Ever succumb to the same challenge over and over again and wonder why? It is probably because you followed the same mental patterns when dealing with the failure. If this resonates with you, this success loop may be exactly what you are looking for. The best part is that results are not limited to the field, and this process can be applied to any area of your life.
The brain's job is to answer the questions you ask. Simply put, if you want positive results, ask questions that can elicit a positive response. The challenge here, lies in first developing the awareness to actually hear what questions you are asking yourself on a day to day basis. More important than that is being aware of the questions you ask yourself during a challenging time.
The following 10-step process outlines an optimal way of guiding your thoughts to get the results you want and has the ability to change your life forever.
Step 1 - Wake Up Call.
This is when something that really means something to you goes wrong. This outcome or event has significance to you and it will evoke an emotional response.
Example - You miss the game-winning shot.
Step 2 - Stacking
The first initial response to a negative outcome or event is to stack negative thoughts about what else can go wrong because this failure.
Example - "I lost that game for my team, no one will trust me to take that shot again." "I am so bad." "Johnny didn't set a good enough screen for me."
Your job is to flip it around and start to stack how you can make this negative into a positive. Ask yourself what is one positive I can take from this, one lesson, one way I can use this negative outcome to fuel my growth and make me a better person?
Example - "I missed my shot and I'm still here." "I didn't forget how to shoot overnight so odds are I will hit one." "Everyone misses a shot sometimes; Kobe spoke about when he was a kid and didn't score one point all season and look at the player and person he became."
Step 3 - Who do I NOT want to be
The reason we focus on this initially is because the brain will always look to fear and threats first. If used properly it can be a powerful motivational tool. Think about how you do not want to be remembered.
Example - "I will not EVER be the person who shuts down after a loss." I" will not walk with my head down and be defined by defeat."
Step 4(a) - Who do I WANT to be
From fear motivation comes power and ferocity! Define who you really want to be. Think about people you look up to and how you want to be remembered.
Example - "If I can get through this I can get through anything!" "I want to be the first person at practice after a loss. Better yet, I want to be the person that after a loss starts practicing right after the game. I will be BUILT on this work ethic, determination and grit."
Step 4(b) - Who am I actually being
What person am I really being right now?
Example - "I am playing the victim card and practicing self pity. After the game I felt like my teammates weren't good enough and didn't give me the chance to win."
Step 5 - Project Painful Picture
If I stayed with the negative stacking and embodied the person I do not want to be, i.e,. victim mentality and not taking ownership for what I can do, where will I be five years from now?
Example - Feel it in your bones, get uncomfortable. How would it feel to be right where you are with the same thoughts, dreams and outcome with no progress? Close your eyes and try and see how that would feel, get uncomfortable and experience the pain, hurt or anger it would cause.
Step 6 - Compelling Future
This is where momentum begins. This is the real action step of this process. Paint the picture of the life that you want in as much detail as possible.
Example - "I will be on a D-1 scholarship and known as the player who can always lift his team up in the toughest times. Mental resilience and performance under pressure will be who I am."
Step 7 - Fast Forward
What are the skills you need to develop to go from where you are to where you want to be? What tools, resources or strategies can you use to speed up the process?
Example - "I know I need to get stronger before I go up to senior ball so I will hire a strength and conditioning coach to design an offseason program for me instead of just going to the gym with my friends and figuring out a workout."
Step 8 - Take Action
You need to take action no matter how scary it may be or how impossible the task may be.
Example - "After researching strength and conditioning coaches in my area I contacted one for an assessment. It is expensive but I can go around the area and mow lawns on the weekends to pay for it."
Step 9 - Grind Time
This is where champions are really built. As the initial momentum dwindles, continue to check in with your success loop to stay the course. This is precisely where 90% of people fail in the first month. Why will you be any different?
Step 10 - Success and Reflect
Staying the course (or making slight changes to accelerate your path) will lead to success in one capacity or another. While you enjoy the fruits of your labor, it is important to remember that the process of this success loop more than anything, has prepared you for the next inevitable wake up call.
The stage that most people (I have and will be guilty of it too) get stuck on is negative stacking. Remember that the brain is concerned with conserving energy and the easiest way to do this is to stop searching for answers. Therefore any time you are stuck in an emotional state the easiest preservation technique your brain can utilize is to justify the way you are feeling.
The challenge is to hijack homeostasis and snap out of it. The easy path is never the one that will lead you to fulfillment so listen, be strong, ask the tough questions, get inspired and do something about it!
I love to hear from athletes and coaches so if you have any questions or feedback please feel free to contact me via my website https://www.fusionpeakperformance.com
Photo Credit: Boonyachoat/iStock
- 3 Keys to Russell Wilson's Championship Mindset
- Target your Standards, not your Social Status
- Don't Specialize in a Sport, Specialize in Life