In this interview, researcher and lecturer, Dr. Mustafa Sarkar, describes his powerful and cutting-edge findings on resilience with high achievers and Olympic champions. He defines resilience as the “the ability to use personal qualities to withstand pressure.” He discusses 6 personal qualities that resilient people have which include: 1) positive and proactive personality, 2) experience and learning, 3) sense of control, 4) flexibility and adaptability, 5) balance and perspective and 6) perceived social support. Dr. Sarkar provides practical tips including “learning your ABCs” on how to build resilience in yourself, your clients, or your team.
Dr. Dave Yukelson, the Sport Psychologist at Penn State for 28 years, discusses how mental toughness is not something we are born with. Instead, it is an inner drive that we learn. He describes that the best athletes are mentally tough and have an ability to have a growth mindset and stay composed in the game. To do this, Yuke talks about letting go of the “mental gu” and “flipping the channel.” He also discusses the skill of focus which includes being “right here, right now,” positivity, composure and a choice to be confident. Other topics he discusses includes trying too hard, focal points, and the importance of the breath in performance.
High performers know consistent high performance happens when they reduce their judge. High performers can connect and lead more effectively when they reduce their judge. When they experience their judge, they notice it, talk to it, and ask themselves, “What is really real here?”
Affirmation this Week: I see the good in myself, the situation, and in others. I talk to my judge and reduce it’s power.
Sean McCann, Senior Sport Psychologist for the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), has traveled to the last 12 Olympics to work with the nation’s best athletes. In his work for the USOC, he works directly with teams and coaches, from mental skills seminars and workshops about Olympic pressure, to individual sessions with athletes.
In this interview, he talks about how the best mentally prepare for a competition that only happens every four years. Sean describes that one key factor is to overbuild mental skills so that the athlete can perform when the conditions are not perfect. He suggests to focus on behavior and to ask: 1) What does it mean to do my job well? and 2) What does it look like to not do my job well?
Dr. McCann says that mental skills are the bedrock to performance which athletes use to self-regulate themselves, but there is an extra layer. This extra layer is the 3-step process: 1) Get your questions answered (i.e., logistics, strategy, doubts, etc.), 2) Find a focus of 3-4 things that are process focused (“To perform well, I will…”) and 3) Perform with certainty.
You can reach Sean @sportpsychone and at firstname.lastname@example.org.
High performers work to understand themselves. They work to be aware of their thoughts, feelings, and actions in the present moment. They use their ABCs to stay in control of their thoughts and emotions, and consider the ripples they want to make.
My Affirmation this Week: “I check in with myself and breathe. I channel my inner CUB and master the deep breath. I take control of myself to reach a new level of performance.”
High performers surround themselves with people that help them be great. They know that attitude and energy is contiguous. They surround themselves with the right people who support and encourage their vision. Because the people around you can either elevate your game or bring you down.
Affirmation this Week: I choose carefully the people I spend time with. I surround myself with optimistic, confident people that are jazzed about their future. I choose people who elevate my game and life.
High performers work to understand themselves including their thoughts, feelings, and actions in the present moment. They work to be nonjudgmentally aware in the present moment. They know this mindful practice allows them to improve their performance, happiness, and reduce the stress they experience.
My Gritty Affirmation this Week: I work to notice my thoughts, emotions and body in the present moment. I free myself of the habits that don't allow me to reach my greater potential. I quiet my monkey mind by staying in the present moment.
High performers are confident – they believe and trust in their ability. They have certainty that they will be successful. They are confidently humble – they have inner arrogance but don’t brag. They are constantly nurturing their confidence because they know confidence can be fragile.
Affirmation this Week: I choose confidence. I choose to believe and trust in my ability. I constantly nurture my confidence with my daily decisions to be at my best for myself and my team.
High performers imagine past and future success regularly. They create in their mind first, and then they live it. They imagine coming back from setbacks stronger and imagine dealing with adversity while staying in control of their body and mind. They use imagery to prepare to perform and get in their flow zone.
Affirmation this Week: I imagine success. I create success in my mind first, and then I make it happen. I follow the lead of elites and use the most powerful performance weapon I have – my mind.
In this interview, Kevin King, Owner of Premier Teambuilding Solutions, Lecturer, and Leadership Development Consultant, discusses culture, trust and leadership. He shares with us three levels of trust and what they could mean for you: competence, interpersonal and character. Kevin also describes what great leaders do and how they are students of their leadership – they are constantly learning about themselves and growing as a leader. He describes that the best leaders control the controllables and how controlling what you can control is an intentional practice. He also discusses how to create culture and how physics informs how to build culture.
High performers adopt a growth mindset. High performance happens because of hard work and dedication. They we see challenges as exciting and the find optimistic ways of explaining adversity. They take failure as feedback and continuously seek to improve and help others do the same. They take a “yet” mentality and believe they will figure it out.
Affirmation this Week: I see challenges as exciting. I see mistakes as helping me learn. When I get frustrated with my progress, I will remind myself I just haven’t done it “yet.”
High performers focus on their improvement and reaching their standard of excellence instead of comparing themselves to others. They stay focused on their race. High performers know that people who focus on others struggle to reach greatness. Comparison is the quickest way to let your team’s and your individual performance suffer. Instead, high performers celebrate others and their accomplishments and ask themselves, “What can I learn from this person?”
Affirmation this Week: I pursue my standard of excellence. I stay focused on my lane and my progress. I work to be my best one step at a time.
Erika Carlson, CEO and Certified Mental Trainer at Mental Training Inc., discusses the importance of playing carefree and present. She describes that playing “carefree” means to not care about the outcome. The best train their mind to be present moment focused. When we overthink, we are focused on the past or future, not the present. She describes that many athletes have outcome goals but no process to achieve them. The key to reaching your BHAG’s, Erika says, is to “focus on your process today.” Erika also discusses the importance of failure, understanding “patterns” and the emotional wheel.
To reach out to Erika, you can find her at erikacarlsonsports.com or on Twitter @SportPsycher.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” Theodore Roosevelt
Comparison makes us feel like we are never enough. We are never good enough. Smart enough. Powerful enough. Thin enough. Athletic enough. Successful enough. Strong enough. Certain enough. Extraordinary enough. Perfect enough. Fast enough. Comparison is trap. Comparison can spin us into a tail-chasing frenzy of self-doubt. Comparison negatively impacts our motivation at work and in sport and decreases our passion and zest to go after our goals. Comparison interferes with our ability to be and stay gritty.
In this episode, Cindra talks about what to do instead of comparing our self to someone else, and why it’s so important to stay focused on “your lane.”
Affirmation this Week: I pursue my standard of excellence. I stay focused on my lane and my progress. I work to be my best one step at a time.
In this interview, Dr. Jim Taylor talks about what it means to think like a champion. He discusses that we need to strive for excellence instead of perfection, and how the need to be perfect can get in our way of peak performance. Perfection leads to an unwillingness to take risks, fear of failure, and pressure. It is never attainable. He describes how peak performance is complex. He also talks about how failure is like a mountain lion that can eat you!
You can find Jim at @drjimtaylor or drjimtaylor.com where you can find information about his online courses and services.
"A key is to fully realize your potential – that is where your mind comes in!"
"There is no other option than to give it your all. Throw yourself into it."
"If you take your shot, good things will happen."
"Performance is a complex activity just like humans are complex creatures."
When it comes to commitment, 99% is hard, 100% is Easy. When you are 100% committed, you don’t let excuses get in the way. The 100% commitment keeps you focused. It frees up energy so you don’t have to decide in the moment. Your decision is already done. You reduce the stories, excuses, and don’t allow the reasons you can’t creep in your mind. You don’t play mind games, and don’t go half-way. You are all-in. In this episode, Cindra describes how to be 100% committed.
Affirmation this Week: I am 100% committed and all-in. I don’t make excuses. The next level is calling me and I hear it.
A Brain-Friendly Workplace with Dr. Erika Garms, Speaker, Consultant & Author
Are you always looking for ways to better understand yourself and others? Would you like to hear what tremendous impact a few big ideas from brain science hold for you? If you answered ‘yes’ to either of these, you’re going to be glad you’re here.
Dr. Erika Garms is a workplace effectiveness expert with a gift for translating powerful scientific theory to everyday workplace practice. She has been a consultant with management consulting firms -- local startups to global. She has also been a teacher, professor, internal OD consultant, unit manager, and now runs her own firm.
In this interview, Erika describes a brain-friendly workplace and includes three components: calm, confidence, and doing what you are good at. She describes the outcomes of developing a brain-friendly workplace and her model that guides her work with clients.
Erika also talks about her powerful experience that lead her to study and understand the topic which included a heart attack and post-traumatic stress.
You can find more about Erika and her company, Working Smarts, at workingsmarts.com and connect with her on Twitter @Erika_Garms. Her book, The Brain-Friendly Workplace: 5 Big Ideas from Neuroscience that Address Organizational Challenge” is also available on workingsmarts.com.
In this interview, Tom Dillard, a retired Navy Seal shares with us the Seal mindset and how we can apply it to our lives. Tom spent 20 years in the Navy and the last 15 years as a Seal. He shares with us how Seals “earn their trident everyday” while maintaining a sense of brotherhood knowing it is a privilege and honor to represent the Seals. Tom describes the importance of controlling your emotions and how a Seal does that. In times of adversity, Seals find the opportunity to grow from it because “resilience gets you through.” He shares with us how goal setting, mental rehearsal, and present moment focus helped him as a Seal and how we can use them too. You can reach Tom at email@example.com.
High performers know that their mind can be in three places: the past, present or future. They also know their flow zone can only happen in the present moment. They can do anything they want to in the present moment. High performers make a moment-to-moment nonjudgmental commitment to be aware of their focus and then make the choice to change their focus in the present moment. The present moment is where a focus on the process occurs and high performance happens.
Affirmation this Week: I live in the moment. I take one play at a time. I can do anything and be anything right here, right now.
“Live in the moment. Take one day at a time. One play at a time.” That’s great advice from the Minnesota Vikings Wide Receiver who went from small town Detroit Lakes, Minnesota to Special Teams Player of the Year last year for the Minnesota Vikings. In this interview, Adam talks about the keys to his success including his experience trying out with the Vikings, then making the roster, and now being a key player for the team. He talks about mindset principles he learned during mental training in college and how he applies the principles. He talks about staying in the present moment, letting go of mistakes, and not dwelling on the past. He shares what he sees separate the best in the NFL from the rest, and the role of mindset in performance. A must-listen-to interview for anyone that wants to step up their game and understand how. You can follow Adam on twitter @athielen19 or on Istagram.
Patrick Cohn, Mental Game Coach, tells us that focusing on the process over the outcome leads to the results we desire. He explains his formula for success which is no exceptions + high confidence + manageable objectives. He shares 4 things that separate the best from the rest: they have a strong base of physical skills, high motivation, an incredible work ethic, and confidence/trust in themselves. The 3 things that most likely get in people’s way of performing at their best is a fear of failure, perfectionism, and the fear of disappointing others. When athletes experience perfectionism, he encourages them to focus on embracing the imperfection and focusing on getting the job done instead. You can find Patrick on Twitter @ PeakSports. To get your free Ebook, visit peaksports.com, where he has a wealth of resources and products.
High performers know that growth happens outside their Comfort Zone – in their Courage Zone. They act with courage and bravery. They play big. They do things that are uncomfortable. They are comfortable being uncomfortable. They take risks and try new things. They are okay standing out. They live a life with grit and continually pursing their dreams.
Affirmation this Week: I choose my Courage Zone over my Comfort Zone. I will play big, try new things, and act with courage and bravery. I get comfortable being uncomfortable.
Ben Newman, Performance Coach, has shared the stage with Ray Lewis, Jerry Rice, and assisted the record setting 5-straight Division I National Football Champion North Dakota State Bison. In this inspiring and energetic interview, he talks about what separates the best from the rest. He says the best do two things: 1) they have a deep connection to their purpose, and 2) they have the daily discipline to reach high performance. Ben explains that the best have the Power of the Reframe and are always focused on solutions not problems. They attack the process, even though we naturally focus on results, and take adversity in real-time. They stay humble and hungry always focused on what they can control – their attitude, effort, and belief. You can find Ben on Twitter @ContinuedFight. To get your free Mental Toughness Playbook, visit freeplaybook.net and learn more about Ben Newman at bennewman.net. You can also find information about his group coaching at iwantgroupcoaching.com.
High performers know they have more in their reserve tank. They keep in mind the 40% rule which means they have up to 60 percent more to give. They embrace the suck, but don’t live there. They think and act like pros by welcoming and embracing the discomfort. They realize they need to stay the course, put their heads in the sand and stay gritty.
Find the shownotes at: cindrakamphoff.com/owning-40-rule
Jonathan Zierdt, President and CEO of Greater Mankato Growth, talks about his journey battling kidney and prostate cancer. At first he tried to “tame” cancer, but has realized to embrace cancer he must “take what the defense gives him.” In this inspiring interview, Jonathan talks about how he stays positive and how he sees cancer as a “tremendous blessing.” His mission is to change the way we see cancer and be open to the blessings that come from cancer. To stay positive, he encourages people to: 1) find what inspires you and grab ahold of it, and 2) remember that life is not a spectator sport – we must get in the game! To connect with Jonathan, you find him on twitter @JonathanZierdt or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.