What is Focus?

20 07 2017

We hear a lot about the importance of focus in discussions about HIGH PERFORMANCE. Rarely is this concept unpacked with clarity and practical application. For this purpose, I offer these thoughts.

First, let me ask a couple of questions:

Do you find yourself with a daily desire to experience more in your life?
MORE…
Energy
Accomplishment
Peace of mind
Motivation
Purpose and Fulfillment
Connection with others
LESS…
Distraction
Fear
Uncertainty
Discouragement
Isolation
Empty days with endless tasks but very little purposeful results

If you can relate with these then I suggest that generating MORE focus is the equivalent of generating more power in your life. I have learned from coaching thousands of people that the LACK of FOCUS is always CONNECTED to a lack of true POWER in their lives.

Let me explain.

Focus is the capacity to continually invest yourself in the direction of clearly defined goals that connect you to your deepest desires and dreams. The emphasis here is on CONSISTENCY and INVESTMENT. The basic form of FOCUS is found in these words.

The reason why distractions are so destructive is that they turn off the continual feeding the fuel needed to generate or create the outcome for which you desire.

Many get lost right here, in distraction!

When asked what their goals and dreams are, responses vary but they sound something like this:

I want to have a great marriage!
I want to be an outstanding parent!
I want to make more money!
I want to have better friendships!
I want to make the A team!
I want to get better grades!
To name just a few…

The derailment has begun at this point because the strategy for progressing towards these outcomes is UNCLEAR, VAGUE, and LACKING TRUE FOCUS. In other words, great intention but very little capacity to turn the intention into the outcome sought after.

Here is a better, more focus friendly way to approach these goals:

I will pursue being a better parent by bringing a heightened degree of energetic, engaging presence to my interactions with my kids. I will focus on being present and intentional in the practice of this with each and every interaction.

If you wanted to make the A team in a sport you would say this: I will dedicate myself to mastering the skills needed to elevate my performance so that I increase my chances of making the A team. These skills include (list the skills specifically). I will pursue this mastery by dedicating 1 hour a day of practice in each of the skills I desire to master.

The power in statements like these is that they give a point of FOCUS for the individual to INVEST THEIR ENERGY ON A CONSISTENT BASIS. Without a CLEAR AND SPECIFIC point to direct one’s focus, you are left with a goal but nothing to point your energy towards on a consistent basis that moves you closer to that which you desire.

You might find this basic framework helpful as you work to generate intentional focus in your life:

I will progress towards my goal of _________ by ________ over the next 30 days so that I can reach my goal.

What is focus?

Focus is the intentional, consistent and ongoing pursuit of the desired outcome. When you use this formula to direct and guide your energy on a daily basis you literally generate your outcome because of your consistent pursuit.

Put the formula to the test in an area that you are looking for accomplishment.

If you’d like to dive deeper into this concept of focus and clearly defining your goals, sign up for your personal High Performance Strategy Session with Shaun now by clicking here.

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What is it about Confidence?

7 04 2017

There isn’t a day in my coaching practice where a question about confidence doesn’t come up.

Confidence is often seen as the CORE DEFICIT when performance is sub par.

I have never heard an athlete say, “Shaun, I am playing really poorly but my confidence is in tact.”

This leads me to think that many understand confidence to be only present when one is playing well and absent when performance is sub par. Therefore, when performance drops confidence drops with it.

Confidence must be understood differently for it to be of great value.

So, what is a better way to think of confidence?

Watch my Building Unshakable Confidence Coaching Video for greater understanding!

To begin I offer this definition of confidence:

Confidence is the belief that one generates concerning their ability to be successful in their arena of performance.

I want to emphasis that for confidence to be present it must be generated from within the individual. Nobody, no matter how well meaning, encouraging, positive, or caring, can GIVE LONG-TERM CONFIDENCE to another. They must see this as THEIR RESPONSIBILITY. For confidence to be sustainable it must be based on three interchangeable dynamics.

First, COMPETENCIES or SKILLS. In other words, do I have the SKILLS to compete and create success. Skills are what bridge effort to success. Not only must energy be exerted but there must be a level of mastery that qualifies the individual to realistically believe success is possible. There is no level of confidence that will overcompensate for a deficit in skills. True confidence is grounded in skills that are connected to success in the arena of competition.

Second, COURAGE. Once you have the skills you must courageously express them in the midst of competition. Fear, anxiety and pressure all contribute to inhibiting the full self expression of your skills. When this happens it is not a lack of confidence that is inhibiting you, it is your lack of courage. It is a funny thing but when you fully express yourself utilizing the skills you have diligently worked to have you begin to experience a deeper belief in yourself.

Lastly, confidence is generated through your CONVERSATION. The conversation I am referring to is the one you have with yourself. This type of conversation is often understood as your inner dialogue. When you do not experience success and you tell yourself “I suck” or “why can’t I ever catch a break?” or “I am unlucky” you are literally generating a LACK OF CONFIDENCE. The inner dialogue of a person of confidence is made up of thoughts that sound like “Hang in there,” “you can do this,” or “you are real close, with a bit more practice you can get there.”

The important thing to remember is that false confidence is built on lies and rationalizations while authentic confidence is generated from truthful feedback and tested skills.

Confidence results when COMPETENCIES have been mastered, COURAGE is expressed, and your inner CONVERSATION supports your belief in your ability to figure it out as you are tested in the midst of competition.

Let’s quit using a lack of confidence as the easy and lazy explanation for sub-par performance and start seeing that sub-par performance is often the result of sub-par skills, inhibited self expression and self-defeating inner dialogue along with a lack of role defintion and feedback associated with that defined role.

When we train young athletes to see the strengthening of their confidence as their responsibility and equip them with a framework to practice it we give them a skill for life. In this way sports provides a great training ground for life-time growth and impact.

Don’t forget, you can experience my video coaching Building Unshakable Confidence FREE!





Fear of Failure vs. Mentally Strong and Confident

20 03 2017

As a parent I have never really feared my kids physical abilities and skills to compete in the sports they have been in. My greatest fears have centered around their mental skills.

It is their failure that I fear.

I often wonder what will happen to their self esteem, confidence and overall well being if they fail. In an attempt to avoid having to see this outcome I have OVER USED encouragement and pep talks to do anything I can to PROTECT THEM from the possible fallout of experiencing failure.

It never occurred to me that FAILURE, STRUGGLE and DISCOURAGEMENT was actually the “game they needed to win.” Rarely was I concerned with wins and losses. MY CENTRAL CONCERN and point of interest and ANXIETY was EMBARRASSMENT. I did not want to see my kids get embarrassed. I equated the possibility of failing with them being embarrassed. I believe that this is what drives most parents in their interactions with their youth athletes.

THEN IT HIT ME…

What if I EMPOWERED, TRAINED AND TAUGHT THEM to UTILIZE these moments to GROW and STRENGTHEN?

What if I grew in my assurance that they were STRONG, RESILIENT, CREATIVE, and MENTALLY SKILLED?

THEN I COULD REST AND BE AT PEACE!!!

As a result, I created Stay In The Sport Zone!

Do you want to get a jump start on your MENTAL SKILL TRAINING?

Do you get confused about where to go to begin your training?

Do you want to learn from someone that has many years of experience coaching and training youth athletes to improve their mental skills?

If you answered yes to any or all of these questions then Stay In The Sport Zone is for you!

Stay In The Sport Zone is an online, non-threatening coaching program you can do in the privacy of your own home. I personally will lead you through (6) powerful mental skill teachings that will propel you forward in the pursuit of a STRONGER MIND!

Each video coaching module provides a step-by-step approach on how to build these vital sport-zone skills:

MODULE 1: Moving from Frustration to Fire
MODULE 2: Building Laser Focus
MODULE 3: Becoming Unshakably Confident
MODULE 4: Peak Performance Practice
MODULE 5: Powerless to Empowered
MODULE 6: Moving Beyond Your Fear of Failure

Here is what is being said about this program:

“This email is to THANK YOU for your great video series Stay in the Sport Zone, I spoke with you on what you offer athletes for working on building their mental skills. After hearing all the options we ended up going with the online “Stay in the Sport Zone” online program where my kids could work at their pace and even revisit different concepts.

I don’t think I could possibly convey to you in an email what a big difference, in a positive way, your online program made to my daughter this senior season of her high school career. It was pretty amazing! We’ve always thought she had many athletic tools but for the first time, I think EVER, she was a very composed and confident athlete even when she had a few minor set backs. It was such fun to watch her all season long and admire the personal growth she made. She made some big goals for herself…. and she accomplished them. Knowing this kid — this came down to her finding something she’d never had before and that was truly a mental edge. She ended up accomplishing LIFETIME best time in her event (by a lot, after 2 years of a plateau) and making individual All – State which was the biggest deal ever to her. She diligently and completely (on her own) used your program all season and grew as an athlete. It was obvious to me she connected with the concepts and used them to grow and enjoyed the process. She enjoyed her season so much she’s planning to continue in college.

Just want to say thank you for having that program available!!

It’s made a huge difference to a kid who has now wrapped up her high school career in a sport she has put so much time into, in the most positive outcome we could have hoped for. THANK YOU!”

Parent of a Stay In The Sport Zone Client

“Working with Shaun has been an incredible opportunity. I started meeting with Shaun as a freshman in high school, and little did I know that moment would change my life forever. I was ecstatic to begin my journey with Mental Edge and boost my athletic performance by working on my mental game. Shaun not only taught me strategies of how to become more mentally tough on court, but also how to be a supportive teammate and compassionate person. He’s by far one of the most incredible, kind, and generous people I’ve ever met and I’m lucky to have him in my life.”

Student Athlete

Go ahead and get registered for this life-changing video coaching and I’ll see you on the other side to get started!

Shaun





What If?

20 12 2016

We ask ourselves questions all the time. Most of these questions start with the word WHAT.

What If?

What If?

“What should I wear today?”

“What should I say when asked a question?”

“What should I eat?”

We also ask ourselves, “WHAT IF?”

This often leads us to a series of memories that plant us right in the past regretting something we did leading to feelings of inadequacy or shame. I find that the questions that we ask ourselves inevitably shape our perception, perspective and framework for experiencing life.

Questions aim our thinking, awareness and focus.

This morning, while doing my daily journaling, I decided to RIFT off of the the question “WHAT IF?” However, the substance of my “what if” was much different.

Here are some examples:

What if my fears are unfounded?

What if 10 seconds of courage in a relationship could transform it forever?

What if my beliefs about myself are mistaken?

What if my assumptions are unfounded?

These were just a couple of WHAT IF questions I posed to myself.

As I immersed myself in this wonderfully inspiring series of WHAT IF questions, I literally felt my energy, creativity and world of possibility open up. I found myself in the mental amusement park of possibility.

As I came out of the journaling session I couldn’t help but wonder… WHAT IF everyone could begin to see their lives through a powerfully constructed “WHAT IF?” What if we were surrounded by a community of WHAT IF people? What if a simple blog could challenge just one person to pose this question in a new and inspiring way?

Maybe you are currently experiencing a significant challenge yourself. “What if” you could see yourself with greater courage, strength, skills, or support? “What if” despite past experiences you could see yourself rising above your past and transform your life by cultivating a new perspective never before experienced? “What if” on this day, in this season, we all could take a couple of minutes a day and pose this question believing we have been given the gift of free will and the creative capacity and imagination to ask ourselves “WHAT IF?!!”

What is your “WHAT IF?”

Let me know in the comments below.

Merry Christmas,

Shaun





Struggle and Strength

21 11 2016

I think most of us would agree that increasing strength is a good thing. Athletes invest countless hours training for the purpose of increasing their strength.Theystrugglestrength do this because the rigors and challenges about to come REQUIRE ENHANCED STRENGTH to succeed. Without adequate strength they will be overwhelmed and out matched by the demands of the sport.

ATHLETES THAT TRAIN INADEQUATELY ARE ILL PREPARED FOR THE DEMANDS OF COMPETITION.

Physical strength is trained by utilizing resistance. I have never heard of an athlete that goes to the gym to train with AIR. Resistance is a CRITICAL element of strength building. However, if the resistance is not moved with correct form then INJURY can occur which has the exact opposite effect on the body. What initially was intended for BENEFIT has now become HURTFUL simply because of the use of IMPROPER FORM. The RESISTANCE is not the problem. The FORM is the variable that allows for injury.

Through the thousands of conversations and observations I have had with athletes and those around them, I have come to a DEEPLY HELD BELIEF AND OPINION:

The emotional, mental and social training our young people need to generate success will require a complete change in “FORM” with regard to STRUGGLE. It seems whenever the presence of struggle emerges we immediately seek to remove it, avoid it or numb it.

Struggle emerges when our life circumstances are not cooperating with our current psychological framework. Simply stated, this means that we are not getting what we want. This is similar to an athlete in the gym training and the trainer puts a certain amount of weight on the bar and the athlete wants to BARGAIN, COMPLAIN, NEGOTIATE, OR AVOID the work that is ahead. In life people face struggles almost everyday. Tests, homework, crazy drivers, parenting, relationships, conflict, money, etc… rarely does life put a manageable weight on the bar of our life.

It is by having GOOD FORM (Growth Mindset) while in the midst of these struggles that STRUGGLE becomes LEVERAGED or UTILIZED by us for increased strength, maturity, confidence, trust, competence to name a few. In my opinion it is VITAL THAT WE IMPROVE OUR FORM CONCERNING THE VALUE OF STRUGGLE IN THE LIVES OF OUR YOUNG PEOPLE. Rather than looking to change the WEIGHT (or eliminating it all together) we need to COACH young people to engage in proper form to LEVERAGE the struggle resulting in GREATER STRENGTH and MATURITY.

Learning the proper form is different than changing the weight. Take some time and think about how your life might be different if you were able to:

Learn how to UTILIZE and LEVERAGE your biggest challenges and turn them into your greatest assets!

Grow stronger and more confident by doing nothing more than re-inventing your PERSPECTIVE and APPRECIATION for the events, challenges and opportunities that are right in front of you.

Becoming EMPOWERED to EMBRACE challenges that have limited your expression of your best self.

Learning this skill and other mental strength skills are just some of the benefits of having a SKILLED and EXPERIENCED COACH in your life!

I’d love to hear YOUR current struggle and teach you how to leverage it into an asset.  Comment below and I’ll will personally answer you!

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Shaun





Meeting the Confidence Challenge

17 08 2016

Who of us would not want a deep, bold and stable confidence?stencil.instagram-ad-original

Unfortunately, to many people the thought of possessing this type of confidence left long ago. It could be that a significant relationship with a coach, teacher, parent or friend sabotaged that dream. As a result we often tolerate, make excuses and position our lives to insure that we protect ourselves from a sense of failure or discouragement in order to never deal with our utter and complete lack of confidence.

For these reasons this is the day I invite you to engage in the CONFIDENCE CHALLENGE!

Simply stated I want to challenge you to PURSUE a more powerful and sustainable confidence.

For over 18 years I have been coaching thousands of athletes and without question when I ask, “What is the one thing you want to work on?” the response 90 percent of the time is “More CONFIDENCE!”

WHY ARE SO MANY OF US LACKING CONFIDENCE?

ANSWER

Because so many of us are TRADING COMFORT for CONFIDENCE.

It seems that comfort has become the desired lifestyle pursuit for many.

However, this trade is coming at a GREAT PRICE. The price is our CONFIDENCE IN OUR CAPACITY TO CREATIVELY and RESOURCEFULLY lean into challenges, obstacles, adversity, and uncertainty and learn of our untapped CAPACITY. If we are to establish and strengthen a DEEP ABIDING BELIEF in ourselves we MUST NOT ONLY MEET THESE CHALLENGES BUT EMBRACE THEM. There are not enough AFFIRMATIONS, POSITIVE THOUGHTS or WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT from others that can match the deep belief that forms when we FACE and grow through these natural life challenges.

The fear of failure is epidemic in today’s society.

Many of us parents get anxious about the possibility of our kids failing, so much so, that we put up barriers in the form of making excuses, nagging and over compensating to insure they WILL NOT EXPERIENCE FAILURE. This pattern robs young people the platform to embrace challenge, work through struggle and construct the framework for TRUE and ABIDING CONFIDENCE.

RESULT:

A COMPLETE AND UTTER LACK OF INTERNAL RESOURCES AND SKILLS TO MANAGE THE VERY ELEMENTS THAT WILL RESULT IN CONFIDENCE.

This is a challenge to embrace. Joyfully engage in the big and small challenges that life brings your way daily. The challenge of generating the motivation to get a workout in, to courageously put words to your experiences or simply give your best to something all while letting go of the FEAR OF FAILING will result in growing confidence.

When the possibility of disappointment, discouragement and failure exists this is where your greatest opportunity to learn and grow also exists.

Lets stop choosing the path of least resistance and start choosing the paths of GREATEST POSSIBILITIES. This is where the true treasure of deeply embedded confidence is found.

EMBRACE THE CONFIDENCE CHALLENGE TODAY!

Let us know your confidence challenges in the comments below!

You can find more resources at ShaunGoodsell.com





Habits of Excellence

22 06 2016

stencil.twitter-postWe would all like to believe that we are in CHARGE of or CONTROL our lives. Fundamentally we do make choices with our behaviors and thoughts day to day. However, the shocking truth is that we are all CREATURES OF HABIT. It is these habits, or repetitive behaviors, that end up determining the quality of our lives.

Over the years I have become more aware of the connection between the quality of my life and my habits. In other words I have been struck by how much I get what I have earned. For example, in relationships I have had a habit of talking more than I am listening. This came to my awareness as I was talking with my son one day. I went into the conversation with a desire to learn about his level of interest in his upcoming college experience and realized as I was driving to my next appointment that I had actually learned nothing. This was not because he was unwilling to share, it was because I didn’t listen. I have work projects that I have authentic excitement about that were spawned 6 months ago. Yet some of these have not yet even gotten off the ground. These are just a few examples of how habits can lie under the surface of awareness but do their destructive work regardless of my intention.

I think it is imperative that we step back and give some thought to our lives with the intention to gain clarity about where we are relinquishing power to automatic and repetitive behaviors that road block our deepest desires and ambitions. We need to ask ourselves, “What habits do I need to re-invent and what skills do I need to upgrade to significantly upgrade the quality of my life?” Doing this allows our focus and awareness to uncover the unconscious automatic actions and attitudes that are most likely silently destroying things we care about.

From this reflection we need to then build HABITS OF EXCELLENCE. These are habits that lead to the elevated capacity to build relationships filled with understanding, love, experiential impact, work production that is heightened, stress that is lowered, health that is enhanced, and an overall life quality that is elevated all because some habits of excellence were implemented, reinforced and strengthened through consistency.

I believe many of us are blindly and unconsciously going through our lives without the awareness that a much better quality of life is simply a few habits of excellence away. Take some time today and do a thorough walk through of your life and identify at least one habit that is having an undesirable impact on your life. Once you have done that invent a new habit that can lead you to experience a better quality of life.

If you find this a challenge, sign up for a free coaching session and let me help you do this in a powerful way!

Like this blog? We love reading and responding to your comments so be sure to comment below!

Here’s to habits of excellence.