How to Succeed at Anything – Master the Five Stages of Your Inner Game
When we want to succeed at something new, we look to experts to guide us and help us master new goals and techniques. But being told by someone what we should do doesn’t necessarily help because it’s too easy to forget the advice and revert back to old habits. So there has to be more to the story of knowing how to succeed at anything.
It’s so easy to fall into the trap of trying too hard — the more you try the worse it gets. That happens because your focus is on the error, which keeps multiplying it. It’s like the person skidding on a slick road toward a telephone pole. Because your eye is on the pole you unconsciously steer toward it, even if you don’t want to. But if you keep your eyes on where you really want to go, you’ll be more likely to come out of the skid.
In order to reach your goal what you need, beyond expert advice, is to master your own inner game. It has to go beyond just a mental effort. It must involve your body wisdom, too.
Improve Performance by Improving the Connection Between Mind & Body
As a somatic life coach, I’ve discovered that my clients already know how to succeed at anything, they just need the right kind of support to help them align mind, body, and spirit.
To illustrate this point: Tim Gallwey, a tennis coach, discovered a novel approach to helping his struggling students. Instead of telling his students to “keep their eyes on the ball”, he would ask the player to say “bounce” out loud when the ball bounced and “hit” out loud when they hit it. And it had amazing results. The players improved without a lot of effort because they were naturally keeping their eye on the ball without consciously trying to do so. The inner game of ‘bounce’ and ‘hit’ made their outer tennis game so much better.
This experience led Gallwey to a groundbreaking formula. He distilled his wisdom into a book, The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance. I highly recommend you read it. It’s found its way into the hands of NFL players, politicians and even world strategists. And the impact has been remarkable! (Click here to see how NFL Coach Pete Carroll used it to help struggling football players.) Anyone who wants to excel at something can use his formula and get great results!
It’s made up of two simple steps…
- Stop giving instructions.
- Start asking awareness-raising questions to discover for yourself what works and what needs to change.
For example: The first stage in this process is to set a goal you want to achieve. Maybe you want to cut sugar out of your diet. So, you keep a food diary to see what you’re eating. Then you ask awareness-raising questions such as: “What am I doing when I stay away from sugar? What makes me crave sugar?” This enables you to discover for yourself what’s changing in your mind and body. Perhaps you see that going for a walk every day keeps you motivated to eat more healthily. Or you see that a stress-filled relationship causes you to binge on ice cream. Once you see the cause and effect you can make the change to achieve your goal. In this example, you could learn new stress-relieving techniques that don’t involve sugar.
There are five stages to make the Inner Game Principles work for you…
- Increase awareness of what actually is through a practice of mindfulness. Really see and feel what you’re doing.
- Learn naturally with imagery. Visualize what you want to do. Rehearse the process in your own mind, and then let your body perform naturally. Don’t struggle to remember the instructions. Just do it.
- Develop a concentrated mind. Be in the zone. Become focused, leaving no room for thinking how well you’re doing. Let your body and mind act as one.
- Use your own knowledge to grow. You know how to do it, so don’t overthink it. And don’t interfere with the learning process by trying to look good to someone else. Stay focused.
- Learn from experience. Make discoveries along the way, rather than struggling to prove or remember something. When you discover something new, adapt to it instead of struggling against it.
Once you master these stages of the inner game, you’ll know how to succeed at anything, because you’ll embody it! After all, don’t we intuitively know what we should be doing already? We don’t need someone to tell us. We just need to unlearn the habits that interfere with the process and let it happen. That means getting out of our own way. And that’s how we get really good at our inner game.
A number of years ago, I started paying attention to the processes and systems that created the greatest impact in my life. Some are seemingly insignificant; some are major breakthroughs. Combined, they form a road map for Stepping Forward into creating my life of meaning and fulfillment. It works for me; I know it will work for you. You can now download an Introduction to The Stepping Forward Program. I invite you to get your sneak peek today!