The Mind Gym

Could you benefit from more positive self-talk? Last Saturday I entered the mind gym 🏋️ arena with Dr Tom Bates. His immersive workshop was specifically around how to get the best out of yourself and your performance as a swimmer. I knew my children would gain so much from the experience, and I totally geeked out too 🤓.

Tom shared the story of Sir Bradley Wiggins, former professional road and track cyclist, Tour de France winner and Olympian. Brad said every day he was faced with a roundabout choice. If he took the left hand turn it was 6 miles home, and a massive hill climb. If he took the right hand turn it was a couple of easy miles home on the flat.

🤔 Which did he take?

🥇 “The left hand turn of course, every time” I hear you say, “he’s an Olympian after all.”

🤯 Well, yes, you are correct, but that’s not the full story. Every time he approached the roundabout he would have two different parts of him in conflict. The part that just wanted to get home, get a shower, have some food, and a rest on the sofa. “Just this one time won’t make a difference.” The other part would then jump in, “champions do not negotiate with themselves. Commitment eats motivation for breakfast. You have to take the hard option, do the things no-one else is willing to do, that’s what makes you a champion.”

Performance is less about what is happening when things are going well. It is more about how we respond when things are not going our way. This is when we develop grit, determination, and resilience.

One of the coaching tools I share with my clients is called the cycle of creation – how our thoughts shape our reality.

🟣 Thoughts become words in our head.

🟡 We then attach emotions to our thoughts.

🔴 How we think and feel about ourselves then dictates the next action.

🔵 It shapes our habits, our character and as Tom says, ultimately our destiny.

I usually link this cycle to what is happening during challenging experiences, but I had not fully appreciated the link to improving performance.

For example, if I tell myself that I’m rubbish at focusing. Guess what? I feel bad about myself, procrastinate, fall down the social media rabbit hole and fail to focus.

What happens if we catch ourselves saying those negative thoughts and change them in the moment? “I’m rubbish at focusing” becomes, “now is a great time to focus.”
It instantly shifts our intentionality and therefore our results.

Why not see if you can catch some of your thoughts and try making that switch today. Future you will thank you for it.

If you have parts of you (like Brad), that are seemingly in conflict with each other:

🔴 The Pusher part that wants you to keep on top of your email on holiday vs your coach potato that wants to relax.
🔴 Your Pleaser that wants to be liked so over commits vs your what about me part that knows how to put yourself and your own agenda first.
🔴 The Perfectionist that struggles to delegate because it won’t be done properly vs your slob that can relax standards.

It’s time to get back in the driving seat of who’s in charge of these different parts of you, because without awareness, the strong parts will dictate your direction (or in Brad’s case cycling his bike).

You are invited to join me this Saturday to learn how to manage these seemingly conflicting parts of us, to move beyond imposter syndrome and regain real choice in your behaviours and actions.

Register for your free place here < < workshop registration > >

Keep Opening Up,


➡️ Cohort 6 of the Career Design Mastermind starting 1st May 2024 is now SOLD OUT.
➡️ To find out more about coaching or the October cohort of the Career Design Mastermind, book a free 45-minute 1:1 coaching consultation call here.
➡️ Register for the next free Intentional Careers WebClass here (multiple dates available)
➡️ Get a copy of Intentional Careers for STEM Women, which is currently up for a book award < < Buy now > >

🎙️Listen to the latest episode of the Women in STEM Career & Confidence podcast. Dr Alice Redmond is the Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) at CAI with over 30 years’ experience. Alice is also a founding member of Women in Technology and Science (WITS) and is on the ISPE Women in Pharma (WIP) committee.

In this episode we talk about:

  1. The theme of being a trailblazer
  2. How to bring your unique perspective to leadership Managing a lack of confidence through over-preparation and how this has changed for Alice over time.
  3. Getting the best out of your career development through mentorship and networking.

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