Get a grip. Part 2

“You can program yourself to be positive. Being Positive is a discipline … and the more adversity you face, the more positive you have to be. Being positive helps build confidence and self-esteem”  –Rick Pitino, University of Louisville Head Basketball Coach

In part one; I introduced the concept of being mentally tough in today’s economic climate.  This applies not only to IT jobs, but to any job.

Developing Mental Toughness

1. Starts with the right attitude and state of mind.  You need to know what your core confidence is all about.  Confidence comes in knowing you are prepared and courage to make hard decisions.  As long as no one dies, thing will probably be OK. 
2. Program your mind for success ahead of time with positive affirmations and expectations.   Expect the best from yourself; affirm what it is you are going to do to be successful.  Use goal oriented statements starting with “I will, I can, I am going to…
Focus on those things you want to occur, rather than things you’re afraid might go wrong. (I have been reminded recently it’s OK to have a plan B or a back up plan).
3. Make your behaviors routine.   Develop a systematic routine that clicks on desired mental-emotional state of mind. 
4. Poise and Composure:  Learn how to let go of mistakes quickly if things do not go the way you want.  The key part of mental training is about compensating, adjusting, and trusting.  If plan A does not work, go to plan B or C (See above.).  Be persistent and mentally tough; don’t allow frustration to undermine your confidence/focus. 
5. Take control of Negative Self-Talk: Reframe “stinking thinking” into positive task oriented suggestions.  Being aware of situations that cause you to get frustrated, rushed, intimidated, lose focus is a good first step. Then reframe the negativity into positive, mentally tough self-suggestions.  For example, in basketball instead of “I can’t hit that shot if my life depended on it”, let go, reframe it back into something more positive and task oriented “get a good look at the basket, see it, feel it, trust it”.  When I was doing a lot of application development, I can tell you how many times I was able to solve a problem just by talking to some one else. 
6. Look at failure as a stepping stone for future achievement.  Michael Jordan missed 9000 shots, missed 26 game winning shots, lost 300 games, yet he was a6 time NBA World Champion. He said that, “I failed over and over, that is why I succeed”.
7. Be a difference maker, step up when it matters the most.  Life is all about risks and it requires you to jump. Don’t be a person who has to look back and wonder what they would have or could have done.  Nothing is forever.