Keeping Your Mental Game On Part 2

In Part I “Getting Your Mental Game On”, I shared  four things to help you get your mental game on when things get rough. In review, we’re talking about dreaming,  observing, rehearsing, and learning from failure.

The next six keys will help you keep your mental game engaged and working for you. These are: developing resilience, not second-guessing yourself,  self-soothing, developing a positive mindset, adopting a self-care routine, and having fun and relaxing. This set of skills enhance what you have built in the first part of your mental game foundation.

Learn to be the bamboo. Photo from Creative Commons.
Learn to be the bamboo. Photo from Creative Commons.

5. Develop Resilience – Why is it that some people get back up after they emotionally, psychologically, and sometimes even physically fall down, while others stay down for a long time or quit when the going gets tough?*

Sometimes, it takes a series of set backs and strategy sessions for you to develop inner resilience. Resilience can have two aspects to it. One is a sense of elasticity or flexibility. The rubber band snaps back after it has been stretched, and in fact, the snap has a bit more bite to it when it is stretched further from a surface. The other aspect is that of recovery; that is, a resilient person recovers quickly from falling because she or he has strength and toughness; a fall, though it hurts, will not stop the tough person from dusting herself off and moving forward.

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Getting Your Mental Game On

Mental Preparation, Psychology, Mental Fitness

In the last two years, I’ve had the opportunity to watch professional athletes and amateurs race both short and long-endurance triathlons, such as the Half Ironman and the full Ironman race. Whether its a person’s first sprint distance triathlon at a slow speed or a pro’s long distance triathlon at speeds that  leave observers open-mouthed and astonished, one thing all athletes and sports psychologists agree on is this: a strong mental game is half the battle.

What if your battle field is not the race course, but something else  important to you? What if you are tired of your job and want to leave it to start your own company with a business partner?  What if your child has been diagnosed with a life-threatening food allergy and you know next-to-nothing about how to keep your child safe at home, school, after-school activities, and outings to restaurants? What if your doctor told you that unless you lose 40-50 pounds, you’re on the borderline of becoming an insulin-dependent diabetic? When giving up isn’t an option (or rather, giving up is always an option, only it comes with harsh consequences), how do you develop the mental stamina to endure until you achieve a different outcome?