Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Do The Math...

My wife and I were talking about goals, the best way of attaining them, and what type of goals should or shouldn't be focused on. She remembered a quote someone recently Tweeted her...

"It's better to achieve 65% of an impossible goal than 100% of a simple, doable one."

I had to think about this for a second. My instincts immediately cringed, thinking 65% of anything can't be better than 100%... or can it? In this case, it absolutely is better to achieve 65%. I believe this is where most of us miss-the-boat when trying to expand our comfort zones. 

Thinking back to when I first created Coach Your Mind, I remembered the perfect example, proving 65% was definitely better sometimes...

One of my first students was a woman who was attempting to start her own business, but was having difficulties opening her mind to big picture possibilities. She was stuck in her current mindset, which was telling her safety is better... risk means failure.

During our first session, I asked her what she wanted to earn her first year. I reminded her that this number can be any amount she wanted, no ceiling attached. She sat quietly for at least 15 minutes, thinking of that number. I knew what she was doing. She was mentally editing yearly amounts that she thought were going to be possible to earn. She was thinking of reasons why (X) dollars would be too difficult, how much work it would take, and why it would be too difficult to acquire. After close to 20 minutes of deliberating, she came up with a number. Although I had a feeling it was going to be a bit lower than I wanted, I was still excited to begin this process with her. Before any steps could be taken, though, we needed a Dream Goal. 

She took a deep breathe, as if it was going to take all the fearlessness she had to verbalize this amount. For a split second, I thought maybe her number wasn't going to be low at all... maybe she'll blow my mind with a Dream Goal that will destroy all other goals.

"Dayne, I'm ready. This is going to be huge, and I want to start yesterday to make this happen." 

(Another deep breathe). 

"I want to earn $60,000/yr. in my new business."


$60,000 ONLY??!!

To say the least, I was floored at how small her amount was. I gave her the opportunity to earn any amount, no ceiling, and she chose $10,000 more than she was making in her current job. Why not $100,000? $500,000? $2 million? She couldn't let go of the fear associated with stepping out of her comfort zone. Those other amounts would be "impossible." $60,000 was safe, easy, and definitely attainable without much work. Before we could move forward, we were going to have to destroy this scared mindset... and NOW! 

We started the process all over, but this time she had to commit to an amount that was way out of her "possible thinking." This took over an hour, and I had to reschedule my next appointment, but we finally agreed to an amount she would attempt to earn in her first year:

$250,000 became her new, fearless number!

At the end of her first year, she netted $167,000. Doing the math, that's just over 65% of her original "Impossible Goal." 

Nuff said!

Monday, September 27, 2010

They're Always Right... Listen!

I may have had an epiphany of some kind. As I traveled back from a road trip, I caught my mind wondering about a few of my students, analyzing their paths, and asking if there's more I can do for them. Taking road trips is one of my favorite times to let my mind go, allowing it to Blue Sky possibilities. I simply let it go wherever it wants, never editing it's ideas.

After about 3 hours of driving, and extensive analyzing of one student's game specifically, I realized I wasn't following my gut during her lessons. I was unconsciously holding back, in fear of rejection. I've learned a few unconventional techniques to help certain type of students, but have become hesitant to introduce them due to the depth we'll need to dive. I was lucky enough to have a mentor who taught me these techniques, but also warned me that many people won't understand their strengths and power. Because of this, I must be absolutely sure the student can handle their true meaning.

As I fought with myself about introducing these concepts, I felt a calm from within... as if I KNEW I should. All of a sudden, it became crystal clear that she needed to hear what I had to say. She was longing to create a new perspective and thinking that could only come from me at this specific moment. The timing was perfect, her frustrations were at an all time high, and I had the answer.

For the last three months, my gut was telling me she could handle it... give her a chance. My fears were punching back, though, not allowing my instincts to take over. Somewhere along the 101 freeway, clarity struck like never before. This is the answer to her nightmare. This is what will set her free from the handcuffs she locked on her own wrists.

This weekend, I let her in on my little secret. O.k., it wasn't really a secret, but many have never looked at themselves in this much detail, so it always feels like a secret when it's revealed. After a couple minutes of not taking a breathe, I inhaled... she laughed... I continued with as much passion as I've ever felt.

The point of this post wasn't to explain the answer to her challenges, but more about listening to your instincts when they're screaming at you. For me, it took a 4 hour road trip to clear my mind enough to hear and trust my gut reactions to her frustrations. If I would have been less afraid, and made my priority her freedom, maybe she wouldn't have felt so much pain.

Epiphany? Who knows.

Success? Definitely!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I've Got To Change This... And NOW!

I have a personal policy where I agree to participate in every sport or activity I'm helping my students with. Up until now, it's been pretty ABC kind of stuff... Basketball, tennis, baseball, golf, volleyball, swimming, surfing, dieting, and I actually took an aerobics class. Thank goodness, the 90's had passed, otherwise I would've been stuck wearing the tight black spandex in that little adventure. I created this policy to make myself feel what they're feeling, even if it's just for a day. I've been lucky enough to play most all sports, and a few very competitively, so I've had the opportunity to feel many different forms of pressure.

Nothing to date has ever bothered me much, with the exception of having to duck out of the way of a fast ball coming at my head in the high 80 mph range... that made me prove I was potty trained. Oh, and maybe the shake diet I participated in made me drool for a Rib Eye a bit, but overall, it's been fine.

This next one, I must admit, is making me wish I didn't care how my students felt. I'm having a really hard time figuring out how I'm going to do it. My newest client's choice of sport is... wait for it... hang gliding! Are you kidding me?! Hang-freakin-gliding!! If you knew me, you'd know I'm not too fond of heights above my couch. Changing a light bulb from the ceiling makes me second guess myself, so this jumping-off-a-cliff-and-trying-not-to-fall-to-my-death thing has me a little worried.

Why did I ever create such a stupid, stupid policy?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

It's So Windy!

Running against mother nature isn't easy. I remember my dad telling me to never spit into the wind... I now know why. 

It's much easier to ride the wind in the direction it wants to go. Fighting that force of nature is brutal, but must be fought. For some reason, my instincts want to keep throwing punches against this power that keeps blowing me over. Who I am won't let me concede. I'll win, no matter how long it takes. 

What if I simply turn my back and allow this 50 mph wind to take me where I'm supposed to go? That's too easy... it can't be the correct decision. If I give in, doesn't that mean I lose. I hate losing. I actually hate losing more than I like winning.

The power of my stubbornness will prevail. It will lead me to my goals and motivations in the long run... I hope? No hoping, dammit! Commit, trust, and accept. Talk those words. Live those words. 

Every time I peek outside, the tree tops seem to want to touch the ground. It's so windy. Walking is impossible. Running is the only option... but do I put my head down and fight against, or turn my back and allow the powers-that-be to dictate? 

I've always been taught the quickest route from A to B is a straight line. I'm now doubting that lesson. There's no such thing as a straight line, especially in a hurricane. In my opinion, the fastest lane is the one that takes the most consistent steps... left, right, diagonal,  or straight. Does my new belief mean all those "wise" teachers were wrong? Did they know what they were talking about? Did they live their words? When I open my front door, and am blown back inside, I tend to conclude they were wrong. My straight line isn't as straight as I once believed.

I love the wind!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

They All Have This...

"I'd rather do something wrong, than do nothing at all."

-Joe Torre

(L.A. Dodgers Manager)
(Former Yankees Manager, with numerous World Series titles)

It's not a coincidence that he has this mindset. All achievers share this type of thinking. 

Do you?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Toddler Teaches...

Meet Logan: My teacher.  

She can jump up on the 4 foot wall, not want my assistance, and run at full blast. When I ask her to take my hand, she gets upset and pushes it away. I swear I read her mind: "I can freakin' do it by myself. I'm not going to fall. Go relax on the bench over there and watch me, dada!"

How can she jump off that same 4 foot wall onto a sidewalk of hard concrete, fall on her knees, hands, and face... cry a little, literally brush her hands off, and want back on the wall? How is this possible? Doesn't she understand what just happened, and if she repeats this behavior, she'll most likely fall again? Or will she?

When she falls for the 2nd straight time, how can it even enter her mind to climb back up that wall? It did, as if nothing had happened... no blood had been shed, and no skin scraped. This time, the result was different - very different. Success shined through her dark brown eyes, her huge smile stretched from cheek to cheek, and her two little hands clapped louder than ever. Did she know something I didn't? 

This gorgeous girl is my teacher. She'll show me how to keep climbing, even though all the evidence leads me to believe nothing good will come from the climb. She'll continue pushing my hands away when I need safety. She's here to prove that my past failures have nothing to do with my future successes. She, with her blind faith, will show me how to step on scared paths. Sometimes I'll trip, fall, cut my lip, and bruise my forehead... do I dare start over and risk the same injuries?

She would!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Open The Floodgates

I just finished watching an interview with Tom Watson, one of the greatest golfers of all time, and it got me thinking more on this subject. He talked about playing imaginary matches against his heroes when he was a kid. Every time he would play by himself, he'd pretend to be competing against Jack Nicklaus in the U.S. Open, beating him on the last hole. Later in his career, it actually came true. Tom made a miraculous comeback against Jack, winning the U.S. Open.

Years and years of strong, passionate visualizations manifesting as an adult. Without knowing it, Tom was opening the possibilities of success simply by fearless, no-lose visuals. He wasn't on the course losing in his imaginary matches... yet, we seem to do this to ourselves on a daily basis. Instead of fearless dreaming and goal setting, we tend to stay in the same boring situation for a lifetime.

Thinking more about this, I remembered how this free mindset affected a couple of my students recently. After our very first session, Christopher broke his all time score... so good, it would be considered a professional level. After asking him how he did it, he simply answered, "because I actually thought it was possible for the first time!" After playing at a completely new level for a week or so, he eventually fell back into his old mental habits, and began repeating his "normal scoring." Our goal, then, was to help him figure out how to remain in this new, fearless mindset for the long term. He continued to slip in and out of his belief system, as his old negative habits weren't too happy with saying goodbye. Once he learned to play every game with this fearless, anything is possible mindset, his scores consistently stayed strong. He's now off to college, expecting to become a professional athlete in the future... all because he let go of what he once thought was possible.

The same thing happened with another student of mine. She's a stay at home mom, who's struggled with her weight for years, unable to find a way to keep it off on a consistent basis. After our first session of talking about what will be, the moment she flips her mindset and old belief system, she instantly became a new woman. She had a gleam in her eye that wasn't there before; she allowed herself to stare into the future without the negative what-ifs. We didn't do anything magical... all we talked about was what will absolutely happen when she creates a new way of looking at herself. We didn't mention "hope," "it would be nice if," or "when you try to." We created a definite, long term picture of her new body and lifestyle, making her focus only on a completed path. 

It really is this simple to start the change we want. The tricky part of this equation is the day to day consistency. This is where our passion for the desired goals and the specific plan and action takes over. There must be a plan and massive action... but before any of that can happen, we have to open the floodgates! Think about the possible... how good it WILL feel to accomplish, and the new life that will result from such thinking.

The most difficult decision I face, as I add on to my goals list, is opening those gates of possibility. I instinctively focus on why it may be too tough to accomplish. I have to force myself on a daily basis to let go of all that negative baggage, and concentrate on why it will definitely happen.

Give yourself the "o.k" to look beyond what you think is probable... feel it's instant power and freedom when your mind goes to that place.

Possibility = Probability!