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Get Your Game Face On

Athletes regularly practises mental rehearsal, or what we like to call mental sculpting before competition, and in little breaks during a competition. The top tennis players in the world use their mental strength to help them succeed. In fact, Serena Williams considers the game of tennis is 70% mental. Below is a list of positive statement which Serena Williams writes down and reads before the during the match.

  • “My good thoughts are powerful”
  • “My only negative thoughts are weak!”
  • “Decide what you want to be, have, do and think the thoughts of it.”
  • “Hang on to the thought of what you want. Make it absolutely clear.”
  • “Positive thoughts”
  • “You will look at balls”
  • “You will move up”
  • “You are #1 (No 1)”
  • “You are the best”
  • “You will add spin”
  • “You will win WIMBLEDON”

This approach can be used by anyone in their daily lives, not just athletes. One way we can do this is by thinking “what is my best self?” and presenting that version of yourself.  You can ask other people, friends or family, when they have seen you at your best and then create this best version of yourself. The You that is positive, the You that is open, friendly and welcoming of others, the You that is focussed and determined. You can also select a role model who has the traits you could benefit from in your own life. This could be a sporting star, an actor, activist or even your neighbour. Write down the traits you admire and if you are in a situation where you need them, ask yourself, what would they do in this situation?

The idea is to then use this lots of times throughout the day. Before you have a meeting at work, or are one on one with someone, or a customer interaction. Just give yourself 20 seconds of space to say “Ok, what is my best self”, and visualise it. What are the emotions, the body language and the intention that you’re going to bring to the conversation? Emotions are contagious, so by doing this regularly throughout the day, you will actually improve your level of interaction and it will have a positive impact on those that you interact with. Plus you will notice that your performance level goes up.

The single most important time to do this Game Face or Mental Sculpting ritual is when you come home. It’s easy to bring the stress of the day home with you if you don’t consciously switch your mindset. Before you go into the house, just sit outside and for 20 to 30 seconds just say to yourself “What part of me does me or my partner, or my kids or my parents want to see?”

Just do that visualisation, walk in with intention around your emotions and notice how that will impact positively on your friends and your family.

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