There are many tips and hacks that can improve your mental toughness and in so doing your overall performance and wellbeing. However, I really like this one because it’s simple and relevant especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed in your current situation.
It’s the answer given by the New Zealand All Blacks mental skills coach Gilbert Enoka to the following question put to him by Maria Nokkenen in an interview featured in the ‘must read’ Game Plan A by Adidas.
Elite athletes excel in high-pressure situations. Can you share some strategies for thinking clearly under pressure?
Take control, one moment at a time.
There are no magic bullets, but you shouldn’t complicate things either. It’s as simple as understanding your current reality and determining your task.
If you stay focused on the process and don’t get overpowered by things that are out of your control, you can navigate through the day.
If I’m an athlete preparing for the World Cup Final and think, “What if we lose? How will my country react?”, it might defeat me. But if I pull back and say, “I’ll get out of bed, do my stretches, have breakfast, go to this meeting,” I’m proceeding step by step.
In business, you’ve got a meeting to nail, a deadline to meet, things to create. If you start thinking about all the possible consequences, you will feel overwhelmed. Dial it down and deal with the first thing on your list. Take control one moment at a time.
Thank you Maria and Gilbert. This concept of a consistent routine comprising many small steps gives you back control, provides momentum and outcomes. By ‘focusing on the process’ you help remove the demons surrounding the bigger goal. It’s a simple but important part of the mental toughness framework.