Feeling Fiery - Thinking Cool Challenge
Act As If
Once you've watched the video complete your Take Action items
Act as If
By now you should have a couple of "I Am" statements. If you haven't stop right now, and go back to the previous lesson and do the work.
You cannot transform if you aren't applying. Knowledge becomes power only when you use it!
So, if you're still with me
Your I am statements are the foundation for a new identity. Adopting and living this identity means you are now on a quest to build the reputation, build the legacy you want to leave.
This isn't a goal, this is a lifetime quest.
Goals can be completed.
Being a great influencer, a great communicator, a great leader never finishes - it's a lifetime quest to constantly up the level of your game.
So we need to do some activities that will help you to embed into your DNA your new identity. We must make the your new vision stronger than your current reality.
Watch out for resistance
But here's the thing. You may be starting to feel a bit uncomfortable, because we are taking the behaviors that have been subconscious for you for so many years and we are bringing them to the conscious level.
So as you are stretching and shifting into your new shape, you can expect resistance from yourself. We are taking you out of the flow that you are used to. (Rut image in here).
Today we are going to focus on a tool you can use to help minimize this resistance.
In my 20's I discovered a practice and a way of thinking from a boyfriend that has helped me throughout my entire life.
What I learned from my boyfriend!
For a few months, I was dating a Qantas pilot, who at the time happened to be the youngest Second Officer in the history of Qantas.
He was kind of delicious (and I'm sure he had a girl in many cities around the world), he'd be home for a few weeks at a time (always with a gift in hand), and then fly off again - I loved it! Lot's of independence and lots of being spoilt!
The thing that amazed me about Paul was that he spent copious hours on his time off in the simulator, practising his craft.
Not long after meeting him, I was lucky enough to go on a course for work that helps people unlock their potential. That course introduced me to the world of self-development and personal growth. And it was here that I discovered tools from cognitive psychology that help you achieve breakthrough performance.
Visualizations and Affirmations Shift Performance
One of the tools in this remarkable program was the use of visualization and affirmations to help you shift your performance.
It got me to thinking as I was doing the course, that Paul spent hours and hours in the simulator (which really was just a very, very expensive visualisation and affirmation tool) practicing and fine-tuning his normal operation (being great at situation normal) and how to prepare for, avoid, recover from any emergency.
Most of us don't do that. We don't spend time practicing ahead of time for our lives in general or our professions.
There's a great military saying, "We don't rise to the occasion, we fall back on our training."
We don't rise to the occasion, we fall back on our training
Because, as we'd all agree, pilots can't afford to have off-days. Even seasoned pilots continue to sharpen their skills in simulators.
I'm a mad fan of V8 Supercars, and the top drivers often talk about being in simulators or going and driving other categories to keep their skills up.
How often do you practice?
What about you? How often do you practice excellence before you perform?
If you're like most people the answer will be hardly ever or never!
You've likely heard the saying "Fake it Until You Make It." I don't like that statement much. I prefer to "Act As If."
Act as If
Years ago, team members would come to me saying they'd like to be promoted to a team leader role, so what should they do? My answer was always, start acting as if you are a team leader right now.
Every time you to do to something ask yourself "What would a team leader do here?" "How would a team leader think about in this scenario?"
So today, I want you to begin upgrading your performance and acting as if. Start to inhabit the character you are moving in to.
When you start practicing being a better version of yourself every day, everything else in your life gets elevated - your relationships, creativity, productivity
Start observing people around you and in movies and tv shows, who display the sorts of behaviors that you want to emulate.
Plenty of evidence this works
Think this stuff doesn't work? There are numerous studies and anecdotal evidence that point to the success of visualization.
Americas Cup Win
In 1983, after 132 years of winning the US lost the Americas cup to Australia. It was widely known that the Australian's secret weapon was the winged keel - which was a radically different design from the past.
However, in the Netflix documentary "Untold: The Race of The Century" John Bertrand the Skipper of Australia II also talks about their other secret weapon. Visualization.
For months and months before they left Australia, each day John took the team through a visualization activity that helped the team to believe that they belong on the world stage. He said they were training the mind not to be intimidated in that environment.
John even had the team visualizing as they were going out to the starting line for that winner takes all last race. In his book, he says that the visualizations were a massive part of their success.
Devil Wears Prada
In another example, Meryl Streep said in an interview, not long after Devil Wears Prada was released, that she would never do method acting again, (the method of immersing yourself in the character for the entire shoot of the movie). She said inhabiting the role of Miranda Priestly was horrible and made her miserable and depressed and she felt very lonely.
Given that the role was loosely based on the life of Anna Wintour, Vogues long-time editor, you'd have to wonder what her life must be like in reality.
Basketball superstar Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. In an interview later in life, he said, "I visualised where I want to be, what kind of player I wanted to become. I knew exactly where I wanted to go, and I focused on getting there."
In another interview he was asked how he handles the pressure of a close game: Michael said, "If I had stood at the free throw line and thought about the 10 million people watching me on the other side of the camera lens, I couldn't have made anything. So I mentally tried to put myself in a familiar place. I thought about all those times I shot free throws in practice and went through the same motion, the same technique that I had used thousands of times. You forget about the outcome. You know you are doing the right things. So you relax and perform."
The brain can't differentiate between real and visualized
Several studies have shown that the brain doesn’t differentiate between a real memory and an imagined (visualized) one.
So, we are going to do a visualisation exercise in a moment that will support you as you Act As If, but first let me tell you a story.
My moment of pure bliss at work
I remember decades ago, and I can still feel it in my body to this very moment. After months and months of long-hours, hard work, and plenty of stress, we had just finished the hiring process for 25 new team members.
We had finished the process by inviting our new hires and their loved ones to an evening presentation to confirm their appointment and to celebrate the new adventure we were all about to undertake as we worked in this brand new facility, creating a high-performing team.
Even though I knew we had much more hard work ahead of us as we went through the start-up, this was a major milestone in the journey and it was exhilarating. The vibe in the room was electric with excitement and anticipation as people contemplated what it was going to be like working there.
About 20-minutes after everyone left, it was just after dark, my boss and I, were sitting on a garden bench, and we had a beer each and we were both grinning from ear to ear, we were so thrilled.
In that moment my body felt completely relaxed, but completely switched on too. I can recall vividly the tingling feeling within my stomach and my complete satisfaction with myself.
It was in stark contrast to how I'd been feeling in the preceding months. Most of the time I'd been stressed to the max, my breathing had been short, my movements clipped and rushed, my face had more often a a frown on it than a smile as I struggled to create the processes and systems we needed.
Hunched over my computer, wading through reams and reams of documentation. Not really knowing if I was doing any of this right. And what if, what if, everything I put in place was a monumental fuck up! I was deep in over my head, and desperately wanting to prove to the leadership team (and probably more significantly prove to myself) that I hadn't been a mistake in their hiring process.
But that night, that night was magical. It proved to me beyond a doubt that I had it! I was capable of leading up a major project. That I was worthy and great at what I do.
That moment reignited my passion, but more importantly it gave me confidence and helped peel the imposter syndrome off my shoulder. (The imposter wasn't fully gone, but it's burden was certainly eased - more about that in upcoming videos).
Flick-back / Flick-forward
So any time I want to feel that way - (confident, calm, excited, at peace, worthy) - I flick back to that night, and I remember how I was breathing - easily and fully, I remember how I was sitting (shoulders back, posture open), and then I flick forward to whatever is coming up, where I know I'm likely to be feeling tense, nervous, uptight, frustrated etc and drop that calm, confident, unstoppable feeling into the new situation.
I visualize myself in that situation breathing that way again, sitting confidently, but relaxed, feeling like I've got the smarts, that I can think clearly and be successful. (the technique is called flick back/flick forward).
World-renowned psychologist, Dr Albert Bandura says that most of us race too quickly through our achievements. We don't saviour them enough. We don't use them to propel us to new and sustained levels of performance.
Most of us race too quickly through our achievements. We don't saviour them enough. We don't use them to propel us to new and sustained levels of performance.
Dr Albert Bandura
List 10 Things You're Proud Of
In the Take Action activity I want you to make a list of 10 things you've done that you are extremely proud of, when you really nailed something. It doesn't have to be earth-shattering - for example, one of my accomplishments that I like to reflect on was being nice to my sister when she called me drunk and in a fighting mood!
And I want you to regularly refer to that list, relish the feelings that each one elicits. Step into that memory and feel the sounds, the smells, what you could see, what you felt and let that swell up in you. This is such a good exercise for building self-worth and getting a bit more control over the imposter syndrome.
For now though, for the visualization activity we are about to do, I want you to think back to a time when you were feeling calm and at peace because you'd just successfully pulled something off. You felt confident, fully in charge of yourself, maybe even a little bit excited, feeling on top of the world. Feeling like you were brimming with confidence and clarity.
Got a time in mind? Okay hold that thought for a moment. In a few minutes we are going to do a visualization with that memory.
Your Interactions/Meetings in the next 24 hours
For now I want you to think about, who you will be working with or interacting with in the next 24 hours? What meetings or challenging situations have you got coming up? Pick one thing to focus on. Complete the worksheet, in the talk action tab and then move straight on to the next video
Get ready to visualize/meditate
In the next video we are going to do a visualisation/meditation. So make sure you are in a quiet space, where you can close your eyes and be uninterrupted for about 10 minutes.
If you are a person who hates meditating because you can't shut your monkey mind off, you are going to love this. The style of meditating I've been doing lately doesn't require you to find that stillness.
It's okay to scratch your butt if your butt is itchy part way through the meditation. It's ok to have random thoughts come into your mind. Each time you realize you've gone into think mode, simply turn your attention back to my voice and keep following along. So go take your action and I'll see you for the meditation/visualization activity.