Anyone who knows me is very aware that I don’t have the build of an athlete, let alone an Olympian, however I do work with a personal trainer at least once a week as I recognize, as I’m sure you do too, that as a business owner it’s not just the actual business that has to be nurtured and cared for – I do too on a physical level as well as all the other levels and aspects of me …
And when I’m working with the trainer the less that I think really hard about what I’m doing in any given moment and whether it’s fast enough, using the right moves and techniques and the more that I just allow things to happen then the better the training session as I simply get out of my own way and into flow. In fact I can guarantee the minute the personal trainer makes a comment about how well I’m doing is when I’ll immediately stop doing something well as I start to analyse what it was that I’d been doing and I am no longer in flow.
When watching the Olympics over the last couple of weeks the interviews with the medal winners were very interesting as they described the event and their preparation on the day was clearly not what the interviewer was expecting. They were clearly expecting the medal winners to talk about how hard it was and all the thoughts of winning that would be running through their head when in fact whilst they acknowledged the physical aspect of what they’d achieved and that legs might be sore etc. no one spoke about having an ongoing internal conversation they all said that there was, in fact, very little on their mind in any given moment.
There was no place for self-doubt or a train of negative thoughts, there was absolute clarity in what they were doing, clarity in how they would achieve it and clarity in that they were in the present at all times. Daydreaming about winning were thoughts of before the event not in the moment in the event.
That’s not to say that every thought they have in training and just before an event is a positive thought but that they are aware that the negative thoughts, are simply a thought and having a negative thought or thoughts doesn’t stop them winning an event.
So by not having much on their mind i.e. not thinking about anything they get into the flow zone and the event is then so much easier and effortless and success follows. The difference in the understanding and level of clarity between the medal winners and those who are far less successful is massive: where and the ticker tape of thought for the less successful was there before and during the event usually continuing until afterwards and through to the next event when the result is always the same – maybe a different position in the event but not in the top 3 and certainly not first.
In one of my early blogs I wrote about how having nothing much on your mind lets the insights flow as having nothing much on your mind simply allows space for new thought and insights which leads to creativity and innovation. And this is very similar having nothing much on your mind when you are in a moment where harnessing
your peak performance would be very useful allows clarity and understanding, enables you to get into the flow zone and things become easier and more effortless.
So next time you participatie in any form of sporting event – or if you are perhaps about to take part in an important negotiation meeting – instead of having a mind full of thought about the things you should and shouldn’t do and what everyone else is doing, try the complete opposite – you’ll be surprised at the difference it makes.
And if you’d like to read more about how athletes can achieve that Stillpower and not just using willpower then check out Garret Kramer’s book Stillpower at www.garretkramer.com.
If you’d like to find out more about my thoughts on this, then why not call me on +44 (0) 1296 681 094, click here to ping me an email or even leave a comment below.
Until next time …