Thursday, August 31, 2017
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
10 Tips to Breaking Through Mental Barriers
What separates the top athletes and successful people from those that are average or just plain out losers?
How bad do you want to work and finish the drill? Check out these tips to breaking through mental barriers.
#10 of 10 Tips to Breaking Through Mental Barriers Know Your Fears and Reverse Them You must know everything that you truly believe about this goal – by listing down on paper the very first feelings that enter your head when you imagine ‘achieving your goal’, giving special attention to any fears that come up in your mind. These fears are the mental roadblocks you must overcome to achieve your goal, as otherwise they can be the very things that prevent you ‘turning it on’ when you need it most in the pool.
Look at these fears you must overcome, sitting there on the piece of paper. Now, each day, you have to work positively on reversing each of these before your race arrives, by constantly instilling confidence into your daily visualization, your affirmations and your daily thoughts – steadily increasing your power and diminishing the fear.
#9 of 10 Tips to Breaking Through Mental Barriers Break down barriers into micro goals (also called “chunking”). This way the task may not seem so big. Take one little step at a time and always forward.
#8 10 Tips to Breaking Through Mental Barriers Learn how to compartmentalize your problems. If you start any race, run or even casual training routine with a bad attitude, your mental barriers will grow into mountains. If you are having problems in your personal life, don’t think about it. Tell yourself that you will worry when you get back. Run with a clear mind. Focus on the beauty of the scenery, the sky or how proud you are of your own body, and the fact that you are running.
#7 of 10 Tips to Breaking Through Mental Barriers Be Willing to Take Risk
#6 10 Tips to Breaking Through Mental Barriers Learn how to eat well. Eat nutritious meals before the run, because good mental attitude relies partly on proper nourishment. Certain foods actually feed your brain what it needs to think clearly. For example, carbohydrates are fuel for the body as well as the mind. The better your body feels, the less likely you are to have mental barriers. Drink plenty of fluids that contain electrolytes, which create better brain-to-muscle communication. Electric signals pass through nerves using electrolytes as conductors. Staying well-hydrated will help break down mental and physical barriers while running.
#5 of 10 Tips to Breaking Through Mental Barriers Find Your Focus Top athletes know their goals and where to apply focus. Read this quote from Ian Thorpe, world record swimmer “As soon as I got back in the water after the Olympics (10 months ago), I’ve been preparing myself for this meet and focusing on every single one of my swims. I am usually the hardest person to race against. I try to do the best I can, no matter on what level. I didn’t care what anyone else was doing, I just prepared myself to race” he said.
#4 of 10 Tips to Breaking Through Mental Barriers Believe in Yourself What you believe will always determine what you achieve. Michael Jordan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Herschel Walker, Tiger Woods….none of them could have won their events without knowing deep down that it was actually possible. That’s right, before they went out there to race, they knew they could win. Not that they would win, but that they could.
#3 of 10 Tips to Breaking Through Mental You are the daily sum of what you read and absorb.
If your mind is filled with clutter and junk – then how can you transform your ideas to become successful? Top athletes exercise their mind just like the muscles in their bodies. They carefully select information and feed their minds to make them strong. You must do the same. Pick a good book and spend 5 minutes a day reading. Your mind is a muscle and you must build it.
#2 of 10 Tips to Breaking Through Mental Barriers Be Coachable Anyone can be on a journey to greatness. You have to find a master (Sensei) to help you on your course – but also be willing to submit and learn under the master. Sometimes athletes believe they know it all or are unwilling to absorb the higher teachings from the Master. You must be coachable and willing to learn.
#1 of 10 Tips to Breaking Through Mental Barriers Find a Mentor Find a coach or a group of people that aspire to help each other to move forward (mastermind group). If these athletes are at a higher level than you then this will make you work harder to get to their level.
Monday, August 28, 2017
6 Traits of Mental Toughness
There are at least six markers of mental toughness from sports psychology that apply equally well to business situations. As with athletes, business leaders need to ask, am I mentally tough enough to compete?
1. Flexibility. Game-ready leaders have the ability to absorb the unexpected and remain supple and non-defensive. They maintain humor even when the situation becomes tough. If something isn't going well or doesn't turn out as expected, they remain flexible in their approach and look for new ways to solve the problem. Just like a quarterback faced with a broken play, a leader may have to decide quickly on a different way to get the ball down the field.
Also, leaders must continually be open to re-educating themselves, even in the basics, which they may have taken for granted for too long. They need to exercise caution in defensively falling back on ideas they know and are comfortable with rather than looking for new ways of doing business.
2. Responsiveness. Game-ready leaders are able to remain engaged, alive and connected with a situation when under pressure. They are constantly identifying the opportunities, challenges, and threats in the environment. They understand that they need to think differently about how their environment and business operate.
The problems we encounter now are messier and more complicated than ever before. They often can't be solved in the ways others were. Game-ready leaders look for new ways to think about these problems and, more important, look for fresh ways out of these problems. They have a sense of urgency about responding to the changing face of business.
Just as a coach may change strategies at halftime in response to the way a game is going based on the opponent's strengths and weaknesses, game-ready leaders in business must respond to changes in the environment and the players.
We must pay close attention to and understand global, national, regional and local economic trends, market trends, consumer trends, industry trends and competitor responses. Relying on old assumptions about how business operates and assuming that last year's trends still hold today is dangerous. Leaders make decisions and act based on up-to-the-minute and in-depth knowledge of what is really going on in business now.
3. Strength. Game-ready leaders are able to exert and resist great force when under pressure and to keep going against insurmountable odds. They find the strength to dig deep and garner the resolve to keep going, even when in a seemingly losing game. They focus on giving their best and fighting hard until the end, with persistent intensity throughout the game.
The story of Team Hoyt, Dick and Rick, is an inspirational example of drawing on both inner and physical strength. Rick was born in 1962 to Dick and Judy Hoyt and was diagnosed as a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy. His parents were advised to institutionalize him because "there was no chance of him recovering, and little hope for Rick to live a 'normal' life. This was just the beginning of Dick and Judy's quest for Rick's inclusion in community, sports, education, and one day, the workplace. In the spring of 1977, Rick told his father that he wanted to participate in a 5-mile benefit run for a lacrosse player who had been paralyzed in an accident. Far from being a long-distance runner, Dick agreed to push Rick in his wheelchair, and they finished all 5 miles, coming in next to last. That night, Rick told his father, 'Dad, when I'm running, it feels like I'm not handicapped.' At that moment, they formed Team Hoyt and have run many races together with now impressive times. The 2009 Boston Marathon was officially Team Hoyt's 1,000th race." (Adapted from the Team Hoyt website.)
Just as athletes dig deep to find the physical and psychological strength to continue through adverse and tough situations, game-ready business leaders must exhibit the same strength. As James Loehr puts it, top athletes think, "While this is tough, I am a whole lot tougher." Game-ready business leaders bring the same intensity, through all the continual pounding.
4. Courage and ethics. Game-ready leaders do the right thing for the organization and the team. They suppress the temptation to cut corners or to undermine others so they come out on top. They have the courage to make the hard but right decisions for the organization.
A famous story I share with my son as an example of courage and ethics in sports is that of the tennis player Andy Roddick. In 2008 Roddick was the No. 1 seed at the Rome Masters. He was at match point and about to win. The umpire called his opponent for a double-fault serve. Walking to shake his opponent's hand, Roddick noticed a ball mark on the clay--in bounds. Roddick got the umpire's attention and pointed out that the ball had nicked the line but was in fact in bounds. The match continued. Roddick went on to lose the match, and his beyond-the-call-of-duty honesty made him famous as an upstanding person, an opponent who would do the right thing. Game-ready leaders in business do the same. PepsiCo ( PEP- news - people ) provides a great business example of this. A disgruntled Coca-Cola ( KO - news - people ) employee and two other individuals attempted to sell proprietary information to Pepsi. Pepsi received a package containing a sample of a new Coke product and other information. Pepsi immediately informed Coke, which contacted the FBI. Game-ready business leaders ultimately win by making the right and courageous decisions.
5. Resiliency. Game-ready leaders rebound from disappointments, mistakes and missed opportunities and get right back in the game. They have a hardiness for enduring the downs of a situation. They remain optimistic in the face of adversity and quickly change when necessary. They resolve to make things better and are experts at figuring out ways to do more with fewer resources. How about the resiliency of Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga, who was just one out away from pitching a perfect game when Jim Joyce, the first-base umpire, called a runner safe who was indeed out? Joyce had made an error. Galarraga was certainly deeply disappointed, but he continued to pitch and get the next batter out. Afterward, Joyce admitted the error and apologized. Galarraga shrugged it off, saying, "Everyone makes mistakes."
6. Sportsmanship. Game-ready leaders exhibit sportsmanship. They don't let the opponent know when he or she has gotten them down. "Chin up," I say to my son. Clearly we all experience disappointment, attacks from others, an occasional blow to the stomach. However, the behavior exhibited by game-ready leaders after losing or being attacked by others or the situation sets the tone for the rest of an organization. Additionally, top athletes support their teammates and their roles. If teammates start competing with and attacking one another, it is definitely difficult to win.
Living in Denver, I follow the Denver Broncos. Kyle Orton has done an outstanding job of displaying sportsmanship while under public scrutiny. Brought to the Broncos last year, he has been the subject of constant press speculation about possibly being replaced. The drafting of Tim Tebow brought on another press outcry, that Kyle was out and Tim was in. Kyle handled it with grace and dignity. Putting his mind to the game and the team, he got on the field and simply practiced hard, welcoming his new teammate. In the face of even internal competition, Kyle Orton exhibits the mentality of "Bring it on!"
We all need these same markers of toughness to succeed and lead in today's business environment. We cannot succeed on technical skill alone. Companies have tough questions and situations to address. Game-ready leaders go into today's business environment with their best mental game and with the attitude of "Bring it on!" After all, who doesn't love the challenge and fun of a demanding, complex game?
Christine M. Riordan is the dean and a professor of management at the Daniels College of Business, University of Denver.