Want to be a better strategist?
How about evidence-based ways to prepare yourself emotionally to succeed with your plans?
Yes, I know, I know, we cannot control all outcomes and life is what happens while we make other plans, but indulge me for a moment and finish this sentence
Imagine a world where….
Where does that exercise lead you?
As you engage is such a mental exercise you are priming your brain for future success by
1. Rehearsing the successful outcome
There is strong scientific data* to prove that regular positive mental rehearsal powerfully determines the successful outcome of our aspirations. In so doing, you reprogram your neural pathways to move you to that successful future. What happens is that you install the neurological hardware that prepares you for successful execution.
Think of an Olympic gymnast mentally preparing for an event or a basketball player setting him/herself up for a free throw. Each athlete is rehearsing mentally what is like to perform that skill perfectly. Such a mindset activates the body memory that is formed over years of skillful practice. And wham. The athlete hits the mark! The same is true for anything thing from public speaking to a successful sale.
Furthermore, each person is
2. Orienting fully to the present
Mindfulness or staying in the moment is not just the latest fad. It is a powerful tool that aids successful execution of any task or skill by bringing you solidly into the present.
Take the example of a biathlon athlete. He/she has to transition from one sporting activity to another, cross-country skiing to target shooting. The athlete has to be fully present and fully focused on aiming at the target. He/she cannot be breathless from the skiing. There can be no attention on the outcome (e.g. this shot could win/lose me the gold medal). He/she cannot be glancing on the competitors.
Be here now is the task.
Added to that, in order to bring the future into the present, the athlete has to find a way to sustain a calm confidence linked to the joy of achieving what one has trained for over many years. They have be to
3. Anchoring emotionally to success
We remember best what we feel the most. Hence it is imprudent to tie our selves into knots with negative feelings like fear, lack, or resentment. Instead, we aim to experience positive emotions right now that will be wedded to the realization of our bold plans. For instance, live as if you
Realize your organization’s strategy?
Find the relationship of your dreams?
Right now in this moment you
Feel your heart swell with pride
Experience deep satisfaction with your accomplishment
So now, how then does one balance planning for a successful outcome with the ever-present dangers of overconfidence?
4. Balancing self-compassion with optimism
The older I get the more I am aware of human frailty and foibles. I also have a life history of things not panning out. However despite that, we are capable of doing far more than we could ever dream or think. If I tell myself that
· I’m too old then I behave as if I’m too old.
· The team project is possible then I’m tapping into unrealized motivational forces in the team.
If you apply the above on a consistent basis along and the work you have to do (evidence-based best practices) you will more than likely achieve your lofty goals.
Give it a try.