Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Retraining for a Fearless Mind...

Recently, I've been working on my own personal development and changing my mindset to accomplish goals more successfully, as well as with more meaning.  I heard a man by the name of Craig Manning, a sports psychologist and past pro-tennis player, speak in my Sunday School hour at church a few weeks back, and was inspired to reset my mind and focus.  I'm even reading his book, The Fearless Mind, which I encourage everyone to read!  I talk about it non-stop to friends... I've always been a goal-oriented person, but recently I have become more successful.... and here are some thoughts on why.

We tend to focus on what we need to improve in life, rather than our strengths and ways to use those strengths to get better at things.  This provides us with a more negative than positive mindset.  It's easy to be focused on what we need to fix, and this isn't a bad thing.... but we have to retrain our brains just a little bit.  Manning says, "Don't focus on your failures because it reinforces them... Focus on success and things you do well. Every time you start to think if negativity, change it around!  Don't say don't- don't doubt!  Don't feed that.... For every negative it takes 2.91 positive to X that out!"

He's right.

We have to learn to not doubt ourselves, and thinking negatively breeds that self-doubt and deprecation.  I am not always great at this... In fact, last week I received my JPAS scores from the school district and evaluation notes from our administration here at the HS.  I was nervous even though I know I'm working hard and think I'm a good teacher.  When I met with our VP, I had done really well according to the numbers, and more importantly according to her observations.  I only had one pesky marking not reaching the top rank, and it was right below.  However, the first words out to spill from my lips were, "Why I am I low here?  What can I do better - suggestions?"  

Now, it's great to get feedback to help you improve.  It's good to note your weaknesses.  However, why was my first and MAIN focus my weakest area?  The score wasn't even negative either!  However, all weekend I thought about ways I could improve that one area.  Finally, yesterday, I took a step back and reevaluated the results... I am doing great in the classroom.  I don't even need the paper to tell me that!  I know my weaknesses and strengths already, and as I use my areas of strength to push me forward, while not suspending the areas of weakness, I grow in all areas.  I become a better educator and mentor for my students because I gain confidence and experience... and I am focused on the positive energy I can bring to my students.  Heaven knows they need that energy.... 

What is Mr. Manning's assertion?  Well, he suggests we, "Write down three things you did right that day! One thing you can do better."  I think this mindset is helping me move forward, and when I lose that mindset, I take a step back.  Focusing on the positive helps us to have the energy we need to control and reshape the negative or the "not-as-positive."

Here are some other quotes from his lesson that day:

"Get rid of doubts and fears- what CAN you do? What WILL you do? It's faith- application. It's a can-do mindset. Doubt is the adversary's greatest tool."

"How do we change our mindset and muscle memory? Manage your conscience mind and reinforce the right things. At the end of the day, focus on what you did right... What you repeat the most conditions the mind." 

"Repentance is making a commitment to move in a different direction."

"Did the Savior make mistakes? Yes. Did he sin? No. Identify the error and refocus on positive. Change the habit!!!" 

"Are you surrounded about expectations and pressure- negativity? Find a positive focus. Where are you looking for approval? Do we have control over what others think? Recondition the sub conscience- trust yourself and the spirit."

"Do you have the strength to be obedient to the Holy Ghost and trust ourselves?"

"The gospel governs us- the more we understand it, the more control we have!"

"The battle is not yours, but God's!" 

My thoughts: Turn things over to God and let him fight in your corner... Let the Savior be your advocate... He already IS, but we have to tag him in.

"We are all to be on the straight and narrow path, but they are different straight and narrow paths. There is no one ideal person... We don't want to lose the abilities that one person can bring to the table. Be an individual on the path you should be on."

My thoughts:  My favorite thought, I think.... Well, there are so many!  Haha... I LOVE this!  We are all down different paths and we have to be the best on THAT path.  We aren't all bred for the same life-experiences, challenges, or responsibilities. We all have different reasons we're here on earth, and we have to determine what those are for ourselves personally.  

"Being ordinary is doing what the world tells us we should.  Extraordinary is not about being better than others- it's about being true to yourself an finding your own path. Trust in yourself and God- there is not one path. If we think that we play the comparison game and it leads us to ordinary lives..."

My thoughts: I love this too!  We need not compare ourselves to others... We are ordinary when we become what others tell us to become.  We are extraordinary if we find that path for ourselves.  I fought being a teacher for the LONGEST time because my parents were educators and it was what a lot of people thought I should become.  I didn't want to be what THEY wanted!  I'm glad that I took my time in life deciding that I really did love teaching and wanted it for ME and no one else.  THAT is why I am becoming an extraordinary teacher.

All in all, if you need a good holiday read to get your geared on making (and KEEPING) those goals for the upcoming new year, check out A Fearless Mind by Craig Manning, and read some of his notes online.  He is a rock-star at retraining the brain to think successfully.... I am SO blessed to have heard his words and to have been already preparing my mind to accept his words and mindset.  I am a much better person in the past few months in all areas of my life... I am also MUCH happier, and I was already pretty dang happy. :)

Song of the Day:  Obsessed with this one... perfect for jamming in the car OR gettin' my lift on! Here is Zendaya with "Replay."  Also, homegirl is a SICK dancer! :)  Check it - enjoy! 

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