“Negative Thoughts stick around because we believe them, not because we want them or choose them.” Andrew Bernstein
High performers recognize that their thoughts are the most important factor in reaching their greater potential. But they don’t believe everything they think! They decide to reduce their ANTs (automatic negative thoughts) and take command over their thinking.
This Week’s Affirmation: I don’t believe everything I think. I talk to myself in a powerful and productive way.
Duncan Simpson, Assistant Head of Mental Conditioning at IMG Academy, is passionate about working with people to maximize their potential and help them accomplish what they haven’t. In this interview, he talks about how focus, not confidence, is the most important mental skill. The best focus on the right things at the right time. The key is to detect distractions and dial in for 1 minute.
Duncan describes that confidence is a belief state. Confident is not an emotional state. It doesn’t matter how you feel. When we are performing, there is no reason to change how we feel. Instead, he suggests we move on and shift our focus.
Towards the end of the interview, he describes that motivation is a lie. It is discipline that is key to high performance.
Other gems that Duncan discussed include:
Head over cindrakamphoff.com/Duncan for a description and summary.
You can follow Duncan on Twitter @SportPsychDunc or email him at email@example.com.
“Failure happens all the time. It happens every day in practice. What makes you better is how you react to it.” Mia Hamm
High performers have a burning desire to be at their best. They have high standards for themselves and others around them. They are driven to succeed and get satisfaction from pursuing their goals. They take their mistakes in stride, however, remembering that not everyone is perfect.
My High Performance Affirmation: I have a burning desire to be at my best. I am driven to succeed. I focus on why I love to do what I do.
“If you change the way you look at things, the thing you look at change.” Wayne Dyer
High performers use reframing daily which is the process of recreating alternative frames or looking at their life, sport, or the world. They don’t ignore the injury, difficulty or pain, but instead see a different perspective and how the obstacle is helping me. This helps them feel unstoppable and jazzed about their life, sport, and job.
My High Performance Affirmation: I use reframing regularly to keep me passionate and charged for my goals and my life. I see a setback as a comeback.
“If you think you can or think you can't, you're right.” Henry Ford.
High performers choose powerful, possibility-oriented, process focused and positive thoughts regardless of the situation and what is happening around them. They know this type of thinking leads to success. High performers address weak, negative, restrictive and outcome-focused thinking which does not lead to reaching their greater potential.
My High Performance Affirmation: I make a commitment to not believe everything I think! I talk to myself not listen.
High performers know that how they interpret their failure greatly determines their success. They approach failure as an opportunity. They see failure as essential for them to grow, learn, get better, understand themselves. They see failure as helpful in reaching their full potential.
Week’s Affirmation: I see failure and mistakes as opportunity to learn and grow. I know failure is a learning tool so I embrace it instead of fight it.
Dr. Mark Anshel talks about his new book, In Praise of Failure: The Value of Overcoming Mistakes in Sports and Life, in this podcast interview. Dr. Anshel has written 12 other books, and over 145 research articles. He has applied his concepts with college athletes and coaches, law enforcement, exercisers, sports rehabilitation settings, performing artists and corporate leaders.
Mark came to study failure from his own experiences failing. He says we are taught to see failure as harmful, but failure should be viewed as feedback. Failure is a perception, meaning failure to one person is success to another.
As leaders, coaches, parents and teachers, Dr. Anshel suggests that we should criticize behavior, not character when discussing failure. When giving feedback, we should praise first, and then discuss what the person did wrong by focusing on only 1 or 2 things. The key is to give people hope – that is what we all need, he suggests.
You can reach Dr. Anshel at Mark.Anshel@mtsu.edu.
* Tweet this: “Failure is a stepping stone to something better.” Mark Anshel via @Mentally_Strong
* Tweet this: “You need to experience failure to appreciate success.” Mark Anshel via @Mentally_Strong
* Tweet this: “We don’t learn unless we fail. Failure is feedback.” Mark Anshel via @Mentally_Strong
* Tweet this: “We need failure to learn and continue to be self-motivated.” Mark Anshel via @Mentally_Strong
* Tweet this: “Give yourself a break once in a while. Don’t be so self-critical.” Mark Anshel via @Mentally_Strong
To order, Dr. Anshel’s book, In Praise of Failure you can visit Amazon HERE. He also mentions a few other books in this interview including Between Parent and Child by Haim Ginott and Teacher & Child by Haim Ginott.
High performers are confident – they believe and trust in their ability. They wear their confidence armor so they don’t take comments and actions of others personally, but can still learn and grow. They appreciate their experiences that they have led them to where they are today. They choose confidence!
Affirmation this Week: I choose confidence. I choose to believe and trust in my ability to be at my best for myself and my team.
JF Menard, a performance psychology specialist, joined the internationally acclaimed entertainment company Cirque Du Soleil at the age of 25, fresh out of graduate school. “They didn’t hire me for my experience. They hired me for my passion.” In this interview, he talks about how being around the best athletes in the world helped him elevate his game. He provides several lessons learned (one from a clown) and how his work at Cirque lead him to start Kambio Performance in 2013.
Over the years, he is helped athletes win gold medals in the 3 biggest major sporting events: Commonwealth, PanAms and Olympic Games. He discusses how he helps his athletes handle pressure, perform their best at the Games, and how he prepared himself as a sport psychologist to go to the Games in Rio. He also shares what he sees as the mental attributes of the World’s best one of those attributes being that “World champions are not fearless – they just fear less.”
You can reach JF Menard at kambioperformance.com as well as on Twitter @JFMenardKambiop and on Facebook.
High Performers have clearly written goals that are slightly difficult to stay hungry and excited for their sport, business and life. They work hard every day to reach their goals and are deliberate with their daily activities. They go the extra mile to achieve their goals because they are gritty.
Week’s Affirmation: I know what I want and every day I work towards my goals. I go after my goals with passion and excitement. I stay focused and gritty.
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."