Thursday, 7 July 2016

What's stopping you?

It never ceases to amaze me how many people agree that understanding how they think and giving themselves greater choices in their thinking, behaviours and actions is a great thing to do and yet very few actually do anything about it.

There is a lot of 'shelf-help' out there where people think that by reading about how they can do or be better, faster, more creative, etc, means they don't actually have to put in any time actually 'doing' it will 'just happen', (the first line in my book ‘How to Thrive through Transition actually says ‘This is a book that wants you to be interactive’)

Being in the lucky position to work with both people in sport and business I see many similarities in the mindset of those I work with.

It can take a while for some to believe that I use the same tools and techniques in both areas to create achievements and growth and it's all about adapting them to your own specific circumstances.  Being able to analyse events and performance in order to give you the EDGE going forward is a hugely important skill.

So what stops people taking the next step and developing their own mindset to build and grow their sports performance or business.

Here are three reasons why I think people stop themselves working on mindset development...

·         Isn't that the weird stuff... who knows what you're going to ask me to do... and what if I'm doing something no-one else is... won't that look weird...

Mindset development is about practical, useful, techniques that you learn with your coach and adapt for yourself, nothing weird in that.  Also whether you are in business or sport, being different from your rivals is actually a good thing and gives you the mindset edge.

·         Don't need to do it - my thinking has got me this far... there's nothing wrong with me... it's all 'shelf-help' and no use to anyone...

Understanding how your thinking got you where you are and how it might also get you stuck going forward is a really useful thing to know.  Understanding yourself and your thinking and identifying in others how they think so that you can develop further and out think your sports opponents or business rivals

·         I can't be bothered... I don't have the time...

Mindset development will deliver results if you apply yourself.  It's fine if you don't want to; just don't expect to be the leaders in your industry or the driving force in your sport.  We can always make time for the things we believe to be important and mindset development is important and a few minutes a day is all that you need.  If you can't be bothered to be motivated about what you want to achieve, why should anyone else around you be interested...

Developing You is the most important thing you can do to fully achieve your aims and goals, having the EDGE over your rivals and being able to analyse and understand why and what to do next will keep you ahead of the game.

Contact me to find out more on

Friday, 29 April 2016

Print version of How to Thrive through Transition now available!

Good news - my book 'How to Thrive through Transition' is now available as print on demand through Amazon, as well as still being an e-book on Amazon and at The Endless Bookcase! Amazon - How to Thrive through Transition


Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Translating your learning

Being able to take what you have learnt from one area of your life and translate it into another area is a really useful way of gaining understanding of how you think and what you are capable of!

This is what I have learnt from Ultra running and how I translate it into my business and personal life!

1. Deal with the small stuff!
That voice niggling away in your ear - stop and listen to it - what might seem small and inconsequential now could end up driving you to distraction and using up valuable mental energy.

2. Know where you are
Navigating to where you want to be means understanding and knowing where you currently are.  Write out your plan and mentally bookmark where you are on it continuously.  If you lose your place you can go back to the last place you knew for definite and then go from there.

3. Enjoy the dark
Get comfortable with not having all the answers.  Things do not always go our way.  The ways you have of navigating where you are may not work so well in the dark.  Relax, let your senses guide you, know that it is always darkest before the dawn.  Enjoy the knowledge and different view of the world you get in the dark.

4. Know You
You are the only person with you every second of every day - get happy with that.  Greater self awareness and self management means greater flexibility in our thinking, feeling and actions in a constantly changing environment.  Make decisions that work towards your goal.

5. Its ok to slow down
Slowing down can make a big difference.  You can see clearly what is happening around you and gives you some time to recover your energy.  This isn't about ambling - stay purposeful and meaningful in your actions.  You are in charge of how you are in the world.

6. Its ok to stop!
Relentless pursuit of your goal can be draining emotionally, mentally and physically on you and others around you.  You will recover if you give yourself the chance.  Acknowledge the signs that you need to stop, eat, sleep... stop chasing others - you'll catch them up.  Tell yourself the positives of what you have done so far - ask for help from others if you need it.  Have patience and be gentle on yourself.  Start up slowly as you feel ready to move on.

7. Be in the moment
Rather than focusing on the end goal - break it down into chunks.  Focus on what's in your immediate control, enjoy the moment you are in knowing it is unique and taking you where you want to go.

8. Either / Or, or somewhere in between
It's easy to get caught up with the end goal and see it as either we are on our way to achieving it or not.  Take a step back - you're in this for the long journey.  Targets set at the beginning need to be reviewed as we go - be flexible about changes as they happen - give yourself the space to make changes and not letting yourself stress when the targets move - move with them, let them go, create new ones with the knowledge you have gained so far.

9. Be a part of where you are
Take stock and fully immerse yourself in the landscape around you.  Experience it fully through all your senses.  This is not about looking at it from afar but being part of it.

10. Be organised
Thinking back to 'Know You' - you know what might stop you so do something about it at the beginning - have a plan B, C, D... keep to hand the strategies that work for you .  If you've already thought about what might a problem further down the line then you can come up with ways round it - if it happens then you're ready to deal with it.  This is your life and it's going to be a long one - which means more moments to deal with, more choices to make.

11. What goes up must come down
Prepare for the hard work of going uphill and remember to enjoy the downhills.  Be mindful of the fact you can get a little out of control the faster you go downhill and are more likely to trip and fall here than on the up!  Be purposeful!

12. Whose rules?
This is your journey, your strategy, your goal.  You set the rules for you.  If it works for you it's right for you.  What works for others is right for them.  Experiment and learn from each thing you do and develop your strategy from there.  Be curious.

13. Just one of you
You are the only you that's in this world - your journey is unique to you - remember that.

14. Finish first

This means you have to get to the finish line - not that you have to be the first to the finish line!  Achieve your goal; get to the end of this particular journey.  When you've done that then you can look back at how you achieved it and take new knowledge forward into the next one!

Saturday, 26 March 2016

*Special Promotion* - free copy of my book 'How to Thrive through Transition'

*Special Promotion*

As promised to celebrate my return to running after 2 months out with injury.

Book and confirm the 4 session package between 26th March - 8th April 2016 and receive a free signed copy of my book 'How to Thrive through Transition'.

The sessions can be used at any time during 2016 to fit in with your goals!

Thursday, 10 March 2016

F.E.A.R. - False Evidence Appearing Real

“I’ve lived through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.”
Mark Twain

I’ve had a few conversations over the last couple of weeks as people are coming out of winter training and are building up for their spring marathons and starting to worry about the long training runs that are planned.

I have to remind them that they are not doing that run today, that run is in the future.  We tend to focus on what’s going to happen and link it to where we are now and not where we will be then.  I find it helpful to get people to actually think back to where they were when they started and how far they have come.  Some are new runners, looking to do distances they’ve not done before, some are experienced athletes looking to run a new personal best.

It doesn’t matter which you are, the fear of not delivering what you are working for is the same.  If we start worrying about what we ‘may not’ do then this is the image, the movie that we are giving our brain to work on.  The brain is not interested in negatives and so thinks this is what you want and will do all it can to deliver it!  

What we need to do is visualise our success, make that the movie that we play to ourselves.  Keep that future movie with you during training, let it put a smile on your face when you’re looking at the next part of your training plan.  Then let yourself just think about the next training session, what do you want from that?  How do you want to feel?  What do you want to be saying to yourself to make sure it’s a positive experience?

Friends of mine took part in a 17 mile coastal run last weekend, in hail, high winds, having to scramble over parts of the route… not what you might think as a perfect training run… BUT as tough as it was it was a perfect mind training run.  The next run is unlikely to be that hard and however hard it gets pulling on these memories, how they worked together, knowing that they did it is what will make the difference – the mind can override the physical – can override the F.E.A.R.

If you want to get the most out of your training, you need to get your mind in it.  If you want to know more then you only have to ask!

“The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible.” Arthur C Clarke

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Small steps = Huge gains

Yesterday for the first time in 5 weeks I was able to stretch my broken arm out enough to turn the tap on the kitchen sink to fill the kettle… This may seem like a small thing to some, but to me it signifies a huge gain in the use of my arm, muscle control and a big pat on the back for staying patient and giving my arm the chance to heal in the time it needs.  I’ve started physio on the arm, walking and static bike at 5 weeks rather than the 8 I was originally told (although the physio did say most people with this type of break are about 85 years old – so the healing process is going to be quicker, before anyone thinks I’m trying to do too much too soon!)

Anyway, my small but significant victory of turning a tap on got me thinking back to marginal gains and how I work with people to help them find their own in order to give them ‘The EDGE’.

Whether you stand on a start line, go onto a field of play or walk onto a court, you want your opposition to know that you are in your best state mentally and physically and that you have ‘The EDGE’ over them.

Listen to any sports person these days and they do now talk about Positive Mental Attitude, about the psychological factors now involved.  Small steps for huge gains - these are opportunities to make changes, small but significant when added together.  The same applies to how we think, what we think and how we feel.

This is not always about turning negative thinking into neutral or positive thinking.  The hardest part of delivering as an athlete is when you have reached the top – staying there, keeping your focus when you have achieved what you set out to do, continuing to achieve, overcoming injury to comeback stronger.  All this while the rest are chasing to catch up and overtake you. 

This is what having ‘The EDGE’ is all about.  Staying at the top is not just about staying physically fit but also being mentally fit.

So if you want to be able to say ‘I have the EDGE’ then contact me to find out more.

Monday, 22 February 2016

The wanderingly focused mind

 "Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?'
'That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,' said the Cat
'I don't much care where -' said Alice
'Then it doesn't matter which way you go' said the Cat
'- so long as I get SOMEWHERE,' Alice added as an explanation.
'Oh you're sure to do that,' said the Cat, 'if you only walk long enough."

Lewis Carroll - Alice in Wonderland

A wandering mind is a wonderful and creative place and we all need time in our day to let it do just that.  We also need to know how to bring it back and focus on the task in hand. 

Just like going out and taking exercise for no other reason than to be out is a very freeing experience, knowing how to deliver a specific training session for a specific reason is also just as important. 

If you are not worried about reaching a particular destination then wander, but if you have a particular goal to aim for then a mixture of the two mind sets will keep you on track.  A wandering mind will let you see other opportunities around you, too much focus and you can miss them, too little focus and you’ll have no idea which way you’re going!

To find out more about having a wandering and focused mind then contact me on