I find it amazing how much you can focus and concentrate so intensely on one thing only. Everything else can be blocked out no matter how much of a distraction it may normally be. I had blocked out the excitement of Queensland, the sun shining at 28 degrees; and that a crowd had lined the fence and filled two grandstands to watch us. To put all those distractions aside and concentrate was something that at 17 years old, I had trained myself to do. To otherwise be absorbed up into this exciting atmosphere was a distraction that many of my opponents succumb to.
When I was 17 I learned that you can achieve success through focus through my goal to win the Australian Beach Flags Championship. I’d had many sporting successes to that point. I put a lot of them down to raw talent, determination and pure love. When I started to focus in on my mindset, I was able to take success to an entirely new level for me.
How I created success through focus
Make a choice and get clear about what that looks like for you.
Commit and stay consistent.
Manifest your success by focusing your mind.
Make a choice and get clear.
Asking these questions can help
- What is it that you want to be successful at?
- Why do you want to have success in this area?
- How will you know when you have achieved your success.
Getting really clear on what it is you want and making a choice to go for it is key. Knowing when you have reached the successes you want to have is also important. If you can’t measure it, in some way, how will you ever know if you get there?
Commit and stay consistent
- Make the main thing, the main thing. Bring the goal to the forefront of your awareness and make it a priority in your life.
- Continually show up to do the work no matter how you feel.
- Be willing to show up when things get tricky. You have to be comfortable with getting uncomfortable, this is where you grow and stretch and ultimately build new skills
- Be prepared to do things that other people wouldn’t do.
Manifest you success by focusing your mind.
Perhaps my favorite part. Through reprogramming your mind and your thought patterns you can create the success ahead of time.
- Continually bring awareness to your current thoughts and beliefs (daily, hourly).
- Use visualization, feeling and affirmation to create what you want before you have got it.
- Take the action to interrupt the thought patterns that are no longer serving you to reach your success.
Essentially this last point is a form of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) or in other words, programming the language of your mind. I discovered NLP before I even knew what it was or what I was doing. My mum handed me a book with a sports NLP training program and I decided to do it.
Every day for six weeks I committed to the training program to reprogram my mind with the thoughts and beliefs I needed to win. Here is a snippet of how I remember the event.
Unshakeable confidence. I’d never been so certain about a race in all my life. Marshaling in the arena, without really knowing my competition, I knew I was going to win. The belief I had built in myself came from the mental mastery program I had committed to before arriving at the championships. I’m glad I captured this moment in writing because now I don’t know if the memories are the thoughts Id programed into my mind or the actual event.
I made my way into the main arena. I was about to contest the under 18 women’s beach flag title. To me I was there alone. I felt in control, I was ready. The March sun seared into my already burnt back. The crowd was an array of colour, noise and the cheer is full of excitement. If you had asked me about the atmosphere, there and then, I could not have told you. My focus was far too strong, and out of everything in the world my mind was set on one thing, to win a gold medal.
During breaks I sat towel over head, water bottle in hand. My brain was rolling like a Ferris wheel, the thoughts of my race flowing through. Round after round the thoughts kept rolling. I was very confident in the first few rounds. I knew I had a tiny edge over this field. But one tiny slip of doubt can make you lose it if you're not careful.
I was a total ball of focus. If someone spoke, I wouldn’t have noticed. About halfway down the final run off, I felt my opponent become tangled, and I looked straight at the flag, one draw back of my arm. I was out of the tangle but she stumbled, I saw it from the corner of my eye. She fell. I was alone, no one to shoulder and race. The cheer went up already. I still remained focused until the end, Id done it, I’d won. I had proved to myself that you can create success ahead of time by changing your thoughts patterns.
Training my mind as well as my body cemented my belief in my goals and myself. Committing to mastering your mindset is an ongoing process, forever. You can slip in and out of awareness and focus and it can becoming challenging at times. But you can always come back and commit again. I know for sure if you show up for the challenge you will blow your own mind.
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