22 May 2015

I was working with a client recently to help the with their mindset with regard to running. Many of my sports related clients are physically fit and able to achieve great things in their field, but are held back from truly achieving their desired targets by their beliefs and self-imposed limitations. These limitations are not always apparent to the client themselves as they are often patterns that the subconscious mind has picked up along the way. They often manifest in self-doubt, negative thoughts or self criticism all of which will effect the efficiency of an otherwise capable athlete.

I am no athlete by any stretch of the imagination (although I have been told I the past I would make a good Sumo wrestler but I’ve worked on that in my own way!) so I cannot give my clients any advice with regard to their specific sport. What I can do, however, is help them with the sporting mindset- those limiting beliefs and that inner-voice that stops them from functioning to the best of their physical ability.

The client I referred to earlier needed help with such issues and we spent some time working through them until we got to the point where she was happy and she left my consulting room feeling excited and positive about her next event. We agreed that she would continue training and then come to see me just before the event she was entering for a final session to ensure everything was ok for the big day.

Just prior to the meeting, I sent her a text requesting that she bring her running shoes with her. This was greeted with a quizzical reply but as requested, my client arrived on the day with her shoes.

It occurred to me as I was planning the session that what is often missing from our everyday activities whether sporting, leisure or work is that magical feeling that we often have when we were younger. That excited feeling we got as kids at Christmas is a good example of what I mean. Pure excitement without the adult inner voice telling us to be sensible and calm down. I decided that this is exactly what was needed in this situation and what better way for a runner to have easy access to such feelings as to have magic shoes?

We got to work and had an excellent 45 minutes getting all the good feelings and positive suggestions in place ready foIr the event. I then asked my client to allow all those resources to pour from her into her training shoes and to fill them up with all those good feelings so that whenever she put those shoes on, she would immediately feel excited and perfectly ready for whatever she was about to do.

We then had a quick chat about the rest of her weekend that she had planned, before I asked her to put her running shoes on. She did so and immediately all the feelings of excitement and positivity flowed back into her for her newly modified “magic shoes”.

It is always rewarding to see this sort of thing happen- in this example where someone can instantly switch from a very matter of fact conversation to a feeling of excitement and focus just by putting on a pair of shoes. In NLP, this is called anchoring and can be applied to all areas of life. It is very powerful and something that we often do in both positive and negative ways- memories triggered by a certain smell, a certain song even seeing a certain person.

I’ll never forget that session- she went on to run the event and beat her personal best. I’d like to think it had something to do with the magic shoes I gave her!

I still have plenty of pairs of magic shoes left if anyone else needs some- just give me a call and I’ll see if I have a pair in your size!

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