by David Kenward, The Mental Coach
What if there was a way to do your best under the pressure of sports, business and life? What if there was a way to live each day with confidence, motivation and focus?
There is a way. I call it winning the mental game and it’s within everyone’s reach, because it uses the resources you already have. You just learn to use them in a different way on purpose.
Nearly every part of our life has two games, the physical game and the mental game. The physical game refers to the skills, abilities and knowledge we need to succeed. The mental game refers to being able to bring that out under the pressure of life. You’ve probably seen or known people who do just fine when it doesn’t count. But when there is pressure, they fold and no one understands why. That’s the power of the mental game, it can help you excel or make you fail.
The good news is that, just as you can improve your physical game through learning and practice, you can improve your mental game through taking more control of how you think and feel.
In this monthly column, you’ll learn easy, practical ways to bring out more of your potential under pressure.
Let’s start off with the law of expectation. That law states that what we expect to happen, tends to happen. Common sense is needed, I’m referring to things under our control (vs trying to influence events out of our control – like winning the lottery).
An example is that we tend to expect things to follow a sequence, i.e. good follows good or bad follows bad. That’s conditioning – a learned belief – and it can be changed. How many salespeople expect a good customer to follow a good customer and a bad customer to follow a bad customer? That’s not logical, it’s a superstition.
The first way of taking control of expectation is to step back and give yourself a reality check: A) Ask yourself what’s really going on, B) How accurate is your information and C) How much direct control do you have over the outcome.
This can free you from negative expectations and help you make your best decisions under pressure.
That’s winning the mental game.