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
“Life is a competition not with others, but with ourselves. We should seek each day to live stronger, better, truer lives; each day to master some weakness of yesterday; each day to repair a mistake; each day to surpass ourselves.”
David B. Haight
Knowledge Is Power
They say knowledge is power and they would be right because without knowledge, how do you compare, contrast and reflect on your journey and I’d like to be frank with you.
If you’re not winning, if you’re not number one, then why are you competing?
It’s not a trick question but a question that puts the power in your hands because when you fully understand why you’re competing as a professional athlete, you can really focus on achieving your goals and let go of some unrealistic expectations others may be putting on you.
Not every professional athlete will make it to number one in the world because to reach the pinnacle takes a dedication that requires sacrifice, some luck, some thinking outside the box, the physical and technical prowess and a mindset so determined, nothing gets in the way.
You’re Not Number One!
So let’s assume you aren’t striving to be number one but you are striving for something else; something that drives you enough to continue to invest your time and effort into making a career out of being a professional athlete.
So let’s explore what this question means to you
WHY AM I COMPETING IF NOT TO BE NUMBER ONE?
Motivation comes in different shapes and sizes and I want you to focus on you. Your needs, your desires without comparing yourself to anyone else.
This is your journey, this is your life and this is your choice. It’s perfectly OK not to strive to be number one, but I feel there is an unwritten rule that if you’re an athlete you have to say you are striving to be number one because anything else can be seemed a failure and this expectation can weigh heavily on the shoulders of many, so let’s attempt to remove that burden now.
It’s OK not to want to strive to be number one, but it is ok to be the best you can be.
Let’s look at a few reasons for you to compete:-
Why Do You Compete?
You can’t think of anything worse than having an office job
You’ve spent all your youth playing and competing and that’s all you know
You want to be earning a lot of money
You want the fame
You want the big house
You want to be able to provide financial stability for you and your family
You have a bigger vision of what your role as an athlete can provide to the wider audience and those less fortunate than you
You want to prove someone wrong
You want to prove someone right
You want to be famous
When you compete you feel alive and able to express yourself
You fell into becoming a professional athlete and liked it…
As you can see there are many reasons for you to compete and this list isn’t a comprehensive list by any means but it gives you an idea of why you compete and for what purpose.
The Power Of Knowing Why You Compete
Now you have an idea of why you compete, you can begin to focus your time and dedication towards that goal with gusto and passion really driving your performance forward with purpose and dedication.
That powerful understanding frees you from the expectations others place on you, the media, the fans, some who say they have your best interest at heart and perhaps now is the perfect time to let others know why you are competing, so they and you are on the same page and both are striving towards the same thing.
For example, an agent may want you to go for the deal that pays the most money, yet you may have another opportunity in mind where you can feel settled and respected as a player that may not be the deal that pays the most money. By having a conversation about what drives you forward, you will find a deal that’s right for you.
Being in control of your destiny, to some degree, can be great for your mental health and life off the field of play and knowing why you compete creates a solid foundation on which you can build something unique and special for you.
Why I Compete
In my quest to be the most sought after mental performance coach, I’ve had to make some sacrifices and bold moves and come to some realisations about marketing and promotions that I’m working on and come to realise that becoming the most sought after coach, is a personal achievement to me, without comparing myself to other coaches out there.
There are three things I strive to achieve:-
Do what I enjoy doing
Be financially, spiritually, mentally and emotionally rewarded for what I enjoy doing
I work best in one to one situations because I really get to connect with my clients and understand their perspectives, how they perceive reality and understand the shifts in mindset needed to help them get to where they want to be.
My clients benefit from one to one as it gives them a sense of comfort and acknowledgement that they are at the centre of everything we do and that in itself, frees up the mind in such powerful ways that the new knowledge they are introduced to can be absorbed quickly.
This new knowledge is the power they are seeking.
Are you a professional athlete wanting things to change?
The Last Dance is the docuseries currently showing on Netflix which gives new insights into the final NBA season of the Chicago Bulls Championship winning team.
The team that some dubbed The Beatles” was one of the most, if not, the most dominant team in sports history at the time, and watching the behind the scenes footage is spellbinding!
Titled The Last Dance, coined, because everyone knew this was the last time this current group of players would be together due to management decisions, which you get to learn more about in the programmes.
But it was the conversations and sound bites around Michael Jordan’s mindset that had me transfixed and the way in which he motives himself to play better is extraordinary, but possible to learn and I wanted to share this idea so you, the athlete can give it a go and see how it affects your performance.
During lockdown, you can at least, practice training your mind to think along these lines.
Jordan was known for his competitive nature and two stories stand out for me.
A player for Washington, LeBradford Smith had a great game scoring 37 points against Jordan while Jordan had an off game.
The story goes that Smith said something to MJ (no spoilers) that motivated him for the next game between the two teams the next night. Watch episode 8 to find out what happened.
In another story, a friend of Jordan, a coach from an opposing team, didn’t acknowledge Jordan in a restaurant, an act Jordan took offence to. Jordan had a word with himself and then went out to demolish the team his friend coached.
There are different ways in which you can motivate yourself and the uniqueness of Jordan was to instil an emotion so strong, he would do whatever it takes to perform at a higher level than the opponent.
He needed a reason to go out and kick their butt!
So he would create a reason using anything from newspaper articles to a look or comment to light his fire.
So let’s get down to the psychology of this mindset.
I am not MJ’s mind so I don’t know exactly what he thinks, but I can apply theory to help you create the same mindset.
Your thoughts are made up of movies or pictures, words and sounds and from these thoughts, you create an emotion.
So let’s reverse engineer this and start with an emotion asking ourselves, what emotion do you need to create to improve your play against your opponent?
Hatred, revenge, a sense to prove them wrong. A sense to prove to yourself you can beat them?
In MJ’s cause, he talks about revenge being used as a motivator and it’s this motivation that allows him to keep challenging himself to improve and stay on top of his game and be better than his competitors.
The other question is can you bring yourself to think negatively about an opponent?
Of course you can and you can do it no matter level you play at!
You can do it now. Think of an opponent that’s got the better of you in the past, and attach a sense of revenge to that thought.
Now you think about their weaknesses. What can you exploit? What can you take advantage of?
You now start to create a new vision, a new thought which you continue to think about that allows your mind to adjust and when you get the opportunity, you play with that emotion attached to the game.
Improving your performance is much more than improving your physical and technical ability and this exercise gives you an idea of how quickly you can improve your performance just by changing your thoughts.
Mike is a Master Mental Performance Specialist helping athletes all around the world to improve their performance quickly. Subscribe below to be notified of new blogs.
Before the dawn of a new year brings in an anticipation of success and change there are a couple of things you need to know…
A team is only as successful as their actions.
Let me elaborate…
Every successful team needs a goal, a vision to strive towards.
I’m not just talking about profits if you’re in business or wins if you’re in sports.
I’m talking about the powerful actions that create real change!
When you don’t have a vision, your team will lose their purpose and motivation and when these two key components are lost, their actions will be detrimental to the team.
When a person feels they don’t have a purpose or lacks motivation what do they do?
That’s right, They quit or look for another team.
Are you part of a team lacking a purpose and motivation?
Are you a leader in business or a coach in sports and the results aren’t in your favour?
Then it’s time to do things differently.
Here are three changes of action you can do, starting in the new year that will change your purpose, motivation and therefore outcomes quicker than you believe!
Don’t aim for the end result and expect to hit the end result. When you tell your team to hit targets or go get the win, you’re forgetting the most important rule when it comes to motivating people. People need to feel valued and have a purpose.
People feel valued and have purpose when they are allowed to express their ideas and concerns. By creating a forum where ideas and concerns can be expressed without the fear of judgment or criticism, but rather expressed with encouragement, support and positivity, there will be a shift in focus and productivity.
When people are allowed to express their ideas and concerns, not only do their value and purpose increase, but the solutions to the issues and challenges can be found
Are you unsure about this? Does this look like something you like the idea of but fear taking action to make it happen?
Perhaps you’ve forgotten what it’s like to feel valued and have purpose because it’s been so long?
When presented with something new there’s always a sense of the unknown and with the sense of the unknown comes non-action. All you will do is allow this idea to fall by the wayside and allow your current struggle to continue, hoping something will change and tolerating your situation.
Hoping and tolerating will only keep you in that stagnant, good for nothing, ‘what’s the point’ place of mind and action and as a human, you deserve so much more than that.
If you like the idea but unsure what to do, let me leave you with this…
THOSE WHO SEEK HELP AREN’T WEAK BUT SHOW COURAGE IN TIMES OF ADVERSITY
If after reading this and you recognise you are an individual or team struggling in some way, and you still can’t make a decision to improve, please get in touch. I can talk you through the process. It’s much easier than the thought you’re having right now.