Many elite competitors believe success in their sport is 90% mental. Lanny Bassham, Olympic Gold Medalist in Rifle Shooting, writes about his Mental Management system in With Winning in Mind. Lanny Bassham realized early on in his career that all the practice in the world wouldn’t matter if he didn’t have the right mental management system in place during competitions. Once focusing on his mental game, he won multiple gold medals and proved his Mental Management system worked.
Over the years, Bassham has trained multiple athletes and professionals. Through his methods, he has produced many winners. I was interested in With Winning in Mind because I’m consistently looking for an edge on the competition.
Mental management is the process of improving the probability of having a consistent mental performance, under pressure, on demand
Summary of With Winning in Mind
Bassham describes three parts to mental performance: the Conscious Mind, the Subconscious Mind, and the Self-Image. The Conscious Mind is what you use when you visualize or think during a competition. The Subconscious Mind is utilized when you become proficient, the concept of “not having to think about a task”. A person’s Self-Image is how you think about yourself. If you believe in yourself, you have a positive Self-Image and are able to succeed at a high level.
The Mental Management system looks to grow each of the 3 parts of Mental Performance. When the Conscious Mind, the Subconscious Mind, and the Self-Image are in balance, you will have your best performances. If any one of those are out of balance, your performance will suffer. In With Winning in Mind, Bassham gives you concrete steps to get you to the next level of mental performance.
With the framework of the Conscious Mind, Subconscious Mind, and the Self-Image in place, Bassham talks about the Nine Principles of Mental Management :
- Your Conscious Mind can only concentrate on one thing at a time.
- What you say is not important. What you cause yourself or others to picture is crucial.
- The Subconscious Mind is the source of all mental power.
- The Self-Image moves you to do what the Conscious Mind is picturing.
- Self-Image and performance are always equal. To change your performance, you must first change your Self-Image.
- You can replace the Self-Image you have with the Self-Image you want, thereby permanently changing performance.
- The Principle of Reinforcement: The more we think about, talk about and write about something happening, we improve the probability of that thing happening.
- The Self-Image cannot tell the difference between what actually happens and what is vividly imagined.
- The Principle of Value: We appreciate things in direct proportion to the price we pay for them.
The most important principle is #5. Your Self-Image and performance are always equal. If you don’t believe you can do a task, then you won’t be able to do it. If you have a positive Self-Image and know it is “like you” to be able to do something, then you will do it with ease.
Through affirmations and visualization, you can grow your Self-Image. You can improve your situation and replace your current Self-Image with the one you want. If you want to become a world class athlete, tell yourself you are one. Tell yourself you can lift heavy weights, run fast, and are agile.
It is important to reinforce the positives vs. focusing on the negatives. If you focus on the errors, you reinforce that it is “like you” to make errors. Focusing on the positives and saying, “It’s like me to be successful and it’s like me to be able to do it”, you can accomplish whatever you put your mind to.
Mental management comes down to focusing on the task at hand consciously, having and trusting your ability to perform the task subconsciously, and knowing it is “like you” to do the task. By having a balance between your conscious and subconscious minds, and your self-image, you can succeed in anything you do.
As with all books, I want to have takeaways and actions steps for my life. For me, I sometimes will get down on myself at basketball. I’m a great shooter when I’m focused, but some games, I feel like I can’t hit the broad side of a barn! I need to work on positive reinforcement and tell myself during the games to focus on the task at hand. I can’t get wrapped up in failure. I should move forward and keep focus on taking good shots. By focusing on the process, trusting my subconscious, and believing I can make the shots I take, I will see great success.
Another thing With Winning in Mind talks about is writing a Directive Affirmation. A Directive Affirmation has the following elements: definition of the goal, a time limit, a pay-value for goal, and an outline of the plan for the goal. For the blog, I wrote a Directive Affirmation:
- Define the goal: I am a blogger making $1,000 in passive income per month
- Set a time limit: July 1st, 2017
- List the pay-value: I am adding value to my readers and build wealth passively.
- Outline a plan to achieve the goal: Write an e-book and produce other free content for our readers. I will explore various affiliate programs to increase potential revenue. I will continue to comment and work on SEO to grow traffic. Every two weeks, I will meet with my partners to determine what has worked and what hasn’t worked to strategically move forward.
7/1/2017. I am a blogger making $1,000 a month in passive income. I wake up each day eager to provide value to my readers and have built a broad reader base. I wrote an e-book and have produced other free content for our readers. I have various affiliate programs which increases potential revenue. I comment and work on SEO daily to grow traffic. I am a blogger making $1,000 a month in passive income.
I’m written this on a few index cards and will be scattering them around my house. Whenever I come across them, I will do as With Winning in Mind instructs – I will read and reflect on it. This will keep me focused on my goal.
With Winning in Mind is a must read for you if you want to improve. Bassham lays out a strategy for mental performance which is not vague, but concrete. I have already implemented some of the concepts into my daily life with the Directive Affirmation I discussed above. If you are struggling with the mental side of competition and are looking to improve your current mental game, I’d recommend picking up With Winning in Mind.
Do you ever struggle in competitions with your mental game? What do you do to re-focus? Do you have goals for 2017 which you remind yourself of every day?
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