Michael Jordan once said, “There are players who have more skill than I, they can run faster, jump higher, shoot better, but NO ONE can beat me at the mental game.”
What separates the good from the great is mind set. The great have their mind set mastered. Mastery of the mind means being able to place your thoughts where they serve you, rather than where they defeat you. No one can defeat you quicker than you. A win or defeat begins first with your predominate thoughts. Whether you think you can or you can’t you’re right.
If you don’t place your mind where you want it to take you, it will wander in many directions taking you somewhere you may not want to go, and most definitely, short of your potential. That’s the nature of the mind, to go in many directions all at once. The master of the mind reigns it in and is capable of placing their thought where they choose to focus, with an awareness of when the mind leaves it’s mark. When the mind is given a specific focus with pre-game mind-sets, and skill mind-sets, it does two things: It moves towards it, (creates it) and, as important, the mind doesn’t have time to go in mis-direction.
Thoughts never stop, not even in sleep. 24 hours a day your thoughts are creating your outcome.
Model of the Mind:
OUTER RING – Conscious Mind – 2-12% “Think Zone”
INNER RING – Unconscious Mind – 88-92% “Play Zone”
Line that separates two circles – “Critical Faculty”
Above is a model of the mind. The outer ring is the conscious mind–what I refer to as the “Think Zone”. According to Psychologist, Carl Jung, it is 2%-12% of your minds capacity. The Inner ring is the unconscious mind, which we will call the “Play Zone.” It makes up 88%-92% of the mind. The line that separates the circles is referred to as the critical faculty, also known as the filter or reasoning mind. When you are learning something new, or practicing something, the “Think Zone” is present, because you are thinking your way through new skills, drills, etc. But come game time, when your attention is forced into the present moment, you must cross the line into “Play Zone.” The “Think Zone” during game time will only get in your way. You perform from the “Play Zone”, what’s already been practiced so many times it’s habitual. It can take 3 weeks or more of practicing a skill, or a mind set repetitively to make a permanent program. Repetition is the master of skill. Repetition is also the master of the mind.
The young developing mind takes in everything as it does not yet have a filter to decide what’s fact, and what’s fantasy, what’s true for them and what’s not. Every experience, every interaction, teachers, parents, peers, everything is taken into the mind and beliefs begin to take form. By the time the critical faculty is fully in place, one has their conditioned beliefs and behaviors. At that point, they no longer see life as it is, but as they see it. It’s like putting on your sunglasses of belief. The way you see things is different than anyone else because everyone has their unique set of glasses, (deep unconscious beliefs.) This is important because there may be deep beliefs that impede performance. For example, I have worked with many athletes that “kill it” in practice, then come “game time”, they don’t perform the same, fall apart or worse, get injured. It’s not their plan, but this is common because the “Think Zone” and the “Play Zone” aren’t aligned in belief. There may be some lingering, deep, unconscious beliefs that impeed performance come game time, when the pressures on.
Take a look at the model of the mind again. The + (positive) and – (negative) symbols in the “Play Zone” represent positive and negative patterns.
(-) = defeating beliefs and behaviors.
(+) = empowering beliefs and behaviors. Some of these beliefs and behaviors are so deeply embedded, they are unrecognizable until performance time when they show themselves. In a perfect world, there are only positive behaviors but I have yet to meet that mind. Ignoring the negative barriors is no way to succeed.
A negative pattern cannot just be dropped, that negative must be replaced by a positive, a better belief that supports you and your goal. This happens when a doorway is created in the critical faculty, between the “Think Zone” and the “Play Zone”, and a new behavior (skill, thought, etc) is practiced repitively.
A new idea is most readily accepted during a time when there is a doorway between “Think Zone” and “Play Zone.” This doorway opens in various times of the day. These times, referred to as “states of suggestibility”, are the times when you are reinforcing your current beliefs and behaviors, or changing them. If you are introducing a new thought or idea when that doorway is not open, it may be rejected, but introduced when the doorway to the inner mind is open, that thought, idea, skill goes right into the subconscious beginning a new pattern.
Denise Hamilton-Hatch works with States of Suggestibility to change the negative defeating patterns into positive, powerful beliefs and behaviors that get you your desired outcome. For more information, contact Denise at Denise@yogasportsperformance