There's a Mental Fitness Solution for Every Problem!
If you're fit in your head, you can deal with anything!
The main purpose of the mental fitness program and coaching is to take you where you can't get by yourself!
One of the purposes of this blog is to apply sports psychology to problems in everyday living. Today, I'm going to tell you about a catchy phrase used by the U of M basketball coaches. A phrase that could resolve marital conflict.
Be Right or Do Right, Darius Morris, Divorce, LaVall Jordan, Marriage, Mental Fitness, Recurrent Marital Problems, Relationship Choices, Relationship Solutions, University Of Michigan Basketball Team
In professional sports, there is tremendous pressure to achieve. Athletes want to be "Mr. Clutch"! Athletes went to lead their team to victory. Athletes want to continually elevate their performances to higher levels. Athletes want to win, when victory or defeat is determined by what they do!
What is choking? Choking is the failure to cope successfully with the pressures associated with professional sports, because of anxiety and panic. Failure to "always" cope effectively with pressure in sports should be expected. All professional athletes sometimes in their career will fail to achieve at the critical moment. The critical moment is when what they do will determine the joy of victory or the agony of defeat. Failure to successfully achieve is not choking.
Professional athletes need to set realistic expectations for themselves. If a person wants to be a professional athlete, then they need to expect and accept that they sometimes will fail. After all isn't winning and losing the nature of the game. Isn't playing well and playing poorly to be expected?
Choking is when professional performance deteriorates, because of anxiety, fear and panic. Choking is associated with prolonged failure to achieve at a level commensurate with one's ability, because of anxiety, fear and panic. When focused attempts to achieve result in continuing poor performance or deteriorating performance, choking is present. Anxiety, fear and panic can completely destroy confidence and prevent successful achievement. When this occurs, professional athletes are in a state of choking.
There is a lot that can be done to control and manage choking. Some athletes seek psychiatric treatment and counseling for their anxiety. I recommend mental fitness training for successfully coping with choking. Mental fitness training is just as important as physical training for successful performance and managing of the pressures associated with professional sports.
Often times, professional athletes are given wonderful advice such as in Patrick Cohn's article,How to Avoid Choking in Baseball. Although professional advice may be correct and valid, it is only effective when an athlete's default mindset for coping with choking is changed. The mind's default position for coping with choking can only be changed through hard work or mental fitness or mental toughness training.
Athletes need to know:
Advice from their friends, fellow players and coaches usually is ineffective in reducing anxiety induced choking and sometimes can increase choking!
Attempts to consciously stop choking can actually increase choking!
It is important to change one's mindset in order to effectively manage choking!
Mental fitness and mental toughness are the result of one's thinking and not automatically associated with professional skills.
Mental fitness and mental toughness training can make an athlete stronger than the anxiety associated with choking!
If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety associated with their performance, suggest to them that they get mental fitness training or contact me for further information.
Remember, We Live with the Performances Created by Our Choices!
Automatic Negative Thoughts are called ANTS by Dr. Amen.
Unfortunately, most of us never question our thoughts, so we don't know we have ANTS. We never entertain the idea that our thoughts could be misleading or self-defeating. Since we never question our thoughts, our Automatic Negative Thoughts even though negative, are completely accepted as the truth.
Unchallenged Automatic Negative Thoughts determine how we feel, how we behave and how we relate in our relationships. Unchallenged Automatic Negative Thoughts destroy our confidence and turn potential successes into failures. Most dreams are destroyed by unchallenged Automatic Negative Thoughts.
Automatic Negative Thoughts are lies! Our minds lie to us, when we have Automatic Negative Thoughts! If our Automatic Negative Thoughts are lies, then stop believing them!
What are your automatic negative thoughts? It is important for you to identify your automatic negative thoughts, because these ANTS can create temporary or permanent discomfort and dysfunction in your life.
Here are some ANTS that you might have:
I will never be successful.
I cannot have a loving, caring and lasting relationship.
I cannot pass any test.
I will never be able to lose weight.
I always disappoint myself, parents, spouses and children. He
I will never be secure.
I can never please anyone.
I will never be healthy again.
I am too old to do anything.
I am always discriminated against.
I am always rejected and demeaned by others.
I am controlled by others.
These are just a few examples of ANTS. Identify your ANTS and destroy them! Replace your ANTS with positive and empowering thoughts. Practice these thoughts frequently.
Remember, We Live within the Identity and Environment Created by Our Mindsets!
Difficult times continue. Governmental solutions have been slow to improve the quality of our economy and our lives. Difficult times will continue as we will be facing increasing taxes to support the governmental solutions.
I read Alvin Soon's post, 9 Keys for Overcoming Difficult Times. Alvin and I share a common psychological perspective. After reading his post, I was motivated to share with you 15 solutions for overcoming difficult times from The North Star Mental Fitness Program.
The basic theory for successful managing of difficult times is to realize that your success or failure in managing difficult times will be determined by how you think about the difficult times.
If you think your situation is impossible, it will become impossible.
If you think you are bound to fail, you will fail.
If you think you are going to be successful, you will succeed.
The above two statements may be very simplistic, but they are nevertheless true. The North Star Mental Fitness Program provides 15 thought patterns or keys for overcoming difficult times. These keys are:
Motivate yourself by thinking that you want Freedom from Difficult Times. Make changes in your life on the basis of freedom instead of any other motivation such as desperation.
Think successful thoughts that are not based upon fear, anxiety and stressful emotions. Think about difficult times as an opportunity rather than a problem. Think about yourself as capable of overcoming difficult times rather than being overwhelmed.
Focus on taking care of yourself and focus on making decisions to improve the quality of your life rather than focusing on how bad circumstances are. Be willing to make decisions that are best for you!
Act with confidence and courage to actualize your focus. Only focusing on solutions to overcome bad times will fail if you do not act. You can't become successful, if you do not act and motivate yourself to do whatever you can do to take yourself and overcome difficult times.
Celebrate little successes. Overcoming difficult times will be the result of frequent and daily successes. By celebrating, I mean to experience happiness, peace of mind, freedom and control over your life after you have acted to actualize a small goal in the process of taking care of yourself.
Accept the frustrations necessary for success.
Identify and accept your self-defeating thoughts and behaviors. You can freely choose to engage in a self-defeating behavior that will prevent you from overcoming adversity or you can choose to make a decision to take care of yourself. Realize that self-defeating thoughts such as the feeling overwhelmed, confused and inadequate are normal.
Check your thoughts, goals, actions and evaluation of your progress to make sure that you are on target to reach your current and long-range goals.
Make sure you are making logical and practical decisions to cope with difficult times. Be aware of the possible consequences of your decisions.
Make sure you are living a balanced life and have set aside time and energy for play.
Make sure you are living by your values and making decisions that are best for you and not just logical.
Identify your problems that could occur in relationships because of all the stresses associated with bad times. Focus on turning your interpersonal weaknesses into strengths.
Identify and communicate your genuine feelings and values to those who are important to you. Show your appreciation and feel your appreciation from those who support you.
Keep your time frame in the present. Accept the fact that the past is gone. Focus on how you want your life to be in the future and live in the present.
Let go of your past, painful emotions and self-defeating actions. Learn to forgive yourself, learn from your mistakes and look forward for the next opportunity to make a good decision for overcoming adversity
These are the 14 major ideas in The North Star Mental Fitness Program for coping with problems and lives. Applying these 15 ideas on a regular basis will make you stronger and more fit for coping with life's challenges. If you would like coaching in applying these 15 ideas in your life please e-mail me at email@example.com.
Remember, You Live within the Environment Created by Your Choices!
The Chicago Cubs have become synonymous with "slumping", "choking", and "pressing". All terms used to describe mental thought processes that create a loser's mindset, loss of momentum and underachievement.
Carrie Muskat / MLB.com wrote a very relevant post entitled "Slumping Soriano aims to clear his mind". In this article Carrie interviewed Soriano, who concluded "Sometimes, you can think too much. Alfonso Soriano says that may be what's happening to him lately."
For many people who are "stuck" and have lost their momentum in life, they sometimes think too much. Usually, however, the problem is not that they are thinking too much.
The problem is that they are thinking "wrong thoughts". As is the case with Soriano, there is a realistic basis to some of his "wrong thinking". Thinking is "wrong" when it programs our minds for failure and underachievement.
Let us look at Soriano's hitting this year. In fact, we can look at most of the Cubs hitters such as M. Bradley, M. Fontenot, K. Fukudome, G. Soto, A. Miles, R. Johnson, A. Blanco, A. Ramirez and K. Hill. All of these hitters are slumping and have been slumping almost the entire season so far.
According to Soriano, he has never struggled for this long. In June his batting average was below 200. Obviously this is not acceptable to him or any major league hitter. Soriano told Carrie he needs to "clean" his mind. He is so right!
Soriano admitted that "I worry". Again a realistic response to hitting below 200 for entire month, but the "wrong" way to think if you want to be successful major league hitter.
Soriano expressed his dilemma. He believes physically he is playing his game as well as he has in the past.
Soriano stated "his swing looks the same now as it did last year and two years ago. He isn't changing his bat, or switching routines, or trying to find the right pregame egg salad sandwich. One good thing is that Soriano is healthy physically."
What has gone wrong? It's how he has been thinking about his abysmal performance!
Two mistakes are evident in his thinking.
He has been thinking to avoid being hurt rather than maximizing his functioning. "I've been working hard to not get hurt get hurt this year." Playing to not get hurt will result in under achievement.
Soriano is allowing his "poor hitting performance" to control his mind rather than allowing his "good hitting thinking" to determine his performance. Soriano said. "I'm not hurt physically, but I'm hurt mentally because I'm not hitting well."
From a mental fitness perspective we cannot allow our performance and especially our past blunders in performance to determine how we think about ourselves. As the case with the Chicago Cubs, their failure to hit results in self-doubt, worry, anxiety, pressing, or choking. Filling their minds with these thoughts certainly will kill momentum and guarantee under performance.
If you want to break a "slump" or stop "pressing", change how you think! Don't allow your under performance to determine how you think. No matter how bad your performance has been, detach your thinking from your poor performances. Focus your thinking on your identity as a successful person and focus on playing within your ability.
Remember, Professional Baseball Hitters Live within the Environment Created by Their Thinking about Their Hitting.
Remember when you heard the wedding bells? What expectations do you have for your marriage? You were in love and undoubtedly had expectations for an exciting, passionate and long lasting relationship. Didn't you expect your chosen one to be happy most of the time? Didn't you expect him or her to wake up with a lot of energy and passion, only to be disappointed or frustrated?
Remember, when you had your first job or the job of your dreams? What expectations did you have for your work associates? Didn't you expect them to appreciate your work and validate you as a worker? Weren't you poorly prepared to experience indifference, rejection and criticism from your boss or coworkers?
Remember when you began having children? Remember how excited you were to have your children. Although you may have never consciously thought about it, what expectations did you have for your children? Did youexpect our children to be free from problems, develop normally and do well in all they do? Most of us did not expect our children to have developmental difficulties, learning problems, social problems or behavioral problems.
Most of us have expectations full of the excitement, anticipated happiness and idealism when we begin a new relationship. Oftentimes, our expectations are not realistic and practical. Even after being in relationships for a considerable period of time, our expectations remain unrealistic and as a result we experience unnecessary emotional pain, anger and disappointment.
Our expectations regarding the important people in our lives would become more realistic, practical and functional, if we were to apply our knowledge about the fuel system in a car to our relationships. With a car we know that the car will have times when the gas tank approaches empty and we expect our cars to become empty and give us empty signals on a regular basis. Especially after we had been driving our cars, we expect our cars to become empty.
Do we have the expectation that the important people in our lives will be empty on a regular basis and this is normal? How much better would our relationships become if we expected our significant others to have times of fullness and emptiness on a regular basis?
Our relationships would be much better if we expected our significant others to have signals of emptiness, when they are empty. Most people respond to the signals of emptiness from our significant others as problems, symptoms, personality weaknesses or dysfunctional, learned behavior from one's family of origin.
Signals of emptiness are not problems, symptoms, personality weaknesses or dysfunctional behavior from past relationships! If we mis-read and fail to understand that signals of emptiness are only signals, then these missed signals can result in problems, symptoms, personality weaknesses or dysfunctional behavior.
Wouldn't your relationship with your wife become much better, if you interpreted "nagging", headaches, and irritability as signals of emptiness rather than as criticism, problems and deficiencies in your wife?
Wouldn't your relationship with your husband become much better, if you interpreted his anger, poor listening ability and emotional coldness as signals of emptiness rather than as problems, rejection, insensitivity, and a lack of love?
Wouldn't your relationships with your boss or fellow employees become better, if you interpreted their hostile, insensitive and different responses to you as indicating their signals of emptiness rather than as demeaning or criticizing you?
Wouldn't your relationships with your children improve immensely if you interpreted their problems, defiance, disobedience and emotional instability as signals of emptiness rather than concluding that they are bad, spoiled, ungrateful and self-centered?
Let us focus on accepting the reality of emptiness in our significant others. Let us expect all of our significant others to sometimes be empty and have signals of emptiness. Having appropriate and realistic expectations for our significant others will significantly reduce our conflicts with our significant others. Our significant others will not feel pressured, judged, criticized and demeaned if we change our expectations.
Remember, We Live within the Relationships Created by Our Choices!
There are giants in all of our lives. The Giants that we face take many forms. For some it is declining health. For others it may be the economy; lost jobs, failed mortgages or depreciated savings. For others it may be big bgovernment or political pressures and fears. For others it may be relationship conflicts or concerns regarding your children. For some it may be obtaining an education, finding a job, grieving the loss of a loved one or finding a new relationship.
Everyone has Giants in their lives. Remember the opening scene from the movie "Troy". Achilles faced the Giant Thessalonian. Everyone feared the Giant except for Achilles. Remember the conversation with a small child, who questioned the wisdom of fighting the Giant. The child was afraid to face the Giant and Achilles responded "that is why you will not be remembered".
Remember the story about David and Goliath. Even when we feel that we can't defeat the Giants in our life, it is important to stand up and fight. The Giants may be overwhelming. We may think that what we can do is insignificant. Even though we feel beaten down, we must not quit and give up. We must rise up from our doubts, fears and anxiety.
We must become stronger than the Giants in our lives. We must stand up and face our problems and find solutions. We must leave a successful legacy for ourselves, family and society. We must do whatever is necessary to take care of ourselves and defeat the Giants in our lives.
CJ Lee wrote a very interesting commentary regarding Achilles defeat of the Thessalonian Giant. He entitled his post "Live Life without Regrets". CJ realized that problems are really opportunities. He wrote:
"Once in a lifetime opportunities should not be hampered by fear. They should be embraced with positive thinking, will, and determination. This does not ensure that everything will go right every time, but you will certainly live a life without regret, because you were not afraid to pull the trigger. Doing things that will last forever separates you from others, and to do something that will last forever is probably the greatest opportunity a human can get."
Defeating the Giants in your life, will not only solve the immediate problems in your life, it will also make you stronger and you will leave a wonderful legacy for those who follow.
Remember, You Live within the Environment Created by Your Choices!
Queme los barcos," or "Burn the Boats, because defeat is not an option".
Hernando Cortes was a conquistador and explorer who sailed to the New World in attempt to find treasure. Many great leaders had failed before Hernando came along. Hernando trained his soldiers during the day and built their morale at night.
When the time came for fighting and accomplishing their goal, Hernando told his men to burn their boats. He went on to emphasize that defeat and retreat were not options. He reassured his men and challenged them to be victorious. Following their victory he reasoned, they would sail back in the enemy's boats.
Recently the University of Michigan's basketball team surprised many by beating Minnesota on their home floor. This victory was necessary in order to enter the big dance at the end of the season. Coach Beilein challenged the team by talking about burning the boats, because defeat was not an option.