In this episode Coach Jason shares the Beast principle, WOTAR, and two coaching strategies to shift out of negative thinking and into positive results. This show also includes a special Game Ready Visualization to further help you create the results you want in your Full Force Life.
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Shift out of Negative Thinking
This show is beginning to be more and more to me, as time goes by, have a place where I can not only share the lessons that I learned from a fifteen-year professional career, but also that transition out of the game as well and to be able to group all kinds of people and bring them in here; not just athletes, but people outside the athletic world as well. When it comes to living a full force life, what I mean by full force is when you’re at a place where you feel totally aligned, completely congruent. You have this vision, this picture of this movie in your mind that says, “This is where I want to be someday.” You’re not there yet, but you’re aiming towards this place. In order to get there, there are certain beliefs, there are certain values, there are certain skills and capabilities, there’s certain action that you must take to keep moving in that direction. A huge part of it is our thinking because the type of thoughts that we take on a consistent basis, those thoughts they determine the actions that we will or we won’t take.
When I talk about negative thinking, when I talk about changing thoughts from negative to the positive and the importance of it all, is if you don’t have your thoughts supporting you, serving you, you’re not going to take the actions that you need to take in order to develop the skills and develop the beliefs and ultimately reach this beautiful vision that I know you have deep inside of you. For me that’s the full force life, getting it all aligned. One of the first things I’ll tell you about negative thinking is more times than not when I speak to athletes, “You are going to play into it. Whatever you’re saying about yourself, you’re going to eventually play into that.”
A more specific example, a little while ago, I was at Oklahoma City College, one of the top NAIA baseball programs in the country. I’m sitting behind the cage and watching one of their best hitters on the team. Guy is hitting 450 on the season. There are not even that many high school players who are going to end up hitting 450, let alone a guy at a university. He’s an incredible hitter, but he’s having one of those days. Every fourth or fifth swing that he takes, it’s not a very good swing. When it comes to swinging a bat, that’s a challenging enough skill, you’re not going to be perfect every time, so let’s get that out of the way. He tells himself after that fifth swing when he pops up at the top of the cage, “I suck. Lousy swing. I suck. I’m a terrible hitter.” He did this every fourth or fifth swing again and again for a couple of minutes. Eventually, it was every third swing. He kept saying it over and over again, “I suck. I suck.” He turned pretty much every swing and he pretty much suck at that point.
That’s what I mean by playing into it. Whether you’re an athlete whether you’re not, if you continue to think these thoughts, if you continue to say these things out loud especially, you’re going to live into them. At the end of the day most people don’t consider themselves liars. Are you a liar? If you don’t consider yourself a liar, every time you verbally speak this out loud, “I suck,” your brain goes, “I’m not a liar. He says I suck then I better start sucking.” It’s going to back up what you speak out loud.
Here comes one of the biggest problems when I talk about negative thinking. Changing that voice inside of our head, changing it from a negative to more of a positive voice, it’s almost nearly impossible to do by thinking alone. We have 65,000 thoughts a day, 65,000. If that number really seems absurd to you, the reason why is because most of them happen on an unconscious level. You’re not even aware of certain thoughts that are going through your mind. You’re not even really aware if your thoughts are positive or negative most parts of the day. The real scary part is that 95% of those thoughts are the same ones that you had yesterday and the day before and the day before that. Our thoughts, they’re a habit, they’re a pattern, they’re the sequence. Something happens in the course of our day and we move on to an automatic thought about it. If it’s a negative thought, then it leads to another negative thought, then it leads to another negative thought. It’s this pattern, this habitual pattern that keeps going on and on. That’s why when I say, “Try to change your thinking. Try to think more positively,” isn’t going to be enough. It’s not going to be enough to disrupt, to change this pattern going on in the future.
However, there are three great ways to change this pattern. Two of them I’m going to share with you today. The third one would need a much, much longer podcast. If you do these first two things, you’re not going to have any problem. It’s going to be more than enough to change your thinking and do a more positive light going on in the future. Before we can go to that, we need to know that one of the most important this is about this is developing the awareness because you might not even be aware that you’re thinking negatively at this moment. So many of those thoughts are going on without us even realizing that a lot of people aren’t even aware that they’re thinking negatively, that they need to make some type of change in this pattern to begin with. The first key is building the awareness.
One of the ways that I want to teach you about how to build an awareness is through the Be A Beast system, the principle of Wotar. Wotar is a wolf. The reason why we use the wolf is wolves are incredible communicators. Can you imagine ever seeing them on video, the pack of wolves going after their prey and got the lead wolf, the alpha, and he let’s out a yelp or a howl or a bark. As soon as he does that, all the other wolves, they change their course, they change their strategy. As soon as he lets them know that they need to do something different, boom, they go and they do something different. They take a new direction towards the prey; incredible communicators. That’s going to be our trigger because ultimately what it comes down to is the results that you get are going to come down to that type of communication that you put into it.
Let me break down Wotar for you. WO, it’s the words, the words that you speak, the words that you use ultimately determine the thoughts that you think. For the longest time, I thought it was the other way around. I thought if I sat there and tried to think positive, think positive, think positive, I will be a more positive person. Everyone knows about positive thinking, but do we see that many positive people? It doesn’t all add up. When we speak out loud, when we speak that positivity and we really truly put the energy, at least we act like the energy of positivity is behind it, it sets a new course. It sets a new pattern in our brains which triggers more positive thoughts. The more positive thoughts that are going on, the thoughts end up determining the actions that you take. The more positive thoughts, the more positive actions that you’re going to take. If you have a lot of negative thoughts, you’re probably not going to take negative actions. You’re probably just not going to take any action towards what you want. The more positive thoughts, the more positive actions we take and the more actions that you take produce greater and more positive results. You can abbreviate it by saying we achieve the results that we want through the positive communication, the way that we speak not only to others, but how we speak to ourselves as well.
Go back to that young ball player in the cages. He’s popping up at the top of the cage all the time. I know most players, and I actually did tried it in my career once or twice, but I know most players aren’t going to want to speak out loud and say, “That’s a great swing.” You roll over a ground ball, “That’s a great swing.” Pop up at the top of the cage, “That’s a great swing.” At the very least develop the awareness saying, “I suck,” is not serving you. Is it making you better or is it making you worse? It is making you worse every time. If you keep going down that road, you’re going to play into it.
I promised two ways to change your states. I’ve already gone way into one of them and that’s by speaking positively, getting the energy behind it too. I think of one of the softball programs that I worked for the last two years and how they know these principles, they know the Be A Beast system and they are a team that understands and utilizes Wotar, the wolf. It’s something that they help remind each other when someone says something a little bit carelessly, a little negative thought or a negative word out loud. They bump, “Hey, Wotar here.” Our key, our trigger to make us more aware of the power that’s behind our words.
A great tool that we could use to help start developing more positive words and more positive thinking is affirmations or even incantations. I love the incantations. You talk about wizards and sorcerers. You see them on TV in the movies. They put the spell and say the same things over and over again and they do it with all this great intensity until what they’re speaking comes to fruition. It comes alive. We could do the same thing. You hear me on past shows always talking about the power of visualization. So many of our guests on the show have talked about how they visualize or how they’ve created this vision. They had this picture going around. Especially if you’re a one-on-one client, I do everything that I can to make sure that you are developing this routine, this habit of every morning or even maybe at night, spending a few minutes of visualizing your performance, your mechanics, how you want life to be so that you play into it too there. Another tool that you can also utilize, maybe you can do it before or after the visualizations, maybe you can take turns, trading days; one day is a visualization day, one day, I’m saying these affirmations and these incantations. The important thing to know is that the incantations, you want to be positive and you want to say them over and over again. They build up in your body, they build up the strength and this energy and it naturally shifts your thinking.
Some examples of incantations could be just reciting ten times after your visualization. Recite ten times, “I’m a confident player.” Say it strong and in a confident tone. Another example might be, “I have incredible focus. I have incredible courage. I think positive thoughts.” I think back to my career and there was one I used to recite to myself all the time. I didn’t really understand the full power of incantations and to say the stuff out loud, but I would think it all the time and I would say it out loud. I remember saying it on deck quite a few times. I would tell myself, “I am the ultimate power hitter.” If you look at my career, I was not the ultimate power hitter. Let me ask you the question, me walking up to the plate, saying out loud, reciting that in my head as a mantra, do you think it helps me or hurt me? Definitely, it didn’t hurt me. I only played better because I had that affirmation, that incantation going on in my mind and in my body every time walking up to the plate. That’s a huge tool.
Shane Austin, the quarterback that we had on the show quite a bit ago, an undersized football player. No one expected him to go play Division I football, but he did and he played in a ball game. No one expected him to go on and be a professional quarterback. Now, he’s going over. He was MVP of the China Arena League last year. He’s getting a chance to explore and get paid to be playing professional football in China. It’s awesome. He talked about even in high school, he would write his goals down and he would affirm them. He would repeat them out loud every day because that’s what it did. It became a part of him, it changed his pattern of thinking. The reason why I use the word incantations more than just affirmations is because when you talk about incantations, you really talk about getting your body involved, getting your voice and your body posture and just having some intensity to it. Could you imagine if you just sat around and say, “I’m happy. I’m confident,” do you think your body’s going to get into that? Do you think that’s going to be enough to change how you think, change those patterns? It’s not going to be enough. It’s the reason why I talk about incantations and I talked about all those other stuff.
The second biggest way that we can change our thinking from a negative to a positive is by changing your state. You’ve heard this on the podcast, you’ve heard this in some of my videos; change your state. If you’re in a lousy state, what does that look like? Can you describe a person on a lousy state? Their head is down, their shoulders are slumped, they’re breathing shallow, they got the sad look on their face or whatever it is. They’re probably telling themselves, “I suck.” If you ever take a person like that and you were to make them stand up tall, breathe deep, head up, shoulders back, have a look of confidence, a look of determination on your face, it automatically changes how you feel. If you’re in a confident pose, it’s going to make you feel more confident. When you feel confident, you are going to think thoughts that are confident and thoughts that are going to be happier, that are going to be more positive. If you’re in a lousy state with negative thinking, the fastest way is to change your state, change that body posture into a positive body posture. It’s going to automatically trigger more positive thinking out of you.
The mental game is just being in the game and going out there not getting distracted and not getting down on yourself and remaining confident. There’s more than just being in the game time. A huge part of the mental game comes way before the game starts, even before the practice starts. It’s the preparation that’s involved. What I want you to do now for your assignment is we are going to prepare. We do not want to be the type of people or players that say, “When bad things happen, we’re going to do our best to figure it out.” No, “We’re going to have a plan of attack.” What I want you to do is where are some areas in your game or in your life that you have a habit, a pattern of negative thinking. Is it in your bullpens? Is it when you do a specific assignment at work? Do you sit there and always have this patter of negative thoughts over and over again? I want you to find a situation like that and we’re going to pre-choose something that we can repeat to ourselves out loud that’s going to be a positive that’s going to help shift our focus to produce more positive thinking. Or imagine yourself what you would look like in that positive body posture, that peak state; standing tall, shoulders back, breathing deep, looking more positive. When that situation arises that you’re going to shift into that body state, you know exactly how you’re going to stand that next time that you have to be in this situation. That’s assignment number one.
Assignment number two. The great thing about incantations is they could be anything; anything that makes you feel happier, stronger, more positive. I want you to get in the habit with your morning visualizations or your bed time visualizations, whatever works best for you, of saying a phrase. Maybe you say it five times, maybe you say it ten times, maybe you’re an over achiever and you say it 25 to 100 times. It’s about how bad you want it. I know there have been plenty of times where I’ve gone on walks for 20 minutes or more repeating the same phrase over and over again. I sound absolutely ridiculous. But the more that I bring in these incredible athletes, the more that I’m discovering the people who get just ridiculous results in their career, in their lives, tend to do things that for most people it sounds ridiculous.
I’ve heard somewhere someone said, “The fastest way to get to where you want to be is usually don’t follow where everyone else is going.” Take the path less traveled. Going on a walk or doing this habit of saying these incantations over and over again. It’s going to be a great tool for you to get to where you want to go because very few people are going to take the time to actually do it. Those are your assignments. I wanted to do a game-ready visualization along with it. Maybe we can incorporate it as well. Just as a gift to you, I thought we do one of the game-readies that my mentor passed onto me during my career that I now give before big games, weekend tournaments to a lot of my one-on-one clients and the teams that I work with as well. As always, before we do this visualization, make sure that you don’t do it while you’re driving in a car. I highly recommend not to do that. In fact, I discourage and put a big disclaimer: Do not listen to this while driving a vehicle.
Before we begin, we always pick our intentions, our intentions of how we’re going to be. An intention is so similar to an incantation so maybe we can use some of those incantations that you came up with, “I’m going to be a confident player today. I’m going to go out there, I’m going to throw low strikes. I’m a low strike-throwing machine. I am the ultimate hitter.” We’ll use some of those today. Now that you have your incantation intentions, I want you to go ahead and get grounded in the power of gratitude. What you feed will grow and what you starve will die. The more that we focus our energy, the more that we feed things to be grateful about, the more we’re going to find in our lives and the more that’s going to be attracted to us. Think of that memory, that thing, that person and just relive it just for a second. When you’re in that energy, when you’re in that strength, go ahead and see your gate.
Picture your gate. You are the designer of the gate. It could look anyway you want it to. Once you have it, go ahead and walk through it and come in to this beautiful place of nature. Maybe it’s a place you’ve been to before, maybe it’s a place you just created in your mind or maybe it’s a combination of both. Whatever it is, I want you to take a look around and just appreciate it. Appreciate the beauty of this place. Nature loves to be appreciated. The more that you take the time to appreciate it, it fills you up with this energy, with this juice that you can turn around and put into things that you love, that you’re passionate about, building and expanding and growing. Go ahead and see it all. Make it big, make it bright, move it in closer to your face. Make everything bigger around you. Hear the sounds that go along with it, these beautiful sounds. Maybe turn the volume up a little bit louder on the sounds and just feel what you feel here. Feel the ground, feel what you could touch. Feel deep inside what this place makes you feel. Does it make you feel happy? Does it make you confident, relaxed, proud? Whatever it is, feel it now.
Before we go, I want you to take a big deep breath, fill that belly with air. When you exhale, blow out everything that you do not need today. Blow out the fears, the worries, the doubts, the insecurities. One more deep breath in and just exhale and blow all that out. Anything you don’t need, blow it out from your body now and go ahead and see your second gate. When you walk through that second gate, you are coming on to your field today. You’re living your day. Just for a few minutes, I want you to watch it like you’re watching on TV. Maybe you’re sitting up in the stands, maybe you’re sitting in a theater, watching it up on the big screen, watching a day in your life; you going out there and being your very best, say 25% better than you’ve ever experienced in your life.
If you’re an athlete, see yourself playing your game at the highest level. 25% better than you’ve ever played before. Whether you’re a ball player on the field, see yourself taking the swings exactly the way that you want to. If you’re a pitcher, see yourself picking up the sign and the location and hitting your target. If you’re a track athlete, see how your body moves with intention, with certainty. See the look on your face on you’re very, very best. See yourself setting new marks. If you’re in the office, see how you want people to respond to you, see how you want to be there for others. Create the results you want in advance.
Take a moment to remind yourself these intentions, these incantations, repeat them to yourself, get them associated with these amazing images. It’s only going to help you in the future when you recite them now. If you start linking this movie and these pictures to them as well, it’s only going to make it more powerful. Now, what I want you to do is I want you to walk up to your body and step into you. You see the rest of the day out your own eyes. See yourself coming through, getting the job done, feeling exactly think way you want to feel. Just see it over and over and over again. See it, feel it, own it. This is you living full force.
Now, celebrate your day, celebrate with your teammates or your family, the ones that you care, love the most about. See yourself high five-ing, hugging it is, whatever it is you do with your tribe; see it, feel it, own it, be with them. Celebrate the day, celebrate the victory, the victory of living life full out, full force today. Then come out that gate and come back in this beautiful place of nature and just feel the sense of pride of going out there and living full force. Feel that pride. See in the distance a well of water and walk up to this well and notice there’s a cup there with your name on it. Take that cup. In this well is the coolest, clearest water you’ve ever seen. Fill that cup up and go ahead and take a sip. Feel the coolness in your mouth, down your throat, down your belly, arms and legs, every cell of your body, spreading just replenishing you, re-energizing you, giving you everything you need. All you need is within you now. Go ahead now, standing tall and walking strong, walking in your own strength, that great body posture. Go ahead and walk out that last gate because you are game ready.
As always, it is my pleasure to serve you today. Until next time. Aim high, swing hard, smile often and live full force.