April’s Theme is Peak Sports Performance
How do you prepare to be the best you can be, in whatever you do? Do you take action in life, or do you let things go that you later believe you should have done something about? Are you kind to yourself in your thoughts and words? Do you wish you could be more positive about your game, but wonder how you can make it happen? In this article, I will help you answer these questions and more, with a self suggestion formulated from one of my hypnosis products.
Over the last 11 years or so, I have come to realize the power of the mind, our programming, our belief systems, our expectations, doubts and fears, and how extremely powerful they are. They can be shifted in hypnosis through suggestion, but we can also shift them through our own self suggestions, or conversations we have with ourselves all day long, every day. This is true not only of the thoughts in our own minds, but in conversations we engage in with others and what we choose to see in the world around us; on what we choose to focus our attention.
The suggestion I want to talk about here will help you shift your perceptions. It will help you work on your belief system by changing the thoughts in your head, conversations with others and what you view in life. It will help you recognize the need for a healthy balance in all areas of your life, and way to achieve that balance. All of this will ultimately lead to better performance in your sport and in life.
The suggestion is: “I take action– I prepare to be the best I can be each day in my sport and in life. On all levels I take action– physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.”
Now as an athlete you are probably thinking: “Why do I need to work on my spiritual, mental and emotional stuff?” It probably even sounds fluffy to most people, except for the physical part. But I can tell you from working one-on-one with thousands of clients, you have to be in balance. It is just a fact. If you want to perform the best you can in any aspect of your life, you have to take care of yourself in all areas and ways possible, so you bring the best ‘you’ to any given situation.
Let me give you an example on the spirituality part. We all have our own programming and belief systems based on our upbringing; on our religion and spirituality. Take me, for example. Let’s say I was raised in a home in which my family went to church every Sunday and Wednesday, where I was a participant and my parents did different group studies. Let’s also say I was very active in church, but in my 20’s & 30’s I got very busy in life and was no longer as active as I used to be. What happens if I still have the belief that I should be as active as I used to be? Would I be in balance spiritually?
There are a lot of different ways that scenario could play out. You could have been very active in a church growing up, but at some point you made the decision that it was unnecessary and you did not really want to be that way. So your belief about your level of activity shifted. Then in your 30’s and 40’s you find yourself not being as active in a church, and it is fine for you because you had changed your belief about it. Now instead of that example, let’s say you grew up in this very active, religious, spiritual home, and you are now in your 30’s and not as active as you still believe you should be. That will be a problem in your life – unless you take action and do something about it.
So you have some options. You can accept that you are just not as active as you used to be, you shift your belief system about it, and now you are fine with your level of spiritual activity. Or, you can decide you want to take action on it and you become more active in church again, in order to live up to your belief about how active you should be. Either of those choices is a much healthier option than what most people do, which is to be upset with themselves for not doing what they believe they should. How can you be the best you can be, if you allow yourself to be upset with this area of your life?
If you are upset with yourself for not being as active as you believe you should be in your religion and spiritual practices, it will be a real energy downer for you. It will depress your mood, make you feel bad, bring about feelings of guilt, negativity and possibly even fear, and it will affect everything in your life. So let’s say you have an event on a weekend, and that Sunday will be one more in a long line of Sundays when you couldn’t engage in your spiritual practices. You wake up thinking about it. How can you possibly be the best you can be? Without a doubt, it will affect your sport performance in that event.
So …“on all levels I take action”. When I say take action, I mean to stop right now and look at these areas of your life. You can take action mentally and change your belief system. You can realize that by believing certain things that create a low energy level or negative emotions and reactions, it is time to take action on them. This applies across the board in every single area of your life. At any time, if you experience a low level energy feeling, low level emotion, or reactions of anger, fear, frustration or guilt, then you are reacting to a belief system that is contradictory to what is happening in reality. There is something in you or around you that is part of this reality that you are in conflict with because in your mind, you believe it should be different. You need to take action on that.
What do I mean when I say you need to take action? First, you can notice your negative emotion or negative reaction and say “Wait a minute, I don’t want to feel this way or react like this anymore or have these negative emotions, so I need to do something about it.” Doing something means taking action. You can shift your belief system, or you can actually change some aspect of yourself or how you are in life.
By stating this self suggestion: “I take action – I prepare to be the best I can be each day in my sport and life. On all levels I take action – physically, mentally, emotionally & spiritually,” you empower yourself to do what you need to, in order to create a healthy balance in your life. Of course, I am only referring to the areas over which you have control. You cannot control things outside of yourself, but most of us aren’t even controlling what we can to the best of our ability. We tend to keep pointing the finger and trying to fix everything around us rather than fixing what we really can fix, which are things within us.
So if you really want to perform well out there in your sport, ask yourself how well you take care of your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual self. When thinking about your physical body, do you know in your head, or do you have a belief in your head, that you should be eating healthier and exercising more? Do you feel you are out of shape and have no energy or endurance? Do you recognize when you aren’t very healthy, or when you haven’t given your body what it needs to have the kind of energy and clarity of thought to perform well all day in your sport? You can generally apply the same examples regarding your spirituality, to the physical, emotional and mental aspects of yourself. It comes down to your belief system and whether you are in sync with it, or not.
When it comes to your physical self, you can shift your negative perception that you should be eating healthier, since you react in a way that makes you feel guilty when you don’t eat like you think you should. Or you can decide it’s time to start eating healthier and cut out sodas, sugars, caffeine and excessive use of alcohol. You can decide to cut those things out right now, and start eating three healthy meals a day, drinking lots of water, and only putting in your mouth things you know the cells of your body will thrive from. Your sleep factors in here as well. How are your sleep patterns? Do you recognize the need for more sleep? Are you feeling guilty about that or bad about that? You can shift your perception about it or you can decide to take action and actually get the amount of sleep that you believe your body needs, or you have recognized your body needs to be the best you can be.
So the mental aspect would include all of the mental skills I give you and applying them; not just knowing you should be more positive. It’s actually taking action. I know it can be tricky taking action on the mental or emotional side of things, because they are the most invisible to us (words and thoughts are invisible to us), but they are not invisible in how they impact our lives. When you go to work on your mental skills, it reminds me of being a fluent right handed writer. When I have a cast on my right hand, I have to write with my left and it takes very mindful, focused attention to write with my left hand. That’s the kind of effort I want you to put into shifting your mental skills, your mental performance, your mental abilities and the way you think about things; what you choose to see and believe.
Now emotions are a reaction to something and are really signals coming from the cells of your body. All we’ve done is to come up with a fancy word for them. But the cells of your body feel a certain way depending on what is happening around you or in you, and create an energetic sensation that we then label in a word such as ‘emotion’. If you are experiencing a negative sensation in your body, it is a signal that you are either engaging in your mind or with the people or situation around you. You are engaging with something that does not fit with who you are or what you want, so you get this negative feedback. I believe you can actually feel horrible, so you pay attention to the sensation and want to change something; you take action. Pay attention to those signals. Your emotions are signals that trigger you, and it is a domino effect. As you go back to identify the source of your discomfort, imagine that your emotions are the third or fourth domino, but something originally set off the very first one that caused the others to fall. If you follow your thoughts back, you will follow it to a belief. So take action and change your thoughts or belief, or take action and change your life, if you want to be the best you can be.
As you read over this information, realize that it will take more than five minutes to apply it and affect any significant change. You really have to be diligent in deliberately applying this in your life. I can help you with this and take you through the steps necessary to help you get clear on who you are, and how to take action in your life. Get working on this today, and remember every day to tell yourself: “I take action– I prepare to be the best I can be each day in my sport and in life. On all levels I take action– physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.” You will be the best you can be. InJoy your day!
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