Learn how Olympic athletes enhance self-belief

You want to be the best you can be in your chosen area, giving your gift the world.

Here is what we can learn from the training method of Olympic athletes.

Lanny Bassam won 4 world records in Rifle Shooting and the Olympic Gold Medal in Montreal in 1976. For 30 years he has been training Olympic champions, as well as business leaders, the police and special forces. He calls it “Mental Management”.

Let’s apply what he learnt to our lives.

He would have won gold in the 1972 Olympics, except for a crisis of confidence during the competition, and so he took the silver medal home instead. This may sound good to you and me, but he said “this makes me the best looser in the world”.

He then decided to study how Olympic champions achieved high performance and, finally, went on to take gold himself at the next Olympics.

He discovered there were 3 key elements to success:

  1. Your conscious goals and plan: you won’t achieve more than you plan to achieve.
  2. Your unconscious skills: you have got to keep developing your skills and practising, so you can do them unconsciously like handwriting, walking or driving a car. Someone said to a champion golfer “You seem very lucky” and he replied “The harder you practice, the luckier you get.” Don’t leave it to chance – get great at what you do.
  3. Your self-belief: you will never get more in life than you believe you can get. And we aren’t talking about conscious beliefs, but the more secret, nagging, doubts about yourself. Do you have nagging doubts about yourself? (Most people have self-doubt, so you are not an exception). What do you secretly believe about yourself? Do you have any “thought viruses”. Do you need “thought inoculation”?

He formulated these key elements into 7 principles* which we can summarise as follows:

Principle 1: Focus on success
Your conscious mind can only concentrate on one thing at a time, so focus on success.

Principle 2: Picture what you want
What you say needs to be matched by what you picture and feel.

Principle 3: Skills are subconscious
Get so well trained  in your important skill sets that your unconscious guides your performance.

Principle 4: Your self-belief actions what you are picturing
Self-belief moves you to do whatever the conscious mind is picturing.

Principle 5: results will equal your self-belief
To change your performance, you must first change your self-belief.

Principle 6: Replace your self-belief with the one you want
You can replace the self-belief you have with the self-belief you want, thereby permanently changing performance.

Principle 7: Positively Reinforce yourself
The more we think about, talk about and write about something happening, the greater the probability of that thing happening.

How do you work with your self-belief?

You need to identify the beliefs that undermine you and discover any benefits you have had from having those beliefs. For example, as a child in an alcoholic family with a violent father, “it’s best to be invisible” might be a helpful belief. However, 30 years later, this belief  may be disempowering. Once you have identified both the unhelpful belief, and the positive intention, you then need to work with yourself at a somatic level to create a new positive belief.

This is best done in a 1:1 coaching or group setting, such as The Personal Transformation Intensive, which focuses on what you really want to achieve and change and also, what is holding you back.

I give private clients coaching from my home in Hampstead, North London and I have executive coaching clients on several continents. If you wish to discuss coaching with me, email me at julian.russell@lifetalent.com  or book a time to talk to me on the phone at https://julianrussell.youcanbook.me

* Bassham, L. (2011). With winning in mind. [Flower Mound, Tex.]: Mental Management Systems.


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