I don’t know about you but it seems to me that modern life has taken it upon itself to put us to the test.
Our anxiety, stress and worry levels are all higher than usual.
In times like these, it’s easy to feel like you can’t cope.
I know I struggle at times.
The responsibilities of running a small business, and being a positive influence on my clients who trust me with their health and fitness dreams and goals all weigh heavily on me.
This is without taking into account my own well-being and happiness.
Our ability to manage these challenging emotions is firmly under the spotlight.
Where I look for inspiration
In tough times, one of the realms I look to for inspiration is the elite sporting arena.
Over what has been a very tough couple of years across the globe, we’ve seen many examples of courage in the face of adversity from the sporting world.
World Cup 2022, The Tour De France and The Tokyo Olympics.
These are all examples of where athletes have had to manage their anxiety and stress in order to perform.
Simone Biles, Mark Cavendish and Naomi Osaka have been some of the highest-profile athletes to share their strategies for coping with the pressure they face.
Whilst the feats these athletes perform when competing may seem beyond the scope of the average person, that they suffer from the same mental and emotional pressures as we do makes the coping strategies they use directly transferrable to us.
The athlete worrying about performing before walking out onto the field, the racetrack or the court is no different from the worry we experience before a sales meeting, a difficult relationship discussion or walking into a gym full of strangers.
How Pro-Athletes cope with the pressure
We know pro athletes are people just the same as us.
So how do they cope with what we feel would be unbearable?
One of the main reasons why is that athletes regularly expose themselves to more stress than less.
Whilst this may seem counterintuitive, having more regular exposure to challenging situations affords the recipient greater opportunity to learn to deal with them.
A goal kicker on debut is likely to be more nervous than a 50-test veteran.
You’re no different.
Consider you are asked to present to a group of 100 people next week.
If you haven’t been regularly speaking in public, this may seem like a horrendously stressful and unfair request.
If, however, you’ve been speaking to large groups of people all year, this will just be another talk.
Another is visualising the outcomes.
Pro athletes visualise making the tackle, hitting the shot, and crossing the finish line.
They see themselves being successful before they’ve even taken the field.
This is no different to you going into a negotiation, a sales meeting or seeing a happier, healthy version of yourself in a year’s time.
Visualising the successful outcome ahead of time will help to take the stress out of the actual process.
Little bites, often
To complement the visualisation strategy, athletes break down the complex task they have to complete into smaller more manageable ones.
Stepping up to take a match-winning kick, the player runs through a checklist:
– how and where to put the ball down
– how many paces to take
– how far to the side to stand
– how hard the standing foot needs to hit the ground
– how to kick through the ball
You achieving your health and fitness goals is no different. Breaking the task down, building a structure to achieve the goal and then getting started.
The deciding factor
The difference between the pro athlete and you?
Pro athletes have a coach.
They know the value of investing in their professional development by having a coach guide them.
I’m the same.
I trust Two Brain Business to help mentor me as an entrepreneur and coach.
In turn, I mentor other gym owners and coaches in how to create programmes for coaching clients over 50.
My clients at Ignite Fitness and Nutrition employ me to help them achieve their health and fitness goals.
How to choose a coach.
Start with a blank sheet of paper and work through the following steps:
When did you last feel really successful?
Was it an educational, sporting or work achievement?
What did you achieve?
Don’t worry if you only have one thing you can think of, or if you have numerous achievements you want to list.
Now list the following:
– who was your coach or mentor?
– who were you using as a role model or influence
– who did you celebrate your achievement with first
Think about the person/people you listed as your coaches or mentors.
Write down what you remember about their coaching or mentoring style.
Were they kind or tough? Caring or standoffish?
Keep it simple here, use words sparingly so you really get the basal reasons they were successful in helping you.
Look for patterns in your responses.
Did the person/people who helped you the most share similar traits or behavioural patterns?
Did the coach who helped you make the 1st 15 share similarities with the mentor who helped you land your first big contract?
Use the results of step 4 to find a coach.
Consider the goal you want to achieve.
It may be to lose 10kgs or to become fitter and stronger so you can play with your grandkids
Then get your magnifying glass out and look more closely at ‘why’ this is important to you.
“I want to be fitter and stronger so I can play with my grandkids for the next 20 years”.
“So I can enjoy the time I spend with them”.
“Because it pains me to run out of puff after 5 minutes”.
“I want to be a positive influence on them in the time I have left with them”.
Next, figure out who has already achieved this goal.
Do you have a friend who changed their life by getting fitter, healthier, and stronger?
It’s crucial to identify how they achieved this.
The fitness industry is full of short-term success stories done wrong.
– Radical weight loss followed by radical weight gain
– Boosts in fitness followed by injury
A great example is unsuccessful coaches selling 28-day challenges. They might be good at marketing their programme, but if they turn over clients every 28 days, something is busted with the method.
List two or three people locally who achieved your real goal
Call the top expert.
Your number one approach to finding out if the expert can help you is a get in front of them.
Can you book a consult with them?
Can you sit down with them and ask how they would approach your problem?
Can you ask them how they have personally overcome your specific challenges (this will likely be the deal breaker)?
Do they possess the personality traits you’re looking for from your previous successes?
Your expert may not be me.
But there’s only one way to find out!
It’s free, and who knows, we might just choose each other.