It took me a long time to understand the value of the mental game.

Understanding how to harness the power of my mind to drive my life and career has been a game changer!

Even if I were introduced to it earlier in life, I don’t think I would have been mature enough to really take it onboard and understand the value of it nor utilize it effectively.

Over the years this mental approach to life has changed the game for me personally.

As a young football player in my teens, I had a number of coaches that now as I reflect had no idea about using the mental power of the players to be successful.

We had the raw talent but were unable to unlock or harness the mental game to achieve the levels of success we aspired to.

Strangely, it was until I had a coach in my early 20’s that intuitively knew the how to bring the best out in each individual player that things really took off for me.

He was able, although likely unaware at the time that each person in a team was different and that he needed a different form of motivation and understanding of each players psyche to get the absolute best out of them.

It felt like he knew me deep down and could speak to me in a way that opened my mind to the mental game of life.

I’ve always been a keen observer of life and those around me.  The ability to separate yourself from the situation and take a bird’s eye view of what’s happening all around has been a useful skill that I’ve nurtured over the course of my life.

Fast forward to working career and now aware of the mental aspect of life observed the vast differences, just like my coaches in how they understood each person on their team to get both the very best from them but also to develop them.

I like to believe that our mind is our greatest source of strength.

If we absolutely believe in something, we will give it all….  Leave no stone unturned and do our utmost to be successful in that endeavour.

However, if we’re on the fence and either don’t have a belief or passion in what we’re doing then I can guarantee it won’t reach the potential it may have had.

When I eventually became a football coach, I took my learnings of the mental game and applied it to my teams.  We achieved significant success not only on the field but also in the way we developed individually and as a team.

I focused on building a sense of purpose and belonging that many of my past players say to this day changed their lives irrevocably.

Sharing my insights and helping instil a sense of belief in each of them gave them an opportunity to see how important the mental game really is in life.

Over the course of my life, I’ve also witnessed a number of incredible demonstrations of belief from teams that were considered finished, only to come back and win in the dying seconds of a game that should have been well and truly over.

Here are a couple of examples:

Minnesota Vikings vs Indianapolis Colts

Penrith Panthers vs Brisbane Broncos (start at 3:05)

Clearly there is more than just self-belief and the mental game at play in each of these highlight reels.  However, what strikes me most about these two examples is the attitude of the players.

In each situation the score seemed irrelevant, they just kept playing to the best of their abilities solely focused on the next play.

To me this is the same with life…

If you’re willing to fully commit to something in every possible way and keep focused on putting your best foot forward every single day then success will come.

Developing this level of mental toughness comes from continually applying your skills and capabilities to the task, all the while believing in your goal and doing everything you can to achieve it.

I’ve seen many people begin strong and work hard only to lose sight of their goal and become discouraged and eventually stop.

It’s important that you can differentiate between beating your head against a wall and changing tack to achieve your goals.

Sometimes we need to take a step back when we’re stalled or frustrated and look for alternate ways to accomplish what we want to achieve.

This level of self-awareness is not so common…

However, I believe we can all explore the mental aspect of life and learn how to harness our mind to help us live to our full potential.

Why take a moment to mentally step back from the day-to-day and examine where you are in your life.

Are you feeling like you’re reaching your potential and achieving your goals?  Or just floating along…

Maybe it’s time to evaluate the mental game and put it to work for you.

Buckle in cos’ it’s not a short-term proposition.   You must be fully committed to developing and honing your mental game to achieve your greatest potential.

Until next week