One of my friends asked me a question today. “Hey Kath, what’s the best bit of kit you own?”

That set me pondering a little. I am after all a triathlete and I own loads of kit, cupboards full of it, queen of “stuff” so is it my trainers, nope; my wetsuit, maybe; my bike; possibly (my husband calls it Precious so it must be pretty special).

I could not make my mind up. I um’d and ah’d a bit and then suddenly, that made my mind up! Ah ha, yes, there it is, my best bit of kit, my very own, perfectly unique, more precious than Precious, can’t be copied, you got it, my MIND! Phew…..

Having reached this happy conclusion, I began to think about how it helps me out – and doesn’t. How influential my thoughts are on my “state” and performance and how much I enjoy seeing people grow and flourish as they become aware of this for themselves. I want to share more about this!

This bit of kit we’ve been given is simply amazing and my inner voice (fondly known as IV hereafter) is super chatty, is yours?

It has such a lot to say for itself. When it’s pushing me positively forward, what a huge difference that makes. Sometimes though when it’s less helpful, quite frankly it has been overwhelming to the point I’ve needed a word with myself. “Come on Thomas” I’ll say to myself. A small mindful intervention to stop the runaway train and set me back on the rails.

What I’ve found during 2020 is that pushing the reset button to stay positive and go forward instead of dragging the duvet over my head and blaming the cat for having just one more hour has been more necessary, more frequent and has provided me with a whole range of opportunity to understand myself better, my triggers and my most effective strategies to keep performing both in business and as an athlete.

Keeping a positive mindset has meant the difference between metaphorically winning and losing for many. My Mum’s Christmas gift sums it up rather nicely for me, “She believed she could so she did.”

Roll forward to 2021 and I think we’ve another challenging year ahead.

IV  – “All your years have been challenging!”

Me – “Really, have they?”

IV – “ Yes, you always say you like a challenge and if there isn’t one looming you go find one 😉”

Me, laughing – “Mmmm, very true, well good, let’s get ready for that then!”

So, I’m happily reminding myself just how I tap into that positive mindset, preparing to use my best bit of kit to good effect and to embrace what’s in the year ahead (which should, alongside helping my clients grow and develop, include an Ironman and European Championships so plenty of chance to practice for peak performance).

With this in mind (forgive the pun 😉), I’d love to share some key tools and techniques with you too and I’ll be discussing this in my upcoming interactive session where I’ll be alongside Rebecca Stevens, who is an expert in this field.

By better understanding what mindset really is, how it is impacted and the effect that has on us and those around us, we can choose to make a difference to the way we think, and how we feel and therefore act. Knowing this as our thinking cycle, that there even is a thinking cycle, is powerful. We can begin to understand what triggers a thought and whilst we can’t prevent the trigger, we can determine our response to it, if we want to! Your self-talk (my IV) will impact how you feel and what you do.

I’ve seen this when athletes race against one another. On paper, athlete A, let’s call him Simon should easily have finished his race ahead of athlete B, let’s call him Paul. But when Simon was faced with Paul picking up his run pace unexpectedly, Simon’s self-talk left him in no doubt that he would lose the race, there was no way he would ever catch Paul. Guess what?

What you think affects what you feel and what you feel affects how you act – and this cycle goes round and round. We recommend you focus on the quality of your thinking – ask yourself:

  • Where do your thinking patterns come from?
  • What beliefs or values are they reflecting for you?
  • How did you develop these thinking patterns?
  • Are they useful thoughts?
  • How could you tweak the thoughts so you have a more helpful thinking pattern? 

By giving yourself headspace to really improve your thinking patterns will have a strong impact on what you feel and do.

Of course, there’s a number of ways to develop your mindset and to improve your thinking cycle. We have an  interactive session on this area which takes place on Monday 18th January – 10.30 – 11.30 (GMT) where we’ll be bringing our own unique experiences and tuning into;

  • A Fixed vs Growth Mindset, for which Carol Dweck is renowned. Here we’ll look at what happens when we find ourselves in one of these frames of mind.
  • Strengthscope’s Path of Possibility vs the Path of Limitation, which offers an opportunity to recognise our triggers, understand negativity bias (we may not like this but we all have it!) and focus on how our strengths can support us to unlock our potential.
  • The factors of mindset including self-belief, self-confidence and openness to development and change, where we’ll also introduce you to Engage.
  • Engage is a tool that specifically focusses on mindset, those thoughts, beliefs and attitudes that drive us and hold us back, highlighting the option to choose. Empowerment at its best. 

It would be great if you could join us.  You could even have a good listen to your self-talk in advance and bring some of your thoughts and experiences to share, the power is so very often in the sharing.