We all believe our own stories. 

As we wait in anticipation of restrictions being eased in the coming weeks, in our final Mental Skills Mondays update we will outline how this presents a good opportunity to map out a plan for what comes next for you.

It’s very natural to want to create change – professional athletes are disciplined at focusing on ways to get better at something so that they improve. There are many ways to go about doing this, but here is a five-step process that seems to work for many performers. It is a simple mapping out of a clear pathway explaining what behaviours will move you along that path towards your future vision for yourself.

Step 1: Create a vision

When you want to change something, the first thing to do is to create a vision for what we want to become. Let's get really clear on what it is you want to change – create a vision, a clear image of what you want. The way to do this is to pick the timeframe for how far into the future you want to map out. It may be the end of 2020, in three years or five. It's your choice. Once you have your timeframe, then simply ask yourself: What do I want?

The brain shifts from being a record of the current difficulties or the limitations of the past to being a map of the future when we create certainty and clarity about what we want.

Step 2: Visualise what success looks like for you in the future

Visualisation has been found to enhance motivation, enhance confidence, reduce anxiety, increase attention and focus and also helps with the acquisition of new skills. Simply find a quiet space to shut your eyes and see a vision of achievement that you’d like to accomplish (pick something difficult but not impossible).

Step 3: Write down your vision

Write a paragraph explaining your vision. Where are you when you achieve it? How does it feel? Write down as much info as you’d like. You may want to draft this until you are happy with the wording.

Step 4: Mentally rehearse the pathway towards your vision, seeing how you will get there

What steps do you need to take on your journey to achieving your vision? What does it feel like to be you as you're moving towards that vision?

Step 5: Write down a clear pathway of what kinds of behaviours will move you along that journey towards your vision

Write down the specific behaviours and steps you need to take, as well as how you want to feel while doing it. These are important for receiving feedback regarding how far you’ve travelled.

Use these five steps to become a creator of your world as we anticipate moving out of this pandemic. As we move towards this, it will serve us well to be defined by a vision of the future and the growth we are undertaking, rather than defined by our past. Creating a vision for the future is about pursuing a journey of intrinsic growth that arrives at a clear destination.

Lastly, don’t fall into the trap of setting and forgetting.

Now that you’ve done the work and created the vision and you can see the pathway towards achieving it, the question is: How often can you stay in connection with this new vision?

I hope you’ve taken something from these Mental Skill Mondays updates. I wish you luck with owning your future.

Go Bombers.

20:30 Mins
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Working Through It | Dave Reid

David Reid joins Working Through It, sharing insights into the mental game, the work he does with the players and how they're coping during the AFL lockdown.

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