect away from the struggles.

Jamell opened up and I learned so much from this humble young man but at the same time he was learning about himself.

The Options

There are always options but sometimes those options are hidden from view, or a limiting or mistaken belief is stopping you from seeing those options.

We explored many different ways to move forward, trying new things until we found the way that worked for him

Every athlete has their own journey

When helping an athlete there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. Each athlete has their own past and values, and the secret is to uncover what these are, amongst other things, and allow the athlete to understand what works for them.

Jamell and I uncovered a lot until he found a way that worked for him

The solution

The goal for Jamell was to discover how to remove the mental challenges then replace these challenges with solutions. We explored his values, reframed his thinking until he felt connected to what needed to be done.

In the clip, Jamell looks at his wrist as a reminder. Over the 6 weeks in which we talked for about an hour each time, looking at his wrist was the culmination of the conversations, insights and discoveries. He had found his purpose and way of playing that worked for him that improved his performance and wellbeing

I was so proud of this young man, firstly for taking control of his situation, and secondly for taking action

Jamell’s thoughts on the coaching

What was it that led to you connecting with Mike?

I’ve known Mike over the years as someone who has always tried to help when he can, I believe that I needed his advice and knowledge to push me in the right direction at a point in my life when I was ready to make a change for the better.

Had you tried using other methods to help you in the past and what were they?

I’ve tried sports psychologists, I’ve read over 15 self improvement books, I’m constantly trying to understand my mind and the minds of those who are successful, but the biggest lesson I’ve learnt from working with Mike is that my biggest asset is myself and I can tap into that without any special tactics or interventions when I let go of the habits and social constructs I’ve alienged my self with.

What reservations, if any did you have around the coaching? Be honest.

I don’t have any reservations really, I believe he does a great job of communicating bit also at balancing listening with talking to me. Sometimes I just need an ear to speak to and vent my thoughts out loud.

What 3 factors about the coaching delivery style stood out for you

The simplistic nature of the conversation, not using fancy words or over complicated explanations.

His calm nature when speaking made me feel at ease even when before the call I was quite stressed.

His availability, it’s something that goes underappreciated but with my ever changing schedule around training Vs personal life it was great to be able to be so flexible with timings.

The coaching is aimed at improving performance and wellbeing. How did the coaching affect your performance and wellbeing?

My performance was always something that I judged by stats, now I judged it by my mental state. If I’m Inna good mental state it doesn’t matter how i play because my experience will be what I want it to be regardless of the stats. My well being is 100% better because each day I’m just being myself and there’s no bugger comfort in a world filled with false high expectations and fakery.

If you were to recommend Mike to other professional athletes, what would you tell them to expect?

To find their true self by removing the unnecessary baggage the world around them has added to their backs.


If you know a professional athlete or you are a professional athlete who knows something isn’t right but not sure what to do about it or who to turn to, I’m inviting you to talk and I guarantee I will help you find the answers and solutions you need.

You can call me on +447946279135

Mike

Categories
Leadership overcoming challenges

Can introverts in sports be great leaders?

Look around at any sport team and you’ll notice a player that stands out

There will be a player that is leading

And although not each leader has the same personality, they have something in common that makes them great leadership material

There are three qualities great leaders posses and I want to share those with you now

  • A drive to improve
  • A desire to make their team mates better
  • An ability to step up when it matters
  • An ability to communicate effectively
  • A high level of awareness

Leading is a role not suited to everyone, and some even go as far as to avoid stepping into the leadership spotlight but those that embrace the role do so with the purpose to be responsible for when things go wrong and to share the wealth when things go right

I used to be really shy and the thought of leading sent shivers down my spine. There were others that were louder than I, some better skilled than I and some that were more suited than I, but in those days, I did a couple of things really well…listen and observe.

Perhaps my introverted self allowed me to become a master of listening and observing, just as the stereotypical introvert would, but that ‘training’ served me well because at some point I would step into that leadership role.

I was self critical because I believed, through observation and listening, to be a great leader you had to be the best, you had to be loud and you had to give orders and there was something that didn’t sit right with me, so as the reluctant leader, I forged a way forward in my own way.

Listening and observing came naturally to me so all I had to figure out was how to transfer those skills into leadership skills.

So I asked questions. I asked players what they thought needed to change and what was working well. I’d read books on leadership and the mind and taken some courses and when I learned introverts can be leaders and leadership qualities do include listening and observing, I felt a sense of comfort.

The true secret to leading is to understand each individual on your team and learn what makes them tick and what motivates them to succeed and that involves asking questions and listening, then simply helping them understand what they need to do differently for them to thrive

I don’t believe you have to shout and criticise to get results

I don’t believe belittling someone is a way of motivation

I don’t believe the leader should take credit for all great results

Leading in sports is fun yet challenging and is a role that can be filled by an introvert that listens and observes so if you are the kind of person that likes the idea of leading but doesn’t have the confidence because you’re not loud or the best, think again!

You may just be the leader your team needs!

Do you know someone who wants to be a great leader?

Are you someone who wants to learn how to lead?

I’ve recently launched a new website called Purposeful Thinking which can be found by clicking here and If you want to chat about leadership, book a call

Categories
#mental health Inner Voice mindset overcoming challenges

Pro athlete improves wellbeing by 100%

What was it that led to you connecting with Mike? 

I’ve known Mike over the years as someone who has always tried to help when he can, I believe that I needed his advice and knowledge to push me in the right direction at a point in my life when I was ready to make a change for the better. 

Had you tried using other methods to help you in the past and what were they? 
I’ve tried sports psychologists, I’ve read over 15 self improvement books, I’m constantly trying to understand my mind and the minds of those who are successful, but the biggest lesson I’ve learnt from working with Mike is that my biggest asset is myself and I can tap into that without any special tactics or interventions when I let go of the habits and social constructs I’ve alienged my self with. 


What reservations, if any did you have around the coaching? Be honest. 
I don’t have any reservations really, I believe he does a great job of communicating bit also at balancing listening with talking to me. Sometimes I just need an ear to speak to and vent my thoughts out loud. 

What 3 factors about the coaching delivery style stood out for you
1) The simplistic nature of the conversation, not using fancy words or over complicated explanations. 
2) His calm nature when speaking made me feel at ease even when before the call I was quite stressed. 
3) His availability, it’s something that goes under appreciated but with my ever changing schedule around training Vs personal life it was great to be able to be so flexible with timings. 

The coaching is aimed at improving performance and wellbeing.  How did the coaching affect your performance and wellbeing? 
My performance was always something that I judged by stats, now I judged it by my mental state. If I’m in a good mental state it doesn’t matter how i play because my experience will be what I want it to be regardless of the stats. My well being is 100% better because each day I’m just being myself and there’s no bugger comfort in a world filled with false high expectations and fakery. 


If you were to recommend Mike to other professional athletes, what would you tell them to expect?
To find their true self by removing the unnecessary baggage the world around them has added to their backs.

Do you know a professional athlete who would benefit from this coaching?

Drop Mike a message and start a conversation

Categories
#mental health Leadership mindset overcoming challenges

The Secret To Getting The Best Out Of A Player

There’s a secret that few organisations understand, because either their focus is on other things they feel demand more attention or they have yet to understand the value and power of this secret.

I’ve been using this secret for over ten years with outstanding results yet when I presented the idea to other organisations, they either ignored them, believed things should be done as they have always been done or had their eyes on other methods to get the best out of a player.

Let me share the secret with you because whether you believe it or not, or whether you have other methods to help a player, at least I have done my bit in passing it on.  With the idea simply sitting in my head, who benefits from that?

There’s a powerful lesson I learned many years ago which forms a huge part of this secret and it’s at this point I have to tell you, you won’t suddenly start winning once you know this secret, but the player will learn to be the best they can be and it’s also important to know, and I’m sure you do, there are various levels of ability and no two players are the same, yet this secret allows any player of any ability to be the best they can be.

Many organisations get the formula wrong.  They go for the best players, and when they struggle, they simply replace them.  I understand why organisations do this, but there is so much more to winning than getting the best players together and crossing your fingers.  Even when you have the best players together, you’re not guaranteed to win but start to use this secret and you’ll feel and see the results.

Our performance is driven by our emotions.  Our emotions are driven by our thoughts, therefore our thoughts drive our performance.

No that wasn’t the secret, but it is an inight. The insight isn’t to simply know this, but to learn the details that exist in the thoughts, break them down, and remove any challenge or internal barrier that stops the player from being their best.

I’m trained in identifying these details and breaking them down and recognising the real challenge and barriers that exist.  I’m also trained in breaking down those barriers and challenges, and creating new ways of thinking with purpose for improved results.

As a leader in an esports organisation, perhaps you’re a former player that naturally progressed into a leadership role, do you believe you know what it takes to get the best out of a player based on what you’ve read?

It’s OK if you don’t.  You’ve spent your life gaming without really thinking about why you think and do what you do.  There is no shame in not knowing how to get the best out of a player but there is shame in not doing anything about it.  There is shame in not consulting or taking advice from someone who knows.  Your players and yourself deserve to know how to be your best because when you’re not at your best, all those around you will suffer.

The secret to getting the best out of a person isn’t to force them to try harder, train more hours, push them to their limits.  The secret is to actively listen and teach them how to think with purpose.

Thanks for listening and remember to Take action, Reflect, Adjust and repeat 

Play with purpose

Categories
#mental health Become who you want to be esports mindset motivation overcoming challenges

Your past does not define whom you can become!

Who you are today is a culmination of experiences and perspectives and most of the time, how you are is OK.  You do OK.  But when it comes to professional sports, being OK isn’t good enough.  You have to be excellent or at least be striving for excellence but reaching that level takes determination, guts and smart work, but what happens to your focus when something negative happens in your life.  Perhaps a death, an injury, a fall out with a family member or even succumbing to pressure and stress.

Many athletes over the years have spoken about their struggles, Frank Bruno, Kevin Love, Michael Phelps, just to name 3 but a quick google search will bring you up a list even longer with no surprise.

So what can you do?  What can you do to move away from the struggles quickly and get yourself back on track.

Let me share this story with you

For many many years, a man had taken the same path to work.  He saw the same people, saw the same shops and felt the same way.  He was familiar with this routine and familiarity gave him a sense of comfort and this comfort gave him happiness.  He had no reason to change his route, he had no reason to walk faster, yet one day something changed but he didn’t know what.  His thoughts began to niggle at him.

This niggle grew into an itch and after several days, his happiness has turned into anxiety.  Instead of smiling at the people he walked past, he was on edge and avoided eye contact and had thoughts of changing something but he didn’t know what or how.  He was so familiar with his journey that thinking about changing it, only brought on a fear, so he tolerated and tolerated until one day he decided not to get up.

Sometimes when we feel the need for change, we fear what might happen if we did change, and the sense of familiarity pulls us back from growing and we continue to tolerate, even when you know something needs to change.

But these past events do not define who we can become.  Past events do not have to hold you down and stop you from achieving by doing and thinking differently.

You always have a choice to move away from negativity and choose to walk a new path and doing it is as simple as changing the direction in which you walk, who you talk with and recognising when you want change.  You have to hold yourself accountable.  You have to make new decisions because it’s very unlikely someone else will recongnise you want to change and help you.

So if you feel something needs to change, create that change for yourself!

Thanks for listening and remember to Take action, Reflect, Adjust and repeat 

Play with purpose

Categories
#mental health Become who you want to be Inner Voice Leadership motivation overcoming challenges

Is It Time To Introduce Emotional Intelligence Into Sports Coaching?

The effects of bullying can linger for a long time, depending on the strength of the emotion attached to the words or behaviours associated with the bullying and even through elite athletes can be perceived to be resilient, they are also human and experience emotions just as regular people do, yet the impact can be felt on a much deeper level due to the situation of being a professional athlete.

There are some perceptions that believe the elite athlete must be able to overcome bullying behaviours, and ‘man up’ because to be the best you must demonstrate a hard shell and an almost invincible like exterior, and not to show weakness.  Isn’t that right?

Of course it isn’t!

Maybe the bullies don’t know they are demonstrating bullying behaviours or maybe they are trying to instil resilience in their teammates.  Who knows, but one thing is for sure, there should be no place in professional sports for bullying and if a bullying culture does exist, maybe it’s time to create change?

How do you create change?

Firstly when someone is feeling bullied, it’s imperative they have an outlet to air their thoughts but who do they turn to?

They can’t turn to their manager, because as one former premier league footballer told me, it was the manager that was the bully!  This player, who will remain unnamed, told me the coach used the phrase ‘grow some balls!’  This incident happened a good few years ago and I’d like to think in the time between then and now, there’s been some new coaching techniques being taught to up and coming managers that focus on learning about emotional intelligence and how to recognise when to use it.  But what is emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict. Emotional intelligence helps you build stronger relationships, succeed in sports, and achieve your career and personal goals. It can also help you to connect with your feelings, turn intention into action, and make informed decisions about what matters most to you.

The aim of professional sports, to me, is simple – from the athlete perspective, be the best you can be, or from a coach/manager perspective, create an environment in which you and your team can be the best they can be.

By learning about emotional intelligence, being the best you can be, will come a lot faster and easier than compared with someone who uses their raw personality and technical ability to coach or play yet this important factor of coaching and playing is rarely touched upon in coaching programmes.

I understand there’s a gap in the coaching market which is why I offer confidential, discreet coaching for those professional athletes wanting to be their best but are unable to open up to anyone else.

I understand elite athletes are human and experience feelings and emotions but there is often a conflict between the emotions and what’s expected of them, which can leave some athletes confused and anxious and unable to shake the fear.

I make my services available to athletes so they can thrive.

You deserve to thrive!

Thanks for reading and remember to Take action, Reflect, Adjust and repeat 

Play with purpose

Categories
#mental health mindset overcoming challenges Tips

Are you setting unrealistic expectations?

An expectation is something you expect to achieve, a goal or something to aspire to which in the competitive world of sports, plays a huge part in performance yet in my experience of working with players at high levels there is a common denominator that limits the growth and potential of players.

Unrealistic expectations set by others.

When someone else sets your expectations or the player hears the expectations from others so often they begin to believe them, the only outcome can be failure and it was this situation I found myself hearing from a current client.

This player had played at the highest level, representing his country yet inside he felt he was failing because he wasn’t able to live up to the expectation of others.

The unrealistic expectations he’s heard forever, left him questioning his ability and performance at the end of each game and this had gone on for many years.

He sees himself as a failure in some ways even though he’s doing well in some areas.

We talked and we were able to reframe his thinking and his understanding of expectations and the value of setting his own expectations because when you set your own expectations and achieve them, there is a greater sense of accomplishment and success than when others set you unrealistic expectations.

This reframing of his mindset frees him from the sense of failure of not living up the the unrealistic expectations which does two things:

Allows him to play more freely and with purpose

Heightens his well being

Many players are suffering due to unrealistic expectations placed on them, yet they tolerate them because they think being a professional sports player involves tolerating the hard times because that’s what it takes to win.

Bullshit!

Coaches get it wrong when they set players unrealistic expectations, because they are simply setting them up to fail which can lead to some players dropping out of the game, losing motivation and in some instances worse, and who wins in these situations.

If you’re a coach, I urge you to talk to your players about expectations and the value in allowing them to set their own.

If you’re a player then I urge you to learn to set your own expectations and shut out the noise that others place on you.

Thanks for reading and remember to Take action, Reflect, Adjust and repeat 

Play with purpose

Categories
Become who you want to be esports Inner Voice mindset overcoming challenges

Purposeful Thinking

When things go wrong you hear things like, time is a great healer, it will work itself out or you’ll get through it and although there is a tiny bit of truth in these words, they land more on hope rather than a determination to create change.  I’ve never understood why you would want to place your hope into things changing because hope relies on external factors falling into place to create change.  Its almost like you’re placing your fate in the hands of an unknown entity and crossing your fingers for the best. 

To create real change for you, you have to take control and learn how to think with purpose. You wouldn’t see a fire in your garden and hope it would go out.  You would take action.  You wouldn’t look at your fuel gauge in your car and hope it would fill itself up.  You would take action.  You wouldn’t break your ankle and hope it would heal. You’d take action. So why would you hope things get better for you without taking action?

Purposeful action is you taking action to create change for yourself. To improve. 

Your inner voice drives your performance and knowing what to say and when will give you leverage like you wouldn’t believe. 

Many people fail to recognise their inner strength, almost like they are ashamed of what they could accomplish if they only thought differently.  Connecting with your inner strength relies on looking inwards and judging yourself in a positive manner and for some, the act of placing positivity onto themselves can feel awkward or egotistical, but these people are wrong. 

Accepting your inner strength takes courage and an acceptance and acknowledgement that the person inside deserves to be heard to help you become the best you can be. 

You owe it to yourself to learn how to think with purpose to achieve the results you truly desire.

Thanks for reading and remember to Take action, Reflect, Adjust and repeat 

Play with purpose

Categories
Inner Voice mindset overcoming challenges

What do you say to yourself under pressure?

What you say to yourself matters.  Henry Ford said:

whether you think you can or whether you think you cannot, you’re right. 

In sports there are 3 defining challenging moments you’ll experience – pressure losing and mistakes. It’s inevitable.  You’re not going to win every competition so knowing what to do in these 3 key moments will either propel you forward or drag you back. 

In this blog let’s consider handling pressure. 

Your mind drives your performance and actions. Imagine a finely tuned car, a super car ready to race and show the world what it’s capable of.  It’s shiny exterior and powerful engine is ready for action. 

But it needs a driver. It needs someone that understands the car like the back of their hand, someone whos in synch with the electronics and workings. 

But the driver is nervous. 

He’s cracked under pressure before and now with this brilliant car he feels even more pressure.  There’s expectations from the team owner, his coach, the sponsors for him to win.  

But he wants to give it a go. He says to himself this time will be different.  This time he will win. 

When we experience pressure one of two things will happen. 

You either feel stress and anxiety or you thrive 

Some people love pressure. They step up and take responsibility for what’s about to happen and can deal with the success or failure that follows. 

Some shy away from pressure leaving the decisions to others. 

When I was 15 a long time ago our school basketball team had come from 19 points down to tie the game in the national school final with just a few seconds remaining. 

I drove to the basket, jumped and was fouled and hit the floor. 2 free throws to come but as I went to get up off the floor, I couldn’t!  My legs were tight and I had no idea what was going on! 

Turns out I had cramp. I’d never had cramp before so I was panicked but after my assistant coach helped me I stood up and composed myself. If I missed it would leave the door open for the opponents. If I made them, we’d have the advantage. I went to the free throw line and nailed both go give us a 2 point lead which helped us win the game. 

This was my first experience with pressure and I was balanced calm and focused and carried that perspective forward ever since. 

Pressure is a perspective of your situation and those that thrive welcome those moments.

How do you perceive pressure?