Andreas Mikkelsen’s insane journey from rally driver to top triathlete

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Header Image Photo Credit: Andreas Mikkelsen

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I visited the Isklar Norseman Xtreme Triathlete Camp with Red Bull, where I interviewed their athlete, three times car rally world champion Andreas Mikkelsen. Read the article on Red Bull or below.

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When three-time rallying world champ Andreas Mikkelsen decided to race his first elite triathlon, he picked the toughest one on earth. Reliving the pain, he breaks down his epic Norseman challenge.

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Andreas Mikkelsen was always destined for greatness. After knee injuries brought a promising skiing career to an end, the Norwegian turned his hand to motor racing at 16 years old, and has been competing on the rallying world stage ever since, winning three World Championships to date. And now he’s got another incredible racing achievement under his belt – but one that didn’t require an engine.
The 29-year-old and his co-driver and navigator, Anders Jaeger, have always dreamed of racing in a full triathlon event. So, naturally, they signed up for the toughest triathlon in the world: Isklar Norseman Xtreme Triathlon. Held in their native Norway, it requires athletes to swim 3.8km, cycle 180km, run 42.2km and ascend more than 5235m of Norway’s exquisite landscape. From jumping off a ferry at 5am into a freezing fjord, to a leg-sappingly steep mountain climb, called Zombie Hill, it’s hours of never-ending pain.
It’s the kind of race where you’ll find yourself alone on your bike in the middle of a big mountain plateau or looking marooned in a wasteland, only suited for reindeer and rocks. Often, it’s just you and your sheer determination to make it to the finish line and claim the world’s most coveted black tee on the summit of a mountain – a mountain so high that you can see one sixth of Norway’s mainland. And, you won’t be surprised to know, it’s seen many an experienced triathlete fail.
With no experience in open water, and very little experience on the bike, even an elite sportsman like Andreas had his work cut out. Here, the Red Bull athlete breaks down exactly what it takes to race in the world’s ultimate triathlon…

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The Preparation

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I cycled any chance I got

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My full-time job is rallying, so we – Anders and I – can’t train like the proper triathletes. Fitting in the really long elite triathlon training sessions was difficult, because we have to use as little energy as possible, as our main focus is rallying.
To counteract our lack of triathlon training time, we prioritised cycling as we needed to get the milage in on the bike. We also practised the entire Norseman cycle route before the summer, but even then we couldn’t fit in enough training! So I took my bike on my summer vacation in Ibiza, to get some miles in before the start of the race.

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My rally training counted for zero

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To be a competitive rally driver, you have to be in good shape. The training isn’t as extreme as Norseman, or even regular triathlon training, and usually requires hard workouts between 5-25 minutes, be it running or strength training, whatever it takes for you to be fit and maintain concentration during really warm and very long days. More often than not, you’re sitting in a car that’s between sixty and seventy degrees for long periods. It’s tough and requires a lot of focus, but training is done in small doses.
Triathlon training is the opposite of this. More often than not, it requires long periods of time in the saddle, pool or on your feet and there is no one temperature to worry about. Unfortunately, time was not a luxury we were afforded, as our schedule didn’t allow it. But, along with the cycle route, we were able to squeeze in the first 25km of the run and we swam in the fjord – it was freezing in the springtime, I’d never swam in such cold water before, it was a little bit of a shock!

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It really was sink or swim

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My training for rally driving has never involved swimming. I’ve come a long way since my first ever open-water swimming lesson, which was only two months before the race! My initial thoughts after my debut open-water session was that it was much harder than I expected. I was having trouble with the breathing and swallowed a little water. We were advised to get an expert in to give us some open-water swimming tips, to improve our efficiency and performance in the water.
Subsequently, we enlisted the help of fellow Red Bull athlete Kristian Blummenfelt, bronze winner of the Triathlon World Cup, ranked number 3 in the World Triathlon Series 2017, and somebody who swims between 4000m and 6000m every day. Kristian gave us some great tips on how to use less energy in the water and swim faster, such as a steeper hand entry into the water.

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Kristian was a great instructor. Anders was always faster than me during the training sessions but, on race day, I was first out of the water which surprised me!

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My support crew were key

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My support crew were two of my friends; one had raced in Norseman previously and his past experience was really important to our success, and my other friend was a very serious guy.
We had a lot of meetings before Norseman to go through the athlete guide and cover every potential problem. They joined me on lots of my training sessions before the summer, during which those who had already raced Norseman gave us lots of tips, good ideas and told us what to expect.

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The race

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I had no real expectations – just to finish

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I was not feeling nervous before the race, as I knew I had done the training and was just racing to have a really good time.
I thought, ‘Okay, if I don’t get the black tee, what’s the worst that will happen?’ Nothing. I am just racing Norseman for myself, whereas in rallying, if I don’t perform, then I let down a lot of people and manufacturers.
Having said that, I was a little nervous about opening too hard on the swim, which I managed to do anyway! When we were on the ferry, I was really looking forward to starting Norseman. It was fun.

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My swim was surprisingly strong

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This year, Norseman experienced unusually warm weather. In past events, the fjord’s water temperature has been around 13 degrees, but, this year, it was 18 degrees. So we knew the water was warmer and it was going to be okay. Before we jumped off the ferry, we said goodbye to each other. Everyone is dressed exactly the same and we all resemble seals in the water, so it’s impossible to see and even recognise each other during a swim, particularly at dawn. It just felt nice to get going.

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Cycling had its ups and downs

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During the 180km cycle I was pushing hard on the downhill, as it was so much more exciting. No-one passed me on the downhill! I conserved energy on the uphill and that’s where a few athletes passed me.
Only would I later realise that I had started way too hard on the swim. Just before halfway on the cycling, my legs started to cramp. I eventually managed to overcome the cramps by eating well, drinking a lot and getting enough salt throughout the entire event. My support crew did a really great job in preparing everything for me.
My cramps were still giving me a little trouble and I struggled a bit during the run, but thankfully it did get much better over time.

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Zombie Hill lived up to its name

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After cycling 180km, I had to run 25km – it’s pretty much flat terrain, but I was struggling with a lot of lower-back pain as my body was not used to sitting in the aero position on the bike for such a long period of time.
By the time I reached Zombie Hill, an 8km section of switchbacks that mark the start of the 1650m ascent to the top of Gaustatoppen, where you can claim the black tee shirt, my muscles were finished. My back still ached a lot.
I expected it would be an easy walk up to the top of Gaustatoppen. I have no trouble running 20/30km, however, after swimming and cycling so much, it was a very, very different experience. Walking was really tough. It was so steep, I was in so much pain, I was exhausted. My legs simply had no energy. To run up the hill was unthinkable.
On race day, nothing really worked! I was really exhausted and never thought: ‘This is going really well!’ But I did it – I made it to the top.

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I finished 90th out of 238 triathletes

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I made it across the line in 14hrs and 5 minutes. I am really pleased with the result. Despite being very tired, I was well within the cut-off time for the black tee, which you get for finishing on top of Gaustatoppen. Next time I will start the swim much calmer, so I have more energy towards the end.
Everything up to the last 5km was great, but those final 5km were tough. I was feeling pain in my ankles, knees and lower back, but luckily I had my crew with me and they really helped me on.

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It was encouraging to have so many spectators cheering you on, while my crew had a car with a big music player so, while running, I was able to listen to my playlists.
Right now, I’m feeling very happy and feel like I have done my first and last Norseman, although give me a week and I might be telling you differently!

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Competing in Norseman will make me become a better rally driver

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I have been competing in sport my entire life and love it. I know that I’m fit enough to be a really good rally driver, but Norseman gave me a new motivation to be even better.
Norseman pushed me to train more, and pushed me to search for my mental and physical limits. I need other goals along with rallying that will drive me to train harder and become better and, this year, it was Norseman.
You have to be very focused while rallying, but I don’t think being a rally driver helped me that much in Norseman. What I’m actually really hoping for, is that racing Norseman will help me become a better rally driver and take our performance as a team to the next level.

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Watch Andreas’ vlog of the race below. And follow him on Instagram here.

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Norseman Pro Tips From Some Of The World’s Toughest Triathletes

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“It’s without a doubt my favourite triathlon!” – Tobias Mews, Adventure journalist, author and athlete

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If you want to conquer The Isklar Norseman Xtreme Triathlon, you’ll need to jump off a ferry into freezing fjord waters at 5am, cycle up 1000’s of meters, defeat numerous mountains, including Zombie Mountain, and take whatever nature throws at you. You can have all 4 seasons in one race day here in Eidjford. It’s not for the faint-hearted. Then look no further for pro tips on how to tackle the world’s toughest Triathlon.

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#1 You all know I’m a BIG advocate for this: Mental Preparation

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“Accept the pain and know that it will pass.”

– Allan Hovda (@Allan Hovda), Winner of Norseman x2, Swissman, Lofoten Triathlon and Ironman Haugesund

At the Norseman Athlete Zone – LIVE Q&A Allan recommended visualising and mentally preparing yourself for parts of the course, so you know what to do and what to say to yourself when you come to that point of the race. 

When you come to that point when you hurt, accept the pain and know that everyone is hurting and that this will pass.

And if that doesn’t work, know that if you will give up, you’ll regret it for the rest of your life.

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#2 Train in race conditions

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“I had to work on getting used to cold water swimming.”

– Josta Bolhuis, triathlon coach and founder Trispiration, Norseman competitor (DNF) and Celtman finisher, among others.

I had to work on getting used to cold water swimming, because while I was training the open water temperature in Holland was rising. Open water temperatures in Holland were between 18-20oC and for Norseman they were between 10-14oC. This was a problem.

So I decided to only shower really really cold. I also swam all of my races in Holland without a wetsuit to get used to cold waters. During Norseman I didn’t have any problems with the cold water and came out of the water very happy, with a good strong swim behind me. Celtman, Norseman’s partner race, was even better!!!

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#3 Test your kit out on the race course where possible

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“Don’t do what I did and stupidly wear tinted goggles for the swim!”

Tobias Mews (@tobiasmews), Adventure journalist, author and athlete

Don’t do what I did and stupidly wear tinted goggles for the swim. I jumped off the ferry into the murky depths to then discover I couldn’t see a thing. I promptly swam the 700m to the start in total darkness, only to end up being off course. I then swam blindly upstream and finished several hours later! It was not my finest hour or two!

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#4 Can’t train or test the course? Think outside the box and replicate the course in any way you can!

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“I think people who lived around these bridges thought I was going nuts!”

Josta Bolhuis, triathlon coach and founder Trispiration, Norseman competitor (DNF) and Celtman finisher, among others.

There are no mountains nor hills where I live in Holland, but Norseman is all about climbing meters.  So to get stronger and to get used to going up and down for the run, I went to the coast of Holland and ran up and down the deep sand dunes. For cycling, I cycled endless amount of times up and down the bridges, between 30 and 50times in one training session!

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#5 Pace yourself

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“Do not kill yourself on the bike”

– Tobias Mews(@tobiasmews), Adventure journalist, author and athlete

Another tip would be to not kill yourself on the bike. I was so distraught by how much time I’d lost, I beasted myself on the bike to make up time. Which meant that my legs died on zombie hill (something that’s never happened in any of the 4 Ironmans I’ve done). 

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#6 Strategise and plan with your race crew

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“Make sure one of your support crew members is a good driver and you have a good communication system in place!”

– Josta Bolhuis, triathlon coach and founder Trispiration, Norseman competitor (DNF) and Celtman finisher, among others.

My nutrition plan failed during the race along with communications with my support crew. They were scared of driving in Norway, so they drove off for 50KM each time and I just lost them. This meant I couldn’t fill up my bottles, get my nutrition and more.

It’s also important to have a good fit athlete to run with you and one that doesn’t mind stopping a lot. Have a communication plan in place, so you can give a thumb up or down to let them know you need something and that you are ok.

Nutrition is really important. Talk it through many times with your crew, including how you react when you get tired, dehydrated etc., so they can anticipate what you need help with.

I improved this system for Celtman after being unable to complete Norseman and it paid off.

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#7 Get into the adventure mindset

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“See Norseman as an adventure.”

Tobias Mews (@tobiasmews), Adventure journalist, author and athlete

You have one goal – to get that black t-shirt. Your second goal is to get a white one! Any notion of finishing time or position (as long as it’s less than the cut off) should be arbitrary! It’s without a doubt my favourite triathlon!

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#8 Nail your nutrition

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“Nice to get a black tee, but it’s not worth dying for!”

Allan Hovda (@AllanHovda), Winner of Norseman x2, Swissman, Lofoten Triathlon and Ironman Haugesund

For those who are doing Norseman for the first time, nutrition tends to be the biggest issue. You really need a tried and tested sound nutrition plan.

Sometimes when you’re racing, you don’t feel hungry and don’t want to eat, but you really have to be consistent with the amount of food your are digesting. Always listen to your support crew regarding your nutrition, if they tell you to eat, eat!

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Want to up your mental game in your sport? Then find out how we can work together by dropping me a message via my red messenger on my website or send me an email to adelaide@lillywild.com

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How To Be More Present

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Do you find yourself running through your life with barely time to think, feeling overwhelmed, stressed and tired?

Lululemon Guildford asked me to give a workshop for their community on how to be more present, and we partnered with Kiki.K and Turnfit Studio to make it really awesome! Read on to find out my top 6 ways to slow down, to feel more calm, to bring more presence into your life.

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Do you want to live your best life? Yes? Excellent! Then read on, this blog is for your 🙂

My name is Adelaide and I draw inspiration from sports psychology, to coach entrepreneurs, executives, and athletes to overcome adversity, become adventurous and live their best life.

I came to be a coach by learning to overcome adversity myself… Imagine someone ripping out the batteries in your body and not being able to replace them. That’s what it was like for me several years ago. For 4 years I suffered with M.E. or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and this meant I spent much of my time sleeping in bed, in a darkened room, in silence.

My life fell apart around me. I was told by doctors that I would never recover. But I wanted to live my best life. I wanted to go on adventures. These deep desires drove me to find the thing that would enable me to fully recover.

And I did. In 3 days. By learning how to re-wire my mind to live a life I love. I haven’t looked back since, I’m now an adventurer, high performance coach and last year I went from coach to Ironman athlete – unfortunately for my bank account, I’m now hooked on long distance triathlon and endurance challenges!

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[In 2016 I achieved my dream of adventuring in the Arctic, listen to my journey of cross-country skiing across Svalbard for 9 days here.]

I’ve learnt that one of the key ways to living your best life is by living in the moment, by being present.

But what do you think it means to be present?

Being Present is an experience when you feel at peace with who you are, your desires and how you can achieve them – no matter what the situation is or what other people think.

Being Present Matters, because it allows you to show up in the best way possible.

On my podcast, The Wild Show, one of the world’s top survival expert’s Megan Hine shared with us that she’s added a 4th rule to the survival rule of 3:

  • 3 mins minutes without air
  • 3 days without water 3 weeks without food
  • 3 months without company
  • 3 seconds without thinking

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95% of thought processes happen beneath the surface, to protect us from the bombardment of stimuli. We need to be present, we need to notice our surroundings, to listen to our conscious and unconscious, so we can not just survive, but make the best decisions and live our best life.

When you feel nervous, how well do you perform?

When you feel irritated, how compassionate are you?

When you feel stressed, how creative and positive are you?

These negative feelings are caused by our thoughts about the past or the future such as what might happen, how we might screw something up, what someone did to you.

Being present is challenging, because we must learn to influence what we can actually influence – our thoughts, feelings, plans and behaviours.  A skill that’s crucial in survival situations as well as enabling us to thrive in our daily life.

For example, it’s not being cut up in traffic by that white van driver that makes us irritated and angry, we are doing these feelings in response to his actions.

We do not have influence over the white van driver and it’s not fair that we should be at whim to these negative and unhelpful feelings, we need to learn how to influence our emotions, our feelings. To feel the things we want to feel and act how we want to act. To be present in the moment.

The serenity prayer says it best:

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; 

Courage to change the things I can; 

And wisdom to know the difference

But how do you actually slow your mind down enough to be present? To utilise the power of now? To zone back in again?

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1. Gratitude Practice

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Do any of you stop to think about how grateful you are for a specific moment or for your life?

A daily gratitude practice is so important to our wellbeing, as it really helps us to re-wire our mind for happiness and positivity.

By spending time to be present and focus on the things we’re grateful for, we’re wiring our mind to look out for the positive moments that happen in our life and to stay with them for a longer period of time.

We are wiring our minds for positivity and shots circuiting the negative thought loops – the stuff that takes our attention away from the present.

In the morning, write down 3 things that you’re grateful for

This establishes a positive pattern of thinking and acting when it really matters, setting you up for the day, to focus your attention on the positive.

In the evening, write down 3 amazing things that happened that day.

Use the time before bed to invest in yourself, to reflect on your day, to be present and focus on the positive.

You can’t use the same thing everyday, so think of it as a game!

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2. Check in with yourself

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Do any of you ever feel tired or overwhelmed during your day? The solution is easy. Hit the pause button.

Throughout your day check in with yourself and take in the moment.

Look around you, assess your current state and ask yourself some of these questions:

  • What can I see around me?
  • What can I hear?
  • What can I smell?
  • What can I feel, what textures are there?
  • What kind of colours are there?
  • What am I grateful for?

Do you workout?

Give using this technique a go just before your next workout… A few minutes before you being, pause, with no music in your ear and tune into your body and your breathe. Really zone in.

Stay there for several seconds or a couple of minutes, close your eyes to really focus and think about what you want to get out of your workout. If it’s to be more present, turn off strava or your tracker, or perhaps run without music.

By practising this technique, you’ll start to get so much more out of your workout, are you’ll start to feel more present to your body, mind experience and surroundings.

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3. Really listen

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When you’re talking to someone, how often do you worry about what you’re going to say next?

Are you thinking about…What cool story can you tell them? What can you say that will make you sound smart? Or perhaps you’re thinking about what you need to buy for dinner tonight?

This results in us half listening to either our friend, family, colleague or person in passing. We’re often constantly thinking about something other than what they’re saying.

Instead, I challenge you to be present in your conversation. Simply listen to the person with curiosity and compassion. Don’t worry about what you can add to the conversation or what you’re going to say next.

If you’ve truly listened to what they’ve been saying, your unconscious mind will know exactly what to say next – and it will probably be better than what you would say!

It’s challenging and can be scary not to listen with anticipation, I know, I’ve been there.

When creating my podcast The Wild Show I was suddenly interviewing all of these amazing people and while they were talking I would be constantly worrying about what I should say next? What question should I ask them afterwards? How should I link what they’re saying now to the next thing I wanted to talk about?

The result? A good conversation, but not a truly great one.

I wanted to have the really great conversations. It’s taken practice, courage and confidence, but I now I don’t even go in with prepared questions! I have a couple of bullet points of themes to cover, otherwise I just let the conversation flow by really listening to what they’re saying and diving off their story or advice.

It’s been great seeing how this technique has produced conversations I couldn’t otherwise have imagined and my listeners love it!

This has helped me in my personal and professional life too, as I’m able to be much more present in these conversations too.

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4. Be Ok with not being in control of the future

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Do you worry about the future not panning out how you planned?

Are you often caught up in worrying about the future? From what that person will think of you and if you’ll get that promotion to not being able to handle a certain situation.

By getting caught up in worry, we also allow our insecurities to creep in, we start to experience self-doubt and self-criticism.

I’m currently coaching adaptive climbers who are going to the world championships this year.

One of the main things we are working on is being present in their climbing. They’re worried about the event and how how they’re going to do. I’m helping them change this. Together we’re bringing their focus to the top things that they need to focus on in order to perform at their very best, consistently.

So instead of thinking about how they’ll fall or that the grade will be too high for them. I’m helping them to think about the things that they can influence, the things that will help them perform at their very best on the day, from diet and training, to how they can influence their mind, their feelings and their emotions when it’s competition time.

Worrying about something that may or may not happen is a waste of our energy and really not very helpful to us living our best life. We need to be ok with not being able to control the outcome. But we can influence it by focusing on the right things at the right time.

Have you ever tried to hold on to water? The harder and harder we try, the more it slips through our fingers. However, if we relax, go with the flow and cup our hands, we can hold more water and our life will become fuller.

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5. Reduce Your Distractions

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Do you find that when you sit down to work something is often distracting you away from your task at hand?

It’s challenging to be present in our society that now drains us of all of our focus and attention with the bombardment of information and instant messaging and notifications.

We’re available 24/7.

But our mind can only really focus on 1-2 things at a time.

Did you ever play the old Victorian parlour game when you were younger? On the tray you’d lay out 15-20 small objects from small marbles and coins to scissors and jewellery. You’d then cover it all up with a tea towel and when you uncovered it, you had 30 seconds to memorise as many objects as you could. Most people would remember 5-7 things.

This is because our mind can only focus on a few things at a time. When we try to multi-task we really half-ass it. But when we focus on one thing and be present to it, we whole ass it.

So how you can minimise your distractions?

A brand called Folk Rebellion are encouraging us to unplug from our tech and plug into the real world, whether it’s going back to vinyl records, setting yourself tech boundaries like banning phones from the bedroom, or banning TV when you’re getting the good stuff, only looking at your email at certain times during the day or turning your phone off for the weekend, to name a few.

What could you do?

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6. Meditate

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Do you ever feel stressed, low or frustrated?

Focus on the breathe.

I LOVE meditation and it’s one of the most powerful ways we can change our mindset and re-wire our brain.

Instead of overanalysing situations, our feelings and thoughts, worrying about the future or stewing in what just happened…Take a moment out of your day, whether it’s the morning or evening or at another time and sit or lie down somewhere, quietly, close your eyes and breathe those slow, deep, belly breathes.

Count your breathe to really feel the calmness wash over you.

I teach my clients to create a place in their mind where they can go to relax. A serenity palace if you like.

Go back to a time when you felt really really calm and relaxed and notice everything around you; sounds, the ground, the colours, the temperature, how it feels… And really be in that place, embodying those feelings of calm and relaxation.

If thoughts come in, just observe them. Don’t judge or evaluate them or try to change them.

See them come and watch them float away, as if you were cloud spotting or star gazing when you were younger. 

By being present to your breathe, you are able to re-wire your mind for calmness and relaxation and really strengthen these neuropathways, so instead of feeling stresses most of the time, you’ll start to feel calm and relaxed and therefore more present to your life.

[If you want to understand how you can re-wire your mind in a easy to understand way, read The Number 1 Secret that high performers now]

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Did you like these 6 ways to be more present? Let me know which ones you love by sending me a message via my red messaging bot.

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Why running or cycling to work boosts your mental health

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I wrote this article for Red Bull.. Enjoy!

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Feeling stressed or anxious? Weight of the world on your shoulders? Here’s why running or cycling to work every day could be the mental boost you never knew you needed.

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Millions of us are affected by mental health issues each year – at work, at home, anywhere. The NHS has revealed that the amount of antidepressant prescriptions have over doubled in the last decade, while a study in 2017 found that three out of five employees have experienced mental issues in the last year due to work.

But did you know you could improve your mental health by swapping all or some of your workday commute for a bike or some running shoes? A report by the Royal Society for Public Health strongly argued that non-active commuting is detrimental to our mental (and physical) health.

And with the return of the Red Bull Million Mile Commute – when we’ll be asking active commuters across the world to help clock one million miles in a single month – there’s never been a better time to do it.

We spoke to real life people who found active commuting impacted their mental wellbeing for the better. Because those who know just know…

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1. It’s Addictive

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“Once you start active commuting you are hooked. From then on, it’s a complete no brainer”, says Mieke Stones, who spent a whole year only travelling by “human-powered” means.
Initially sparked by a personal crisis, running and cycling everywhere brought her out of a dark place: “My world was turned upside down and running [to and from work] saved me from crashing to a point of no return. The best moment was cycling to and from a trail run in Kent, and placing in the top 10.”

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2. Your mind is sharper

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“Instead of going from my bed to the desk to bed again, I’m able to get my mind and blood flowing by walking or running four miles to and from work. I arrive feeing happier, fresher, more focused and alert,” says 9-5er Debbie Morgan.

It’s a similar story for fellow Londoner Ed Ceurstemont, whose mind has become as powerful as his quads since swapping four wheels for two: “I cycle 12 miles to and from work, two to three times a week and the days I cycle I feel more alert and mentally stimulated. I arrive to work feeling ready. The days I don’t cycle, I don’t feel half as ready when I arrive at work, having switched off in the car.”

You don’t even need to run or cycle – simply getting off at a few transport stops earlier and elongating your walk can have a big impact, as recent convert Gemma Lauren Smith describes: “Walk commuting at least two hours a day has affected me more mentally than physically. Before my walk commute, I didn’t realise how much commuting by tube and bus was affecting my mental health. Walking to work has massively affected how my day goes.”

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3. It’s also a lot of fun

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“Active commuting has had a positive impact on my mental fitness,” says Paul Robinson, who cycles nine miles to work each way, every day. “The wind in my hair and sun on my face during the better English weather, really gives me a mental lift.”

Bertie Whitley, a trainee doctor, used to get a bus from Hammersmith to Twickenham which took 1 to 1.5 hours and now cycles all over London to work: “I’m a complete covert and now cycle all over London to my work – even in the winter! Cycling outside makes a huge difference to my mental health and I feel very smug while I cycle, overtaking cars and listening to cool music and podcasts, just having a really lovely time.”

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4. It allows you to de-stress after work

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The majority of active commuters Red Bull spoke to said they found cycling, running or walking home an invaluable time to switch their mindset off from work and clear their heads. This allows them to keep 9-5 stresses in the 9-5, and arrive home feeling calm, relaxed and ready to enjoy the evening.

“I am able to have that work/life balance. When I leave work, I leave my work problems at work, switch my mindset and clear my head,” says seasoned active commuter Georgina Jackson, who runs two miles to and from work.

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5. You fit in exercise without trying

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Another bonus of commuting on bike or foot is that you’ll be getting fit as you go, making it an even greater prospect for keen amateur sportspeople like Dave Ladkin: “I cycle 20 miles each way through the countryside from Guildford to Surbiton two to three times a week. Cycling into work has enabled me to stay fit and train for criterium, or crit, racing, in which you cycle several laps around a closed circuit.”

By the same token, active commutes have also helped people less into sport increase confidence, get fit for purpose and unlock goals they never thought possible. As was the case with Paul (“I wanted to become fitter and healthier, so I started active commuting and it has really made a huge difference to my strength and fitness levels – the other week I achieved a personal best in a 5km Park Run!”) and Bertie (“Cycling to work helps me fit in at least 1 hour of exercise a day, which I would otherwise not get, as long working hours means I have little motivation to do exercise”).

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6. Financial stress can negatively effect mental health

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A report by the CIPD (the professional body for HR and people development) found that one in four employees claimed their performance was affected by financial worries. A significant amount of our budget goes on transport, whether it’s buying tickets for trains or buses or the upkeep of a car. By switching your commute for cycling, walking or running, you can save a lot of money.

But don’t take our word for it…

“You save money by avoiding transport and the cycle to work scheme is a huge money saver,” says Mieke.

“I would recommend active commuting because above all it is a massive money saver,” adds Paul.

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7. You spend more time outside

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Studies have shown that spending time outside will improve your mental health, helping to fight depression, anxiety and stress and making you feel more relaxed, calm and present.

Georgina agrees: “Time outside for me is very important. I find if I’m stuck inside with no natural light and minimal fresh air, I feel more anxious and down. Just 30 minutes to one hour outside, however, makes the world of difference, helping me to clear my mind and get into the right mindset.”

What’s more, there’s adventure lurking around every corner, as Gemma describes: “I started walking some of my commute through Regent’s Park and it made a huge difference to my mental fitness…I am able to have an extra adventure on my way back from work.”

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8. You avoid public transport issues

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“I don’t have the worry and stress of squeezing onto the tube and if there will be delays or cancellations [by active commuting],” says Paul.

Yep, another big concern and worry for commuters is whether they’re going to be late for work or a meeting due to heavy traffic or cancellations, delays and strikes on the tube, train or bus.

By walking, cycling or running this worry disappears. It’s a much more relaxing way to travel to work as you know what time you’ll approximately arrive at your destination – you never have to be late again!

“It’s much more relaxing to be able to know that when you leave your home or work, you will arrive at your destination at a certain time. Instead of worrying if you’ll be stuck in traffic or your train will be delayed or cancelled,” says Dave.

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Feeling inspired? Sign up for 2018’s Red Bull Million Mile Commute here. AND let me know how you get on by tagging me on Instagram @adelaidegoodeve.

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5 Steps To Developing A Mindset For Success

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If you have lost your motivation and confidence in achieving your goals, here’s a 5 step process to developing your mindset for success.

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1. Do you have the foundations of a successful mindset?

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Simon Hartley is a sports psychologist who has spent over 20 years studying and working with world class individuals, teams, leaders and organisations. Simon believes that the key to a successful mindset is consistently doing the basics excellently.

Most coaches will tell you that everything you do starts with your Why; but, Simon believes the foundations of a successful mindset starts with your Why AND Focus.

(Read my article on How To Avoid Negative Thinking to find out what happens if you let your focus slip)

By working with world class people and organisations Simon has discovered that’s important to keep the end in mind, such as winning that Gold medal, becoming the CEO or winning that international recognition award.

However, the key to greatness and success is working and focusing on performing the daily processes consistently and to a high standard.

For example, Formula 1 Driver Lewis Hamilton recently won the Spanish Grand Prix. Hamilton didn’t smash the race because he was focusing on the end goal – first place. He smashed the race by focusing on executing each corner and part of the race to the best of his ability.

As Simon says, it’s not where the ball goes, but it’s HOW you hit the ball.

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2. You Need Positive Evidence

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Once you start focusing on the right thing at the right time and performing these activities to the best of your ability, you will begin building a mountain of positive evidence that shows you that you can do this.

It’s important to use the right kind of positive evidence – evidence that you have influence over.

For example, if your positive evidence was being consistent on Instagram by posting one high quality picture a day with 20 #hashtags and a short caption and 5 stories a day for 3 weeks and you nailed it, this shows you that you can be consistent and create great content, which builds your confidence and encourages you to do more.

You don’t want to use outcome based evidence e.g. number of followers on social media, feedback from people, first place etc., because you can’t control the results. You may put in 10 hours of hard work on Instagram in 1 week and only grow by 20 followers; subsequently, you lose your motivation and confidence and are likely to stop because you didn’t achieve the results you wanted.

I believe it’s helpful to talk to a supportive friend, family member or coach about the kind of evidence you want to use. If you have any questions shoot me a message via my red messaging app on my website.

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3. Next Comes Confidence

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By focusing and seeing your positive evidence building up, you will feel more and more confident. This is a very resilient place to be, because it is you who is influencing your level of confidence

If you let outside stuff influence your confidence, such as subjective feedback from others, profit or the amount of social media followers, you inhabit a very vulnerable and fragile place. This is because you have no or little influence over the outcome nor what people are going to say to you.

It’s critical not to judge your positive evidence, but to evaluate your positive evidence objectively and honestly. This will help you understand what you need to do next to take your confidence levels even higher.

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4. Motivation Follows

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Your motivation will come from the positive evidence and confidence that you’ve been building, by focusing on the right tasks and performing them to the best of your ability, achieving your small goals along the way.

Motivation also comes from your Why, which we’ll talk about creating now.

What is your ultimate goal and why does it matter?

For most people, their Why is earning money, but this isn’t enough.

If money is your only motivator and you experience a dip in your income and/or the economy experiences a downturn, will you then lose your motivation, confidence and focus? Most likely – if it’s your only driving force.

You need a tripod or pyramid of Why’s that will empower you to weather a storm, such as a financial downturn, and get back up again when you’ve been knocked down.

What will make you get out of bed on a cold, dark and rainy wintery day?

This is my Why:

My Why is to ADD VALUE to the lives of others by helping athletes and ambitious men and women to transform their lives, achieve their dreams and be the best they can be, by teaching them how to change their thinking and install helpful habits.

This starts with achieving everything I want in my own life, living my best self and never settling for anything less than I can be, do or have, so I can pay it forward and learn (through experiences, others and courses) how to help others achieve everything they want.

(In my article, How To Achieve Your Dream Goal, I share with you an effective 3-step method to help you create and achieve your ultimate goal).

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5. This is where you take off!

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Once you have these 5 things (focus, why, positive evidence, confidence and motivation) your mindset is set to help you achieve the levels of success you dream of. You’ll start to love living outside of your comfort zone and reach new heights.

Remember to continue to focus on the small things, because by performing these small daily processes to the best of your ability, you will be able to achieve your goals. If one of these things goes amiss, even for a short time, this will impact your results.

Remember your Why and stay Focused on the Right Things at the Right Time! And Good Luck!

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If you want to find out we can work together or have any questions, drop me a message via my red messenger on my website or send me an email to adelaide@lillywild.com

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How To Achieve Your Dream Goal

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Do you want to achieve your dream goal, but are tired of failing, feeling overwhelmed and not knowing where to start? This unconventional 3 step method will help you start your journey to achieving your dream!

How is this any different to other goal setting and achieving method? Read on and find out.

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1. What is your dream goal?

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The biggest mistake I see people making is attaching their dream goal to a result, such as I will earn £100,000 a year by 31st December 2018.

This outcome-dependent goal places you in a vulnerable position as you can’t influence the result of the hard work you put in. However, you can influence your performance.

Simon Hartley, a sports psychologist who has spent over 20 years studying and working with world class individuals, teams, leaders and organisations, helped turn former British Olympic breaststroke swimmer Chris Cook’s career around when they worked out exactly what Chris’ dream goal was.

Chris’ dream goal wasn’t to be world champion for his event or win an Olympic gold medal. Surprising right?

His dream goal was to swim 100m in breaststroke as fast as he could. When Simon and Chris worked this out, Chris went from barely making it as a professional swimmer to becoming a double gold Olympic medalist and competed for England in the World and European Championships, and Commonwealth Games.

(Read my article on 5 Steps To Developing A Mindset For Success to find out the 5-step process to creating a mindset for success that will help you achieve your dream goal).

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2. Do the things I’m doing now help me achieve my dream goal?

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Now knowing what his dream goal was, Chris started asking new revolutionary questions: Does this thing I’m doing now help me swim the 100m in breathstroke faster?

Chris ended up ditching two thirds of his training and creating new strategies that enabled him to swim the 100m faster.

So ask yourself these questions:

  • What am I doing now that IS helping me to achieve my dream goal?
  • What am I doing now that is NOT helping me to achieve my dream goal?
  • What do I need to keep and what do I need to ditch?
  • What 20% of my actions are giving me 80% of my results?

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3. What are the top 5 things you can do that will have the biggest impact on you achieving your dream goal?

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Simon and Chris uncovered that he only needed to work on the following 5 things to achieve swimming 100m in breathstroke as fast as he could:

  1. Fast start
  2. Fast and efficient 50m swim
  3. Quick turn around
  4. Hold speed for 50m
  5. Touch wall with both hands at the same time

For the rest of Chris’ career, this is all he and his team focused on and he became an unstoppable force.

What are your top 5 things?

Once you’ve written out your 5 things, score yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 for each one, with 10 being you’ve reached the best you can be and there’s no room for improvement and 1 being you have a long way to go.

(Read my article on 7 Steps To Setting Effective Goals That Improve Your Performance to discover how you can set the right goals that will help you take your top 5 things to the next level.)

Invest all of your time and energy relentlessly and consistently in getting to a 10/10 for each of your 5 things.

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If you want to find out how we can work together or have any questions, drop me a message via my red messenger on my website.

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How to Create Powerful Incantations to Change Your Mindset and Create Success

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Do your thoughts feel like concrete in your head, heavy and taking up space?

If you want to be in the best mindset possible at any given time, you need to change your thoughts.

You might be thinking, Adelaide, I know this but it’s really hard! I don’t know how to change my thoughts and when I do, I just can’t do it.

In this blog, I share with you a powerful method to change your thoughts from self-doubt, negativity, insecurity, stress and anxiety to encouragement, positivity, calm, relaxed and confident.

I’m talking about incantations, first thing in the morning when you wake up. You heard me right: incantations – not affirmations. By doing your incantations first thing in the morning, you are re-wiring your brain for positivity and setting yourself up to have more positive self-talk for the day. Read on to find out the power of incantations and how to create your very own to start changing your life for the better.

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(Listen to Jo Pickard The Wild Show, Season 1 Episode 2 to discover how her life and career transformed when she replaced her negative inner voice for a powerful positive supportive one.)

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What’s the difference between Incantations and Affirmations?

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Affirmations involve you speaking words of encouragement to help you re-wire your brain for the better. They help many people, but just repeating positive phrases isn’t enough.

You need to embody your words of empowerment with enough intensity and conviction that you truly believe them on a deep unconscious level.

Incantations involve using your body and your voice (and background motivational and inspirational music can also help) combined with powerful positive words to condition your mind and beliefs that you can achieve your goals and you have everything you need to achieve them.

(Discover the power of music on influencing your mind and how you can harness it by reading my blog on 5 Ways To Use Music To Change Your Mindset.)

By repeating your incantations on a daily basis, so they stick in your head (think of the song ‘It’s A Small World’, once you’ve heard it, you play it over and over again) you are changing your inner conversation, which is changing your mind and physiology and therefore helping you to set yourself up for success. Incantations are a real game changer.

(Listen to my podcast interview with Phil Parker on The Wild Show, the UK’s most intriguing personal development expert and innovator, to find out how by influencing your mind, you can change your physiology.)

I don’t believe it’s fair we should be at the whim of outside stuff influencing how we feel, by using incantations we can demand ourselves to step into a really great state.

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How To Create Your Incantations

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Step 1. Write out any limiting and negative beliefs, thoughts and phrases that are holding you back

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For example, you may often repeat to yourself;

“I am tired.”

“I don’t have the time to do ______________”

“I can’t do _______________”

“I don’t have enough money _____________”

“I am feeling really down today”

“I don’t have enough experience to do that”

“I’m scared”

“I feel really overwhelmed”

Remember, that what you repeatedly say to yourself soon becomes a belief and then it becomes part of your identity and will be reflected in how you do everything. What you say, you will become.

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Step 2. Replace the limiting and negative beliefs, thoughts and phrases with powerful positive and helpful beliefs, thoughts and phrases that will empower you to achieve your goals.

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I do NOT want to see you writing your incantations like this:

“I am feeling really down today” to “I am not feeling really down today”

The use of ‘not’ is unacceptable. When you use ‘not’ your brain doesn’t hear it. All your brain hears is ‘really down’ and it will therefore fire the pathways for you to continue feeling down – which you don’t want.

You want to write it like this:

“I am feeling full of incredible energy and happiness, I can feel these amazing feelings flowing and circulating through my body and mind, lighting me up, empowering me to achieve all of my goals. I am so excited to get on with my day and kick some ass!”

Here are some of my examples;

“I have all of the time in the world. Each one of us has 24 hours in a day and I MAKE the time for whatever I’m committed to and absolutely nail my day! I hit every goal to the best of my ability and more! I make sure I complete the small daily processes that enable me to achieve my big goals.  Everyone wonders how I get everything done. Even Will Smith and Oprah congratulate me on my productivity.”

“The Universe’s wealth is circulating in my life, its wealth flows to me in avalanches of abundance. All of my needs, desires and goals are met instantaneously by infinite intelligence. I am one with the Universe and the Universe is everything.” (A modified version of Tony Robbins’ incantations).

“I am now commanding my unconscious mind to direct me in helping as many people as possible, today, to improve their lives, by giving me The Strength, The Energy, The Positive Emotion, The Persuasion, The Humour, The Opportunities, The Knowledge, The Skill – Whatever it takes to show these people, to help these people and get these people to change their lives NOW!”

“Money is all around me and it flows to me, I am resourceful and can always find a way to make money. I make money from doing the things I love and this year I made all the money I desired to live the love I truly love and deserve.”

“I am absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE having the immense Jocko Wilko-like discipline to follow my super cool, badass routine. It gives me The Energy, The Productivity, The Positive Emotion, The Opportunities, The Time, The Freedom, The Peace and Everything I need to achieve my goals and live the live I love and deserve to live.”

“Every day in every way, I’m getting better and better” (Another Tony Robbins)

“Every little cell in my body is happy, every little cell in my body is well. I must say, every little cell, in my body is happy and well!” (I sing this to a merry little tune!)

“I seek abundance and I trust the laws of attraction of the universe. I have identified the exact things that I desire and now I’m going to relax and let all of them flow into my experience.” (Thank you Rob Lawrence for this one.)

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What are your incantations that support you in achieving your goals and dreams? I’d really love to hear them so I can add more powerful ones to my list! Please share with me a few of your phrases via my red messenger app on my website.

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8 Tips For A Positive Marathon Mindset

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I am often asked: What did you think of during the race [Ironman Barcelona] to drive you on?

 

With the London Marathon just 2 and a half weeks away, I wanted to share with you 8 tips from podcast guest Margaret Schlachter and myself, to help you develop a positive marathon mindset and run your best marathon.

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Mindset Tip #1 Acknowledge and sit with negative space

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No matter how fit, experienced or strong you are, there comes a point in a race when you enter a negative space. This is usually brought on by pain or your inner critic, such as “What do you think you’re doing?” or “Why do you think you can do this run?”

(If you want to find our how you can change your inner critic to be a positive powerhouse of encouragement, read this blog: 3 Steps To Improve Your Inner Voice)

I want you to know that this negative space will pass, it’s just a natural phase of training or racing. Similar to meditating, sit with the negative (but not for too long), acknowledge it, embrace it and let it float on by – you can even visualise yourself swiping it away!

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Mindset Tip #2 Think of an even worse scenario

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Sometimes this temporary negative mood can be a little harder to get out of, one trick is to create even more negative situations – think up the most ridiculous scenarios that would make you laugh or greatly appreciate your current situation.

For example, when I was running my marathon at the end of my Ironman and I saw other people running off to the finish line when I was on lap number 1 and 2, I thought “at least I’m going onto lap number 2 and I wasn’t disqualified”.

Or perhaps you’re out running and it starts raining and as Margaret says, instead of thinking: “this sucks, I still have 15 miles to go” think >> “At least I have a raincoat and will stay relatively dry, could be worse, I might not have a raincoat or lose a shoe in the mud etc.”

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Mindset Tip #3 Red Light/Green Light

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I really like this method of Margaret’s, I use something similar with my coaching clients.

This method allows us to recognise when we are changing moods, what that feels like and how we can change our mood to feel our best in a certain situation.

We want to visualise and write down the following moods;

  1. Green Light: What’s the perfect [marathon] you could possibly race? Take a moment to really visualise what that would be like – what can you see, hear, feel and smell? What are you thinking?
  2. Yellow Light: Think of the moment when you’re running your marathon and things start to become a little less fun – again what can you see, hear, feel and smell? What are you thinking?
  3. Red Light: Now think of a time when you’re running and things are not going well – what can you see, hear, feel and smell? What are you thinking?

Once you’ve written down these 3 scenarios, you can recognise and identify what physical and mental reaction your body and mind has when you are entering and moving between these different moods while running your marathon.

So when they start to come up during your marathon, you can take time to change your mood from red to yellow or yellow to green.

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Mindset Tip #4 Take in your surroundings

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When you’re starting to feel low, look up from plodding along and take in the sights around you. Notice how beautiful, amazing and hilarious your surroundings are!

On the London Marathon you’re going to pass some spectacular buildings and structures and there are going to be people dressed up in hilarious costumes. You will be surrounded by an incredible crowd of runners and spectators too, so drink it all in and smile.

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Mindset Tip #5 Take on the role of the observer

Another great method is to take on the role of the observer while you’re running. Think of yourself as a pigeon flying over and looking down at the scene or if you’re racing in the London Marathon, think of yourself as one of the spectators.

What do you look like from the outside? What are they thinking of you running?

The pigeon maybe thinking; “This person is crazy, ‘coo’! Why are they running in a sea of people, and why so far, ‘coo’! I could never run that far, flying is so much easier, ‘coo’!”

Or the spectator will be thinking, go go go! You’re doing so well! You’re so fit and strong, being able to run so far! I wish I got my place this year, you’re so lucky, keep going!

It’s a fun game to play, distracts your mind and it really helps to see yourself from another perspective.

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Mindset Tip #6 Meditate

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As we touched upon Mindset Tip #1, just let your thoughts come into your mind, acknowledge them and then swipe them to the side or see them floating away.

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Mindset Tip #7 Count to 100

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Thinking how far you still have to go can be overwhelming and depressing, so it’s really important to have a couple of techniques that help you focus and concentrate on doing the best you can in the moment. I love counting to 100 – over and over again.

It breaks down how far I have to go into tiny pieces, 100 steps is easily achievable and I can lie to myself – “You just have to do 50 more steps” and then when I get to 50: “Well done you did so well, you can totally do 50 more!” And off I run![/vc_column_text][divider line_type=”No Line”][vc_column_text]

Mindset Tip #8 Don’t care what anyone else thinks

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From interviewing hundreds of women on her podcast, Dirt In Your Skirt, Margaret has learnt that the number one common trait of a positive mindset is, not caring what anybody else or society thinks of you. This enables you to truly embrace your unique self and this is where success lies.

So if you want to run in a tiara as it makes you feel like a princess, go for it.

If you want to run in make up, go for it.

If you don’t want to run in make up, go for it.

If you want to run in a unicorn costume, go for it.

Don’t change your actions because you’re worried about what someone else might think. Align your actions with your true self, run in what’s comfortable and run in a way that works for you.

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You can listen to Margaret’s episode here, to discover her story of becoming the first professional female obstacle course racer and how she continues to get out of the funk when running marathons to insane races!

If you have any more questions for me, send me a message via my red bot 🙂

 

You can also Find Margaret Here: Website | Instagram | Twitter

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4 Tricks to Achieving Happiness

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Are you feeling a bit down and want to feel happier? Then read this blog to learn 4 quick tricks that you can practice to boost your happiness!

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1. Change your mood to happy with mantras!

 

Many of my guests from The Wild Show, including myself, use motivational and inspirational mantras to change their mood to happy!

Sarah Williams, podcaster and adventurer, used the mantra ‘Be The Egg’ while running the Marathon Des Sables, one of the toughest foot races on Earth. When negative thoughts came into her mind, this mantra reminded her that she has the power to influence her mood to be happy!

I love using this little tune to make me feel happy “Every little cell in my body is happy. Every little in my body is well. I must say, every little cell in my body is happy and well. I must say, every little cell in my body is happy and well.”

You can hear my delightful singing of my mantra in my Svalbard: An Icy Wilderness Adventure episode!!!

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2. Use daily affirmations to re-wire your brain for happiness

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Back in early January when I did my vision board for the year my big focus was on ABUNDANCE. I was convinced this was my year of creating more of what I wanted in my life. More money, more freedom, more fun. The thing is, what I didn't realise was the very thing I was wanting more of was the very thing I was worried I would lose if I made more money. Ridiculous I know. In the back of my mind somewhere, I thought that if I made more money my time and freedom would suffer. The very reason I started my businesses and working for myself would be damaged if I earned triple or even double what I have been earning. What I have come to realise is that this is silly. Yes it is. I'll tell you why. 💡 Because if I actually made more money I could outsource a heck of a lot of things I do myself and save time and energy to put towards the things that I love doing. 💡 I could raise my prices and work with the clients that know the value of paying for something that's going to help them. Who are willing to invest in themselves and their business and therefore are ready to take action. 💡 I could go on more trips, weekend aways with my partner, last minute getaways, long trips to far flung places. Because I'd have the money to do so and the people behind me to support the business. 💡 I could have that permanent base by the sea that has been sitting on my vision board for the last 5 years. The thing is, if you are not in alignment with the real reason you are doing your business, the real fears and desires you have, the way you are living right now and the way you want to be living then it's never going to happen. Or I guess it might, but it will take a heck of a long time. When I realised this & took control, engaged & integrated my fear into my action things started to change. Things felt more REAL. More me. So, I ask you this: What is holding you back? And if you're interested in working with me check out the link in my bio & book your free call. #yourtrue #abundancemindset #freedomlifestyle

A post shared by Intuitive Business Mentor ✨ (@nataliakomis) on

 

One of the best times to wire your brain for happiness is by using affirmations first thing in the morning.

The Wild Show guest Natalia Komis lets us in on hers…

Every morning Natalia picks 2 cards that state positive affirmations and she will then live by these for the rest of the day, such as I am happy and I am motivated.

Natalia has found it’s influenced her perspective and attitude as she goes through her day, enabling her to live from a life-enhancing place of, for example, happiness and motivation.

When working, Natalia places her affirmations in front of her and when Natalia notices she’s going into a negative mood, she repeats her affirmations to get back into that positive, happy mindset!

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3. Focus on happiness with a daily gratitude practice

 

As British adventure athlete Laura Kennington attested to on The Wild Show, having a daily gratitude practice focuses your mind on what you love in your life, all of the things that you’re grateful for and makes you happy.

Laura has found that when her inner voice starts complaining on an adventure, Laura thinks about all of the things she’s grateful for. This helps Laura shift her mood to happy.

Be warned though, as side effects of implementing a daily gratitude practice my include; increased happiness, better relationships, and becoming more optimistic!

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4. Create happiness fast with music

 

One of the quickest ways to change your mood is through the power of music and movement.

If you need a quick happiness boost, blast on your favourite tune and dance around your room, this will soon have you feeling happy and smiling! (read more about this in my blog: 3 ways to re-wire your brain for happiness (thanks to Trolls)

Below is a collection of songs chosen by my Season 2 guests that they play when they need a burst of energy and happiness! Subscribe on Spotify here![/vc_column_text][divider line_type=”No Line”][vc_raw_html]JTNDaWZyYW1lJTIwc3JjJTNEJTIyaHR0cHMlM0ElMkYlMkZvcGVuLnNwb3RpZnkuY29tJTJGZW1iZWQlMkZ1c2VyJTJGMTEyNDU4ODc1JTJGcGxheWxpc3QlMkYzMHlpellsZHpLaTBBWnBWV3Q5U3dUJTIyJTIwd2lkdGglM0QlMjI1MDAlMjIlMjBoZWlnaHQlM0QlMjI0MDAlMjIlMjBmcmFtZWJvcmRlciUzRCUyMjAlMjIlMjBhbGxvd3RyYW5zcGFyZW5jeSUzRCUyMnRydWUlMjIlM0UlM0MlMkZpZnJhbWUlM0U=[/vc_raw_html][divider line_type=”No Line”][vc_row_inner column_margin=”default” text_align=”left”][vc_column_inner column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/1″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_column_text]

Want to find out more about the habits, practices, behaviours and mental tricks you can use to re-wire your brain for positivity?

 

Then listen to my podcast episode with adventure filmmaker Kev Merrey on 8 Ways To Develop A Positive Mindset – discover the show notes here, or tune into The Wild Show on iTunes, Spreaker and Stitcher.

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3 Ways To Re-Wire Your Brain For Happiness (Thanks To Trolls)

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Do feel that you have no control over your mood? Then read this blog to find out how you can influence your happiness.

As I watched Dreamwork’s modern fairytale about Trolls and Bergens, I was inspired by how the story showed you 3 ways you can influence your happiness.

In this magical land, Trolls are brightly coloured, happy creatures who love to sing and dance. The Bergens are these dark coloured, unhappy creatures, who believe that they’re only able to be happy once a year on ‘Trollstice’, the day they eat the Trolls.

After the Bergens invade Troll Village, Princess Poppy, the happiest of Trolls, goes on a mission to rescue her friends and is accompanied by an overly-cautious, curmudgeonly Troll called Branch.

Their journey is filled with adventure and mishap and while rescuing their friends, they teach the Bergens how to be happy through dance and song and the Bergen’s then transform into fantastically coloured creatures.

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1. Happiness Is Beautiful

Trolls are cute little creatures with a quirky hairstyle. They are vibrantly multi-coloured in energizing, bright and fun colours – some have quirky patterns, others are covered head to toe in glitter and many are block colours.

When thinking about happiness, your mind creates pictures and films containing these qualities; they’re often bright, colourful, energizing and sparkle.

Close your eyes and just think about something that makes you happy, what does it look like?

The Bergens are coloured in dismal, grungy, boring and dull colours, like muddy browns, faded greens and greys. They are also heavy, hunched over and downcast.

When you’re feeling unhappy about something, your mind has created an image or film that is often Bergen coloured and feels heavy. If you see yourself in the image or film, you might also find you’re looking down and hunched over.

Happiness Tip #1: If you want to change how you feel about something, start by changing the quality of the image or film in your mind!

One way to do this is by imagining you’re using an Instagram filter on your image or film, you can change the filter until you find your favourite, alter the colour, saturation, brightness, focus, shadows etc.

And go with your gut, if you want to shrink the image, shrink it! If you want to add sparkles, go for it!

Change the quality of the image or film until it feels great for you! Any questions, message me via my red bot.

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2. You Can’t Create lasting happiness by eating it

The Bergens believed that they could only ever experience happiness by eating the trolls, the happiest creatures alive, once a year on a day called Trollstice.

But happiness isn’t a thing you can touch, eat, hold or put in a wheelbarrow. It’s an emotion and feeling that you create using the power of your mind.

If you believe something with such conviction your mind will often create the outcome. The Bergens experienced happiness when they ate the Trolls, because they truly believe that was the only way to feel happiness.

Happiness Tip #2: Do you have a limiting belief you would like to change? Create an affirmation around what you want to believe.

An affirmation is the practice of positive thinking and self-empowerment, it’s a way of fostering a new, powerful belief that is supported by the right mental attitude.

Your affirmation could be….

  • Simple such as ‘I am never sick’ or ‘I am an Ironman Athlete’
  • Or more complex: ‘I am guided in my every step by Spirit who leads me towards what I must know and do.’

Once you’ve created your affirmation, write it down 3 times in the morning and in the evening. If you want to change from an unhelpful to a powerful state during the day, then repeat your affirmation.

Over time, you’ll install this new belief and take your level of happiness to the next level.

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3. We can create happiness, fast

One of the quickest ways to change state is through the power of music and movement – something the Trolls mastered!

The trolls love to sing and dance and do this every day along to their favourite energizing and happiest songs.

When Princess Poppy goes to rescue her friends, Branch is reluctant to join her, so Poppy starts her adventure solo. Poppy feels scared and self-doubt, so she sings a song about overcoming obstacles, succeeding, feeling happy and confident!

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Using song and dance the Trolls teach the Begrens how to be happy, who have been depressed for generations. The Bergens install the new belief and thought pattern almost instantly and transform into wonderful happy beings – this is how quick you can re-wire your brain too!

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Happiness Tip #3: Not feeling as happy as you’d like? Stick on your favourite song and if you want to, do a little boogie!

I’ve been asking all of my guests for the song that makes them feel fearless, that really gets them going and peps them up, whether they’re driving to an adventure, on an adventure, need extra energy to get over a challenge or want to shift their mood!

Check out the playlist, Fearless, on Spotify or have a listen below!

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If you do these three tips, you will transform into the happiest being alive, just like the Bergens did at the end of the film!

Let me know what you think of the film or the playlist and my tips by messaging me via my bot!

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When I Lost Confidence for my First Ironman AND How I Got It Back!

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How often has a lack of confidence stopped you from…

  • Going on an adventure?
  • Entering a race?
  • Attending an event where you don’t know anyone?
  • Throwing yourself into a situation you’re not sure about?
  • Going for that promotion?
  • Doing a talk or presentation?
  • Or doing something awesome?

Have you ever experienced a lack of confidence when on an adventure, training for an event or doing something outside of your comfort zone?

A lack of confidence can plague all areas of our lives. I know I’ve experienced it many times myself!

However, learning how to feel confident in ourselves can change EVERYTHING.

Confidence is when you feel you are up to the task, you have a sense that you know enough! Maybe not everything, but enough! You feel like F*@k!! I‘ve got this!

I believe that confidence is a mental habit that we can develop.

I believe we can retrain our minds to supercharge our confidence whenever we want.

And here’s the kicker… it’s easy to do!

As you may know, last year I became an Ironman and for a moment leading up to it, I doubted myself…

Will I make it? Will I cross the finish line? Will I hear Mike Reilly (the voice of Ironman) shout YOU ARE NOW AN IRONMAN!! Will I get my medal?

I did cross the finish line and using this technique I’m about to share with you, I never doubted myself again and felt really great before and after the Ironman! – although they did pronounce my name wrong!

You can hear all about my experience and my triathlon coach’s, Will Usher’s, experience of Ironman Barcelona here.

In the 7 steps below, I show you how I went from self-doubt to turbo charged self-confidence: HELL YEAH! I CAN do this! I am an Ironman!!!

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Step 1: Recognise a negative trigger

What situation or conversation – with yourself or someone else, normally produces a negative mood for you?

What was the first thing you noticed that triggered this negative feeling?

Acknowledge it ONLY (don’t sit in it) then put it to one side.

For me, I received an email saying 2 weeks until my Ironman Barcelona, which triggered feelings of self-doubt and fear that I may not complete it.

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Step 2: Draw a large imaginary circle on the floor in front of you

Standing up, draw a large imaginary circle in front of you and notice what colour your circle is.

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Step 3: Recall an experience when you felt an extraordinary amount of self-confidence

It can be in any place; at school, on the sports field, at work, in a relationship, dancing, anything that brings you feelings of extraordinary self-confidence..

Still standing up, close your eyes and get in touch with that time of extraordinary self-confidence, just allow yourself to become more aware of that self-confident feeling.

And as you get in touch with that confidence, notice the things that you can see around you, the smells, sensations, noises, voices in your head, whatever it is…

Feel what it feels like to be in that zone where you think ‘yeah, I can do this’. That confidence.

I look back at some of these moments; when I fully recovered from 4 years of severe Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, summiting Thorong La Pass, Nepal, (5416m) travelling solo through India, working on an Australian cattle station, riding an ex-Mongol Derby race course across the steppe &  cycling 139km with 1372m ascent in 6 hours in a city I’d just moved to.

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Step 4: Step this powerful confidence into your circle

When that feeling of self-confidence is really strong, I’d like you to step into your circle with that feeling of self-confidence flowing into it too.

Your circle is now full of self-confidence and as you look down, you may notice that your circle changed to a new colour that’s associated with that self-confidence.

Now you have that feeling of self-confidence in your circle for you. Anytime you want to be in that circle, that self-confidence will be there for you.

I imagine feeling this amazing self-confidence swirling all around me in this gold sparkling colour, filling me up, seeping into every cell and every fibre of my body. I continue to do this and feel these incredible things in my circle until I see myself glowing gold – really get into it and let your imagination run wild!

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Step 5: Solidify your extraordinary confidence

For a moment just step out of your circle and then step in again and notice how that extraordinary self-confidence is just there for you, anytime you want it.

Do that enough times so each time you step into your circle, you just know that your self-confidence is there, surrounding you and brilliantly swirling in your circle. Inside is that incredible feeling of self-confidence, just there for you.

Then when you’re happy with that, step out.

I do this a multiple of times until I’m really sure that my self-confidence is there for me, in that circle – like how you’re certain that day follows night or the sun rises in the sky!

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Step 6: Recall your negative trigger from Step 1

Imagine you’re coming to your negative trigger, where in the past there would have been trouble.

But, this time, immediately your self-confidence circle appears.

Step into your circle as you go into that situation and notice how it feels coming from this new place of amazing self-confidence.

And how by being this new self-confident you, the whole situation unfolds totally differently.

Feel what it feels like to have these feelings of self-confidence flowing through you.

And everywhere you go this circle appears anytime you need it, just like a spotlight following you around everywhere. The quality of self-confidence is everywhere.

For example, I see the 2-week to Ironman email arriving in my inbox and as soon as I see it, my shining gold circle immediately appears in front of me and I jump into it. Instantly those warm feelings of self-confidence embrace me and gold is swirling all around me.

I feel how it feels to have this extraordinary self-confidence as I see and read the email – I feel super excited and can’t wait for race day!

I know I’ve got this as my circle is following me everywhere I go.

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Step 7: Practice makes perfect!

Now we’re going to practice your situation with your new found extraordinary confidence, to really strengthen your neuropathways – as they say, practice makes perfect!

Pour your wonderful colour of self-confidence that fills your circle into your situation and as you see everything turning that amazing colour, feel what it feels like to be self-confident.

Run through your situation from getting up in the morning to going to sleep at night, paint everything with this incredible colour.

As you go through your situation, you have the posture of a confident person: your back is straight, shoulders are back, head is held high and you’re smiling.

Notice the sights, smells, sounds and textures of the things around you and that you touch.

How does it feel experiencing all of this, knowing that you’ve got this? That you know enough and have the power to achieve this?

Feel the amazing experience and colour flow into you, filling you up. You are now glowing with this outstanding self-confidence. You feel epic!

For Example…

I pour the wonderful gold from my circle into each day leading up to and including my Ironman race, feeling what it feels like to be self-confident during this time.

Everything is shimmering with an incredible gold as I run through my race plan and race day.

Each day I get up feeling confident that I can do it. I nail all of my training, nutrition, morning rituals and sleep.

It feels awesome to have this powerful self-confidence with me throughout my entire race and the days leading up to it.

I walk and run with a great, confident posture, those at the gym and my trainer comment how confident I look and how they know I’m going to have an incredible race day.

I know I’ve got this, I know enough and know I have the power to cross the finish line.

On race day I can see and hear the crowds cheering me on, my wetsuit feels great, my transitions are seamless. I feel strong and confident. My gels taste wonderfully sweet. As I come up to the last few kilometres I hear the crowds going wild, the red carpet feels wonderful under my feet, I cross the finish line and as I do my epic photo pose I hear Mike Reilly shout YOU ARE AN IRON MAN!!!!!!!

As I take everything I’ve learnt from this, my colour transforms into a magical rainbow and I pour it though my race day and those days and into me now!

It fills me up and I can feel the self-confidence bubbling irreplaceably inside of me. Ironman Barcelona… here I F*@KING COME!!!!!!!!!!!

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Let me know how you get on below and if you need any extra help or have any questions send me a message using my red bot 🙂

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Love Yourself On Valentines Day And Forevermore With THIS Habit

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I love Valentine’s day, I think celebrating our love for our partner is wonderful.

However, while love is in the air, I want to take the opportunity to talk to you about self-love and self-care, which are vital for thriving health and a successful life.

Self-love and self-care are not selfish acts. Without being kind and loving to yourself, you can’t turn up for someone else in the same way.

One of the most powerful self-love and self-care habits, that empowers you to kickstart your day and program your mind to turn your dreams into reality, is a morning routine!

A morning routine is one of the key traits of a high performing person – they know that if they win their morning, they can win their day!

On The Wild Show, Adventure photographer and Storyteller, Ian Finch tells us how by using his vision board, affirmations, and a gratitude journal, he was able to overcome his fear of becoming an adventure photographer and increase the levels of success in his professional life!

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A Morning Routine empowers you to….

  • Invest in yourself and grow
  • Develop a self-love and self-care practice
  • Create positive momentum first thing in the morning
  • Set a vision and direction for your day
  • Enhance your sleep quality
  • By starting your day focused, productive and successful, the rest of your day will follow suit and so will your life – you create a snowball effect!
  • AND you’ll be able to show up in the best way possible for your loved ones

Each person’s morning routine is slightly different, you have to find one that works for you! Here are my 5 favourite morning routine habits…

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1. I pause

When BBC Radio 1 wakes me up, I take a few deep breathes, smile and hydrate.

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2. I journal

I enjoy in writing my journal by hand. It’s more cathartic for me and keeps me away from blue light that much longer.

I write what’s on my mind – sometimes pages, sometimes nothing, it depends how I’m feeling.

However, I always write;

  • 3 things I am grateful for – they have to be different each morning!
  • 3 things that would make today great
  • And my Affirmation: I am…. – this can be anything you like.

By focusing on the positive you are making these neuropathways stronger and short-circuiting the negative thought patterns, so these pathways become weaker.

Studies have shown that by consistently focusing on the positive thoughts and behaviours, your happiness will significantly improve and you’ll create the levels of personal, professional and financial success that you desire.

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3. I breathe

I have been meditating for years and I love taking this time to lie in bed, beneath the duvet to experience peacefulness.

At the moment I’m enjoying Headspace and Calm is also a great app.

I also take this moment to switch my core muscles on with breathing exercises.

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4.  I visionise

I stand in front of my vision board and ask my self what do I want?

I answer with my top 3 goals.

I then ask myself, how am I going to achieve that?

Then I immerse myself in a stunning film achieving these 3 things – I deeply envision how it feels, what I see and hear.

I take all of this and turn it into a colour, it’s usually sparking gold with snowflakes and I flood this into the future; a week, a month, 6 months, a year and further depending on my goals.

I then take everything I’ve learnt and flood it back into me today.

I take all of this and the colour and run through my day, today.

Then when my unconscious mind is ready I come back to the room.

To really ramp it up, play your favourite inspirational soundtrack!

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5. I train (and eat!)

Before I train, I will jam something in my mouth to fuel my workout and hydrate some more!

I am training for two adventures and the Braveheart Triathlon later this year, so follow the workout that has been set for me.

It’s important to move in the morning to get your heart rate up and to feel energized – you don’t need to train for a triathlon, a walk outside would do wonders too.

Exposing your skin to sunlight in the morning is also important for melatonin secretion, which regulates your body’s sleep-wake cycle.

As Sleep Expert Shawn Stevenson says, by getting more light during the day and less light at night, you’re on your way to having a magic sleep formula!

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Let me know how you get on and if you have any questions or need some help, simply send me a message via my shiny red bot!

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If you’d like to hear how Ian Finch uses some of these habits to reach higher levels of success, plug your ears into The Wild Show Season 2 Episode 7: 5 Ways to Overcoming Fear with Ian Finch

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How to Overcome Fear in 6 Steps

[vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_column_text]I was recently asked; How can I overcome my fear of skiing down red slopes? So thought I would write a blog post on how to overcome fear in 6 easy steps!

Fear is completely natural and often a good thing.

It’s a feeling and emotional state that we sometimes experience, just like happiness, inner peace & confidence.

Fear is an integral part of being human, as it helps keep us alive by protecting us from potential threats and dangers, like telling us to run from dinosaurs all those thousands of years ago!

However, in our world today, fear can crop up in unhelpful ways.

For example, many of us are often scared to;

  • Take the first step towards our dream or goal
  • Apply for that promotion at work
  • Embark on an adventure
  • To enter that race
  • Attend that event on our own
  • Among many other things

So in certain circumstances, we need to learn how to overcome fear, use it to our advantage and not let it stop us.

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Listen to Sarah Williams on The Wild Show talking about how to take the first step towards achieving your dream.

A time where I experienced the greatest fear, was when I was extremely unhappy at university.

I felt pressured to return to university after fully recovering from my ill health, despite having a deep gut feeling that it wasn’t for me and it was taking me further away from life’s purpose.

In my second year, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Vancouver, and being away from pressures at home, having the time and space to think, and working with a coach, I began to really understand what I wanted to do and that I could do it.

Fear of disappointing my parents and fear of going off the beaten track was why I ended up returning to university and then it held me back from quitting university.

With my coach, I grew more courageous, brave and less fearful, by changing the focus of my internal dialogue and the scenarios I played in my head.

I switched my scenarios and internal dialogue from playing failure, hopelessness, stress, low self-belief and disappointment to success, happiness, confidence and inner peace.

This made all the difference and I was able to quit university in spite of my fear. I was excited about my new path, filled with the unknown.

Do you want to overcome your fear? Follow the 6 steps below!

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Step 1: Remember a time when…..

Close your eyes and remember a time in your life when you felt really excited, happy and were laughing. What’s the first thing that comes to mind?

For me it would be building a snow hole in Svalbard and we were throwing snowballs at each other and trying to push each other down the fluffy snowy slopes – I was super excited to sleep in a snow hole and was in stitches from laughing!

Whatever that time maybe, just see a picture representing it in front of you.

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Step 2: Representing your positive emotion

What does that image look like?

  • Is it bright or dark?
  • Is it colourful or black and white?
  • Is the image defined or clouded?
  • Does it look rough or smooth?
  • Does it look hot or cold?
  • Is the image big or small?
  • Is the image far away from you or close?

My image looks really bright, with intense and beautiful colours, it’s is sparkling with silver glitter, the image is defined with a smooth surface, it’s huge and really close to me, with a warm glow emanating from it.

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Step 3: Facing your fear

Now put your positive image to one side and remember a time in your life when you felt fear, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

Perhaps you were scared about a forthcoming adventure, to go to an event solo, make the leap to change careers, enter that race.

Whatever that time maybe, see a picture representing that in front of you.

A fearful image is often dark, big and overwhelming, slimy or spiky, very heavy and cold.

It’s very important that once you have it, you don’t linger here, move straight onto Step 4.

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Step 4: Overcoming your fear

Now change the qualities of your fear image to match the qualities of your powerful positive emotion image.

Think of it a bit like when you’re in Instagram and adjusting the brightness, saturation and contrast of your photo or adding a filter!

You can get really creative here! So just play around until your image feels positively charged and powerful!

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Step 5: Watching your wonderful film

Once your image is just right, I want you to run the image in front of you as a film, as if you’re watching yourself in a cinema.

How does that look?

Edit that film until it’s exactly how you want it to look.

Maybe you need to adjust their posture so their shoulders are back, put a smile on their face, brighten the colours, make it warmer, etc.

Change anything you like until your film would win an Oscar for the best positive looking!

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Step 6: Stepping into the new, awesome you

Now step into the film and really feel what it feels like to step into their shoes.

Really embrace those positive powerful feelings that are flooding into every cell and every fibre of your body.

Truly enjoy every moment, bask in it all its glory and think about how it feels to be like that now and in the future.

You can stay here for as long as you like.

And then imagine you’ve got really used to being this way, it’s just second nature to you. It’s been so many days, weeks and months that you’ve felt this incredibly amazing.

Just feel how it feels to be who you are in this new way, how it allows for something magical to occur…

Then when you’re ready, bring yourself slowly back and notice how it feels to have that change occurred already.

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Let me know how you get on and if you have any questions or need some help, simply send me a message via my shiny red bot!

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If you’d like to hear how Tegan Phillips used a similar method to overcome her fears, then tune into The Wild Show Season 1 Episode 11: Adventure and Fighting Fear with Tegan Phillips

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3 Steps To Improve Your Inner Voice

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How often has your inner voice stopped you from achieving your goals and dreams?

I would guess that for a lot of us, our negative inner voice has stopped us from;

  • Putting ourselves into uncomfortable social situations where we might meet like-minded people
  • Starting a new business, writing a book and/or getting our ideas out there into the world
  • Sticking to a new training program or diet
  • Preventing us from adopting new habits and ditching the old, not so useful ones
  • Learning a new and incredible skill, like climbing or open water swimming, because we might not be able to do it or worried about what other people think
  • Embarking on an adventure because we’re scared to go on our own or not sure if we’re good enough
  • And many other things…

I’ve experienced all of this myself, and I know many people whose inner voice has also left them lacking self-confidence, feeling like an imposter and believing that they can’t do something.

Well, I say enough is enough. It’s not fair that we shouldn’t be able to influence our inner critic and transform it into our positive force for good.

Our inner voice is always with us and learning how to transform it into our personal cheerleader, so we can feel worthy, self-confident, positive, powerful; so we can hit our goals; so we can have a can-do attitude… now, that’s a real game changer.

How would your life transform if you could improve your inner voice for the better? Follow the 3 steps below to find out!

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Step 1: The Stop

Notice when your inner voice is being negative and immediately say “Stop” – out loud or to yourself. 

This will give you the opportunity to step in and change it.

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Step 2: Change Your Negative Inner Voice

Close your eyes and think about how your negative inner voice sounds.

Use the tricks below to alter this voice, so the voice loses its power… like when you lose radio reception when you go into a deep tunnel.

I really enjoy turning the volume down and then pushing the source of the sound so far away, that I can no longer hear it… ahh bliss!!

Different things work for different people, so give them a go and discover which ones work best for you!

Ways to distort the sound of your inner voice

  • Change the voice tone to one that makes you laugh e.g. Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous, Miranda Hart, Michael Macintyre etc.
  • Speed up the voice so it sounds super fast and the words blend together, like it used to sound when you fast forwarded a video tape
  • Use a knob to turn down the volume so you can barely hear it or a flicker to mute it
  • Other ways you could change sound: slow it down, add distortion like a robot, add crackles like someone is tuning it and out, make it fuzzy, make it a sing-song voice or anything else that works for you!

Ways to move the source of the sound

  • Push it really far away from you so you can hardly hear it
  • Move it behind or below you, to the opposite side of where it’s coming from, outside, under water, into a hole, whatever floats your boat!
  • Watch the source of the sound roll over an edge into a vast chasm

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Step 3: Creating Your Powerful Positive Inner Voice

This is my favourite part because you can get as creative and crazy as you like! 

If I want my inner voice to exude confidence, it sounds very firm, clear, loud(ish) and has a ‘Don’t Give A F*ck’ quality about it!

If I want my inner voice to emit calmness, it speaks very slowly and sounds serene, as if an angel was speaking.

Ways to create your supportive and loving sound

  • Adjust the volume so it’s just right
  • Make the voice tone sound congruent to what you desire, for example, if you desire self-confidence, then have your voice sound clear, firm and energetic. However, if you want to feel calm and relaxed, have your voice slow down and sound peaceful and beautiful
  • Bring the source of the sound in front of you and close to you, wherever it feels the most powerful and loving

Creating your positive stories and phrases

  • Hear your new fabulous inner voice saying to you all of the amazing things that you want to hear, such as I can do this, I am calm, positive and serene, I am beautiful etc.
  • Only use positive language to give your brain the best direction about what you want, for example, instead of saying I don’t want to feel stressed >> say I want to feel calm and peaceful

This clip from one of my favourite Cool Runnings will give you some inspiration!

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Transformation can happen very quickly and to ensure your inner voice transforms into a real positive powerhouse, practice these steps a few times until it becomes easy and automatic.

So now is the time to remove “can’t” from your vocabulary. The answer is: YOU CAN!

Discover how TV Presenter and Video Producer Jo Pickard transformed her inner voice and how this one thing catapulted her career and life.

Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, Spreaker or here: The Wild Show, Season 1 Episode 2 – Jo Pickard – inner voice, intuition and improvisation at the Olympics.

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One Trick To Beat Pre-Race (or Event) Nerves

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If you suffer from pre-race or event nerves but want to feel excited, calm and confident instead, then start adding this one word to your vocabulary.

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Pre-race nerves affect athletes at every level and often stems from your body asking ‘Are you sure you want to do this?’, as it knows the stress it’s about to be put through, and the fear of failure – and/or fear of success.

Experiencing pre-race nerves is perfectly normal and can be beneficial, as the physical and psychological symptoms of nervousness get your body and mind in the best state for your race.

World record holder and adventurer, Squash Falconer, sees feeling nervous before taking off for a paraglide as a healthy part of the experience, helping her prime her body and mind for the event and reminding her to have a healthy respect for the laws of physics to keep her out of trouble.

Listen to Squash Falconer on The Wild Show podcast to discover how you can get into an ‘anything-is-possible’ mindset and enhance your mental resilience.

However, when your pre-race nerves and anxiety take you for a ride and sabotage your race, that’s when you have a problem. So what can you do about it?

More often than not, people unwittingly talk and think their way into their pre-race nerves, and fortunately, it’s just as easy to talk and think your way out of them, into a positive and useful state of your desires.

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Many people become stuck in thinking that you cannot change how you react to or feel about something – that you are passive towards it. But If you’re reading this, I know you’re smarter than them!

For example, I hear many tell me that they always get very nervous before a race – that the race makes them feel very nervous.

However, the problem with this statement is that it’s not completely true…

As the race is not making them feel nervous, what is causing them to feel nervous is themselves.

We can’t change the race, from the course and weather to other participants and technical difficulties. And it’s not fair that we should be left at the whim of something we can’t influence.

Now, I don’t have a magic spell for you, but I do have one word for you that is just as magical: Dû

The dû verb helps us to move from something we can’t do anything about, something passive, such as ‘My race is coming up and it’s making me feel nervous’, to something active, to something we can influence, such as ‘My race is coming up and I am dûing nervousness about it’.

Dû says it is you who is unconsciously and unintentionally involved in feeling (or I should say dûing) nervousness.

It is your thoughts and nervous system that are creating this nervous feeling and therefore you have the power to influence it.

So the dû allows us to recognise that we have some degree of influence over how we feel in situations that we used to think we were passive in.

By using dû, it highlights when you are in this passive relationship to stuff, such as race day, and it allows you to recognise when you have some degree of influence, such as how you feel on race day.

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So now we know we have a degree of influence over how we feel about and on race day, my next question is: What could you actively do to move into a positive state on race day? Let me know what has and hasn’t worked for you below!

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The Number 1 Secret That High Performers Know

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If you train hard for athletic events and/or adventures, you may be wondering why it’s important to understand how your brain works.

You get why the ‘Top 2 percenters’ use high-performance coaches, they want to take home gold, but you’re not sure how it could help you enhance your performance and life.

With that in mind, here’s the number 1 secret that high performers know about their brain.

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You have the power to influence the way your brain is wired and that by changing the way your brain is wired, changes your thoughts, emotions and physiology.

Pretty cool, huh?

Now, how quickly this neurological change can happen may surprise you…because it’s really quick!

Imagine that one day you walk in on your partner in bed with someone else, your love for your partner would instantly change to feelings of dislike.

And this is an example of how quickly your neurology can change: Instantly.

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Another way to think about how you can re-wire your brain is by thinking of your brain like sheep in a field.

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The herd of sheep always follow the Chief Sheep and each day they all follow the same pathway in the field.

Over time, this path is worn down, it becomes deeper and deeper in the field and eventually, the grass disappears leaving dirt.

Then, one day, the Chief Sheep decides that the adjacent field has much more luscious, delicious grass than their current field and it’s scattered with daisy’s, which makes it prettier too!

The grass is literally greener on the other side!

So the Chief Sheep decides to lead his herd to this new, beautiful field for grazing and instantly, a new pathway is created.

Over time, this wonderful new pathway becomes worn and well travelled. And the old, not so useful pathway is reclaimed by nature until it’s so feint, you can no longer see it.

And this is exactly how our brains work!

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The more we use a neuropathway, the more worn and easier to use it becomes. However, our brain cannot tell the difference between useful and un-useful neuropathways, only which pathway is used the most.

This means that if you are unconsciously using a neuropathway that triggers stress more than calmness, your brain will make it easier for the signal to travel down the neuropathway that creates stress.

However, as described in this blog post, with the right tools and know-how, it is often quick and easy to change the neuropathway to a much more positive and useful one, such as one that creates calmness. This new fantastic pathway then becomes the brain’s favourite and the old one is soon forgotten.

So instead of feeling stressed, having the negative thoughts and physiological symptoms associated with stress, you will be able to stop these things and experience all the wonderful feelings and things that come with being utterly calm and relaxed.

How would your life change if you could be in a calm and relaxed state all of the time?

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To discover some of the tools the ‘Top 2 percenters’ use to achieve their potential and win gold, listen to The Wild Show Season 1 Episode 5 with Phil Parker, the UK’s leading personal development expert.

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5 Ways To Overcome Adversity

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When I was 18 years old I was travelling In India and ended up in the hospital due to dehydration and continuous vomiting (nice!). The same thing happened in Namibia (doubly nice!). The fire had already been lit during my A levels, but this poured gasoline on the flames and my health spiralled downwards. For 4 years I suffered from severe Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS/M.E.), IBS and irritable bladder syndrome.

I found myself outside of the NHS remit and so took things into my own hands. I decided that I would fully recover and not stop until I did – and I succeeded.

So I understand what it’s like to overcome adversity, along with these 4 experts I heard talk at an event held by IGO Adventures last week. Here are 5 things you can do to overcome adversity.

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1. Don’t take no for an answer

Ex-professional international rugby player Shane Williams was once told that he was too short to play rugby.

But he didn’t accept this and worked extremely hard to prove them wrong.

Shane trained tirelessly with a smile on his face, adapting the game to how he wanted to play it.

Instead of getting overpowered in scrums, he trained to be quick and nimble so he could outrun his opponents.

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2. It’s all about how you approach adversity: what can I do about it?

Hugo Turner is a professional adventurer and athlete, along with his twin brother, Ross.

Huge and Ross take on, confront and overcome extreme challenges to support research programs and uncover new findings that will help create knowledge and accelerate developments in particular areas of human study and medical understanding.

When Hugo was young, he also broke his next, so he’s definitely no stranger to adversity.

Hugo’s number one tip was when faced with adversity: choose how you can deal with and overcome the situation to the best of your ability.

You have the power to influence your mind, outside of the environment that surrounds you.

It’s down to you to choose how you feel, act and think in these situations.

Choose to occupy the most useful state at that time, choose which path will make you happy in the long run and plough away until you’ve overcome that challenge.

And it often helps to follow your gut in these moments too.

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3. Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t

Anne Usher, Paralympic gold medallist, was following her passion for mountain biking before a spinal injury resulted in her no longer being able to ride.

Mountain biking was Anne’s everything and having lost this, her life spiralled down until she hit rock bottom.

It was around this time that Anne asked herself: How can I join the love of sport and physiotherapy together?

The journey of answering this question led her to a chance encounter with someone putting together a kayaking team for Rio!

With just 7 weeks of training, Anne qualified onto the GB team and this led her to winning gold at Rio!

Anne says she had every excuse not to train for the GB tryouts: she was a full-time mum, got seasick, never been on a boat etc.

But instead of focusing on all of the reasons why she couldn’t do it — Anne thought yes I can and focused on why she could do it.

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4. Cultivate a positive mindset

A positive mindset doesn’t just come from thinking positively.

A resilient positive mindset stems from an accumulation of powerful beliefs, thoughts and actions that you can do something, that you can overcome adversity.

And as Peak Performance coach Sandy Loder said, just like climbing Everest requires a team, no one overcomes adversity on their own.

You need to believe in yourself that you can do it to start the journey and you also need a team of supporters around you, to help you on your journey.

Keeping positive is exhausting, I know, I’ve been there, so having people around you who can boost your morale is important. It’s also important to have unconscious positive habits built into your day and routine.

Set yourself realistic and reasonable goals, celebrate small wins every day and don’t beat yourself up when things don’t quite go to plan, be flexible and just keep chipping away. If you do this, you will overcome adversity and achieve your big goal

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5. Be in the most useful emotional state for that moment

You have the power to influence your thoughts, beliefs, actions and physiology.

I believe a positive mindset is important, however, sometimes, you want and need to feel more than positive. Perhaps you want to feel calm, healing, energy, powerful, ambivalent, or humorous.

When I was sick, I was positive the majority of the time, but I needed something more. I discovered that in order to fully recover from CFS/M.E. I needed to have a calm and serene energy.

It was re-wiring my brain to this default state that enabled me to bounce back stronger, faster and healthier than I ever have been.

As these experts have said, you have the power to choose how you feel at any given time and changing your thoughts and your beliefs, changes your physiology. And this can transform your life.

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Do you want to find out how changing your thoughts and beliefs could transform an area of your life, such as being calm and focused before a race, instead of anxious and nervous? Then send me an email to adelaide@lillywild.com

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