How to get the Mindset of an Olympian

When the Olympics are on, it’s a safe bet you’ll find me in front of my TV, cheering, shouting, biting my nails, and yes, crying. Considering that I almost never watch TV otherwise, you might say I’m a little bit obsessed.

To me, the Olympics are the ultimate mind-body-emotion experience. These athletes have put their heart and soul on the line. They’ve pushed themselves physically and mentally, while holding it together emotionally. And we get to see their shining moments.

So many stories from this year’s Olympics could easily become Disney movies. After watching the zillionth one (it was Nathan Chen’s comeback in long form figure skating, after such a disastrous short form), I got to wondering – what kind of mindset do you need in order to do that?

So I did a little research. I found dozens of ways to get an Olympic mindset, and here are my top five:

  1. Train like it’s a performance. If you only practice halfway, then you’re...
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How falling in love (with yourself!) will help jumpstart your goal

goals love mindset moticise Feb 05, 2018

I read an article once where Sigourney Weaver told about a time she was in an acting class. Looking around, she thought, “I feel so sorry for all these people. They’re not going to make it, and I am.”

Soon after I read that, I was in an acting class myself, and I sure as hell did not feel that way. But, I admired the strength and confidence she must have had, to believe that. I didn’t think she said it in a mean way – it wasn’t like “They suck and I’m awesome.” It was just a belief she had, a sense of certainty that she’d succeed. And she was right. (I’m guessing the rest of the group didn’t all go on to win Oscars).

But that day in my own class, I looked around and thought, Wow, these people are so talented. How on earth am I ever going to make it?

And that troubled me. I knew that if that was the belief I carried around me, my results would reflect that. So I made a conscious effort to change my...

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How to make your resolutions fun again

coaching goals mindset Jan 09, 2018

New Year’s Resolutions can be real downers.

If we’ve tried and failed at something before (and how hasn’t?), something sad happens: working toward a goal turns into a chore. It feels heavy, difficult, maybe even hopeless. And not many feelings are less motivating than those.

Up until a few weeks ago, that’s how I felt about meditation.

For God knows how long, I’d been trying to make meditation a part of my daily life. And I came up with every excuse in the book not to. After some reflection, I realized why: I didn’t know if I was doing it right. I didn’t know whether it was working. I didn’t know which kind of meditation I should do. I was so uncertain, and that was making it almost impossible to believe I’d ever meditate daily.

But then, I stumbled upon a new idea that totally changed my mindset.

The idea came from Josh Kaufman, a writer and researcher who studies learning and skill-building. In his...

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Don’t Forget to Do This before the year ends

goals love mindset Dec 18, 2017

During my One Life to Live daysmy home was in LA, but the show was filmed in New York. For a while, I commuted back and forth every few days. (Yes, it was a little crazy, but you can get used to pretty much anything.)

At first, I stayed with friends in New York, but as my character, psycho nurse Barbara, got more screen time, I knew I needed my own place. Just a small one, somewhere to sleep, eat, and drop by bag. A friend knew of a one-bedroom sublet, with rent so cheap that I had to ask him to repeat it. It was on the Upper West Side, just two blocks from the One Life to Live set. I couldn’t believe my luck.

Then I saw the place. It was on the ground floor, and the few windows it had were literally one foot away from a brick wall. You couldn’t even see if it was sunny or raining out. It was tiny, cramped, and as dark as a cave. But the price and location were right, so reluctantly, I took it.

I’ll just get some candles, and put up some...

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5 Lessons from Kilimanjaro (#3 will surprise you)

adventure goals Nov 06, 2017

For 25 years now, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro has been on my bucket list. And finally, a couple weeks ago, I did it.

And along the way, with my two sisters, our guide Robert, assistant guide, cook, and twelve porters from Kandoo Adventures (yes, 12), I learned a thing or two about what it takes to climb Kilimanjaro.

Here they are:

1. Go slow. “Polepole” – that means “slow” in Swahili, and that was our rallying cry. And we meant it. We might’ve been the slowest hikers there, being passed left and right, but I didn’t care. I’m told that slower you go, the better your chance of success, because you have more time to acclimate to the altitude.

Slow, small steps will get you to the top. (The tortoise and the hair, right?) As long as you’re moving forward, you’ll get where you’re going.

And after the first few bathroom stops, where Karin and Isabel and I would stand around chatting, our guide said, “You need to...

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How to Beat Performance Anxiety

adventure goals moticise Sep 20, 2017

For years, I’ve wanted to climb Kilimanjaro.

I love hiking. I grew up doing it with my mom and sisters. Isabel and I climbed Mount Whitney, which is the highest peak in the continental US, and my mom and I climbed Mount Washington, which is the highest on the eastern seaboard. She and I also climbed the two highest mountains in Norway. Basically, if there’s a peak, I want to climb it.

But I’ve never done any of the really big ones. So this year, for my birthday, I decided to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Stephen said I could go, as long as he didn’t have to. So I rallied my sisters, one of whom has always wanted to do it, and one of whom is reluctant (although optimistic – she was the first person to buy boots and a backpack).

As I began preparing, reading books, studying the trails – we’re going to do the longest one – I started to get scared. I was learning that the trail isn’t what gets people, but the altitude. I started...

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The Power of Story

coaching goals moticise Aug 07, 2017

Last month, I went to Kelly Swanson’s keynote camp just outside of Asheville, NC. There were about 20 of us staying in cabins in the woods, with no WiFi or cell service – just each other, ourselves, and the time and space to work on our keynotes.

There was one man there named Dave,  who had lived on a 26-foot yacht for fifteen years. During one of the practice sessions, he told us about the worst nights on the water he experienced.

A storm had hit – this was in the Caribbean – and it was tossing his boat around like a toy. He’d tied everything down and locked himself in the cockpit, and now he was just praying to get out alive.

Then something approached, something huge and loud, that passed just feet from his yacht – a cruise ship. Beneath the raging wind and waves, he heard the distinctive thump of disco music. Through his port hole, he could see people on the decks, laughing and dancing and having a grand old time, totally unaffected by the...

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How to Stay Motivated – Without Using Willpower

goals mindset Jun 13, 2017

Do you ever think “I can do it, I’ll just power through it,” and then two days later, you quit?

It’s tiring, isn’t it? If all you’re doing is plowing through a task or an event, chances are that you’ll burn out. 

That’s why willpower is overrated.

The other day, I came across an article by Benjamin Hardy that said, “If your life requires willpower, you haven’t fully determined what you want.” In other words, if you have to power through something, then you haven’t made a decision.

“Until you decide,” Hardy writes, “you’ll be required to use willpower, and will continue making minimal progress.”

Is that true? I wondered. So, as usual, I decided to test it out on myself. What, for me, takes a lot of willpower?

I confess…it’s networking.

I used to think I could power through events, like I was the Wonder Woman of business. No sweat, I can survive...

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How to Prove to Yourself that You Can Do It

It’s February: the month where New Year’s Resolutions go to die.

I’m joking, of course. Hopefully yours are alive and well. But wherever you are in your journey, it’s a reality that change is hard. Often, we’re all gung ho at first, but then the daily grind sets in. We lose our enthusiasm, and we revert to our old ways.

Why is it so freaking hard to make a change?

Because our brains are like lawyers. They need evidence. And we’re crazy good at finding evidence of how “stuck” we are. We’re not so good at finding evidence of how powerful we are. Or that we’re capable of change.

I see this all the time around food and eating habits. Friends will order French fries, even when they’re trying to lose weight. They know there are healthier options, but choosing those options isn’t in line with their beliefs. “I’m not a person who orders wraps,” they believe, or “I just don’t like veggies....

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How to Get Better Results in Almost Anything

goals Jan 12, 2017

Last week, I read an article about an art teacher who decided to do an experiment with his ceramics students.

To one half of the class, he said, “This semester, you only need to turn in one pot. It should be as close to perfect as possible, but I only want to see one.”

To the other half, he said, “I want you to turn in as much pottery as possible. I’ll weigh what you hand in, and if it’s over 50 pounds, you get an A. If it’s over 40 pounds, you get a B. And so on.”

The students worked on their pots, and at the end of the semester, the results were clear: the best pieces came from the group that was graded on quantity. The students who were instructed to make as much as possible ended up producing the highest quality.

I thought, that’s so fitting for this time of year, when we’re focused on our New Year’s Resolutions.

Sometimes, we get really dogmatic about our plans. “I’m going to lose weight.”...

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