Get your free Mental Game Academy E-Book

Topic Progress:

The following readings will increase your Confidence:

Chapter 1: Fill Your Mind with Moments of Gold

Dolly and her family have a ritual at every dinner. Everyone must tell about one happening in their day—good or bad. However, they also have another ritual, Dolly’s favorite, in which each family member gets the opportunity to describe a “golden nugget”.

A golden nugget is any great or special happening of the day. It could be when you aced a hard test, or scored a goal at soccer practice, or said the right words to a friend and made her smile. Dolly thought that the best part of this process is when you get to write down your golden nuggets in a small notebook kept next to the kitchen table. Then, if there are no new golden nuggets on a given day, one of Dolly’s parents will read out loud a golden nugget from the notebook to keep the spirits of the family high.

Football great Joe Montana used his golden nuggets to create great fortune on the gridiron In the last two minutes of the 1988 Super Bowl, the San Francisco 49ers were five points down against the Cincinnati Bengals. They needed to march almost ninety yards to score.  In the huddle, Joe told his teammates “This is just like ‘81.”

Those words in the huddle allowed Joe and the other 49ers to recall a golden nugget: a very similar pressure situation in which they succeeded. When they were playing the Dallas Cowboys in the 1981 NFC championship game, the 49ers needed to advance the ball the entire field in the last minutes of play. With just a few ticks left on the clock, Joe threw the famous catch to Dwight Clark for the winning touchdown. Those winning images—that golden nugget—gave them a sudden jolt of energy and bolstered their confidence, which carried them to victory over the Bengals and to another Super Bowl title.

Recalling successful experiences is key to developing a strong mental game. Individuals who can replay key successful moments in vivid detail have an enormous advantage against those who lack this skill. Here’s how you can fill your bag with golden nuggets.

Drill: Get a bagfull of Gold Nuggets

Like the Joe Montana, you too need to develop a golden nugget book. Write down any times you performed beautifully, whether it was a musical piece played on her instrument or a perfect shot in tennis. But do more than just record it. Pull out the golden nuggets out when needed, such as during a break in a tight tennis match.

Those nuggets are bound to turn your performances into gold.

 

Drill: Make a Peace Book

Most everyone has memories that can promote positive emotions in the present. Recall a moment when you felt completely peaceful and happy. Perhaps it was standing at a beautiful waterfall, or sitting at the end of a pier watching the boats roll by, or lying on top of a mountain looking at the valley below, or watching a sunset over the water. Now, record that moment. Describe it in great detail in a “peace” book.

Next time you have an anxiety-related moment such as a tough match or a math test or a speech to give, read a passage from your “peace” book. This practice should help you to stay calm in times of turmoil.

Chapter 2: Choose Your Attitude

The Norwegian people have it down cold. They live in a usually frigid environment, yet they are a nation of outdoor enthusiasts. They have a tendency to see only the positive of their climate and have a saying that captures their perception: “There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.”

We have a choice to feel great about our day, or feel like we should still be in bed. We have a choice to remain positive about events outside our control, such as the weather, or we get gloomy with each passing rain shower.

The same principle applies to our confidence. We have a choice to believe in our exceptional skills or to believe that everyone else has more talent at our job or position.

While essential to possess in any endeavor, confidence is as fickle as an eight-year-old boy in a candy store. One moment he wants the Gummi Bears and the next he wants the sour chews. A great performance can create the sweet air of invincibility. One bad shot or one foolish mistake can sour your attitude and perception of your ability.

One of the toughest mental skills is to keep that sweet feeling of confidence even when your performance takes the train south for the day. However, no matter how poorly you are playing or performing, you can always choose to remain confident. No matter how many disappointments or mistakes you make, you can still choose to taste that sweet feeling of confidence.

Ask Willie Mays, who always had a smile on his face. A former teammate recalled how one day at the start of a big game, Willie declared to the guys, “This is going to be a great day. I’m going 4 for 4 today. No doubt about it.” After Mays struck out his first at bat, he came back to the dugout and said “This is a great day today. I’m going 3 for 4.” When he failed to get a hit in his second at bat, he proclaimed that he was going to go 2 for 4. Then he grounded out for his third at bat and made the bold statement that he was going 1 for 4. Later in the game when he was robbed of a base hit on his last at bat, he smiled and said, “Tomorrow is going to be a great day, I’m going 4 for 4.”

Centuries ago, the founder of modern philosophical thought, René Descartes, wrote that we have the capacity to think whatever we choose—and to have thoughts that are self-liberating or those that are self-defeating.

This same principle applies readily to you. You can have self-liberating thoughts that free you from the fears of everyday life or you can choose a life full of self-doubt. Know that you have a choice to be confident. The following drills should help your you to believe that you can go 4 for every day, in every way.

Drill: Have an Early Morning Happy Hour

When most of us wake up, we focus on everything that needs to get done that day. If the list is great, and the time minimal, our attitude can sour quite quickly. The same goes for us.

To help you to start the day in a good mood, try this simple exercise. When your wake up in the morning, focus on three things you are thankful for in her life. It could be your health, friends, pet, or family, and so forth. You will find that when you choose to focus on these simple thoughts, your morning will be that much brighter. It is an early morning happy hour.

Chapter 3: Talk Yourself into Greatness

Most champions use positive self-talk. They routinely pump themselves up with the right words: like Serena and Venus Williams, the tennis dynamic duo.  While they are best known for their single victories, these sisters also play doubles and are a formidable pair, to say the least. But this one afternoon, they were losing decisively. They needed to grind it out to win this match, but Venus was not particularly focused and looked despondent about winning.

Usually during a changeover, the sisters talked about anything from movies to shopping to boys, but during this changeover, Serena gave her older sister a needed earful. Serena said, “Listen, I don’t care what you do on your side of the court, but I’m not going to miss on my side. We will not lose this match.”

Then Serena went on to say, “Look, Venus, no matter how you feel about your game, you have to show up at the court, right? You’re here to play tennis after all. But you do have a choice about whether you want to compete well or compete badly. I’m going to make the choice to compete well. Why don’t you do that, too?”

Apparently Serena talks herself into winning on the court. She was also trying to get her sister to feel the same winning way.

Positive self-talk can do more than help us win, however. It can even change our brain. Our thoughts create neurological impulses, which stimulate the creation of new pathways in the brain. The more we think any thought, the stronger and more available the pathway becomes. So repeated positive thoughts can super-charge our brain with positive energy and help us become a champion.

Positive self-talk should start at the earliest of age. Gary Player, one of the greatest living golfers, used positive mental talk since he was a young lad growing up in South Africa. His teacher remembers walking by Gary’s classroom and seeing Gary staring intensely into a mirror, talking to himself. He was repeating the same sentence over and over:

“You’re going to be the greatest golfer of all time.”

Wondering how many times he’d say it, the teacher started counting: When Gary got to his hundredth repetition, the teacher gave up watching (and decided to skip the pep talk he’d planned, as Gary was doing just fine on his own). When Gary grew up, he became an all-time great, winning all four majors in his career.

Unfortunately, many athletes are not like the young Gary Player. Instead of engaging in positive self-talk, many do the opposite. Tiffany, a young actress trying to break into commercials, had that problem. She played a negative mental tape in her head. Although she had a lot of talent, she never auditioned well. Before every audition, she said things like: “I know I’m going to blow it again!” and “Don’t choke this audition again.”

Making these destructive self-statements helped to burn a negative mental tape in Tiffany’s brain. She had become her own worst enemy. One day, after listening to Tiffany berate herself, her mother asked her this question: “Who would you like to have around during an audition—someone who always calls you names and puts you down or someone who praises you and pats you on the back?”

“Of course, the one who praises me,“Tiffany said.

Then Tiffany’s mom told her she was her own worst enemy. “You’re the one who’s self-destructing your performance—no one else.” With that insight, Tiffany began to realize that she was the obstacle to her potential. She stopped using negative self-talk and self-destructive tones in her communication.

Sometimes changing a negative mental tape into a positive one can happen due to a simple insight, as in Tiffany’s case. Other times, the change comes with using key mental exercises. The following are a few mental tools to help you talk yourself into excellence.

Drill: Develop a Best Friend’s Journal

Just like Tiffany, you want to be around someone who pats you on the back before and after a performance. You must become her own best friend, if you want to achieve excellence.

To get started, get a small notebook. Then write one positive self-statement in it each day, like

I have confidence today.

            I am a great test taker.

            I am mentally tough.

            I bounce back from errors easily.

            I feel great today.

            I like myself.

Write one of these self-statements in the morning before school or before going to bed. After writing them, reread a few passages every day. Rereading these statements will create a positive “mental tape” in you brain and help you to become your own best friend.

 

Chapter 4: Act Like a Star

The Spelling Bee in Tallahassee plays out for ten hours. Children from all over the county enter this big event, and the winner gets a trophy and $200 certificate at the local computer store.

While it can be a lot of fun for most kids, the Tallahassee Spelling Bee can turn into a long and grueling tournament. During the final hour of last year’s event, every child remaining in the contest looked tired except Suzy. She perked around on stage, looking as fresh as she had in the first hour of the contest. When the contest was over, another contestant asked Suzy how she still had all that energy and spark at the end.

“My dad always told me, ‘Fake it until you make it,’” Suzy said. “I was tired at the end of the day, but I pretended to be bursting with energy. The weird thing is that when I acted that way, I started to feel that way!”

Her great energy was not enough to win the spelling bee, but Suzy had learned that day what all top performers have known: Whenever they step onto the field, stage, or classroom, they have to perform, no matter what.   Winners aren’t always motivated, eager, and confident. They can get tired, sick, and burned out. But they know that when the bell rings, it’s time to put negative feelings on hold, and they do. They call forth whatever emotions will empower them to win.

How do champions turn fear into boldness or fatigue into energy?

They actor in the words of Suzy’s father, fake it until you make it. Great acting is the ability to portray emotions. A skilled actor shows emotions with his face, eyes, hands, poses, movements—everything he does, even the way he walks, shows the audience how the character feels. But a great actor doesn’t just show the emotion to the audience—acting an emotion can make the actor actually feel it.

Psychologists have discovered that our emotions follow from our actions. People who always strut their stuff often feel confident no matter what the score is or how many opportunities they’ve just blown. People who act like winners feel like winners, think of themselves as winners, and are more likely to become winners than people who act like losers.

Chris Evert is a great example. She always acted confident and committed, even when she felt out of sync, weak, or nervous—or just didn’t want to play tennis. But Chris never revealed feelings of weakness or doubt to anyone, especially an opponent. Instead, she showed a fighting spirit, a will to win. She always kept her head high and her shoulders tall. She roamed the court like a lioness looking for her prey. Her exceptional acting skills helped her achieve eighteen Grand Slam titles.

Unfortunately, when the chips are down, many young people act like whiners, not winners. Andrew, one of the best young golfers in Tennessee, could drive the ball three hundred yards. The best coaches taught him the sweetest swing. But Andrew was a bad actor. After every missed putt or shot, he slouched, pouted, and hung his head. His negative body language chased his confidence away. Andrew’s lack of acting skills blocked his success and prevented him from fulfilling his considerable potential.

You may never take acting classes. You may never want to be on stage or in the movies. But to unleash the champion inside, you must become a great actor. Whenever you step into the classroom, on stage, or onto the court or field, you must act like a champion, radiating confidence no matter how you feel. And you will feel confident because the emotion you portray is the emotion you will ultimately feel.

The following exercises can help you become the actor all champions need to be.

Drill: Wear the Red Shirt

Wearing something special can make children feel special. When Tiger Woods was very young, his mother gave him a red shirt. She told him that the color red would give him strength and courage whenever he wore it. Now, as part of his Sunday ritual, Tiger always wears a red shirt. When he puts his red shirt on, his confidence grows.

Take the lead from Tiger.  What clothes and accessories would help you to feel the way you want to feel?  And then wear that shirt or socks, etc. to make you feel confident.

Drill: Enter through the Stage Door

Joe Paterno, the great Penn State football coach, told his players that the second they walked into the locker room, they stopped being students, boyfriends, and sons. They were football players and only football players; no other roles existed for them once they entered the locker room.

Discard all other roles and play only the role of a champion. Brainstorm possible triggers or acts that could kick-start the role of a champion. Here are a few suggestions to use as triggers:

  • Lacing up your shoes the day of the competition
  • Putting your backpack down in the classroom
  • Opening your instrument case at the start of your recital
  • Tying back your hair at the start of your test

Remember, acting like a winner creates the most effective emotions for becoming a winner.

Chapter 5: Become more optimistic with the TUF mentality

John could not believe his luck when he was blessed with twins, a  boy named John Jr. and a girl named Jessy. He thought he was even more blessed when they both fell in love with soccer, one of his passions. While they were both gifted in speed and agility, his twins differed greatly in attitude. John Jr. would try on every play regardless of the score. When his team was down, he would try even harder. He never gave up.

Jessy was the opposite. As soon as she made a few bad plays, it was all over. She would pout, put her head down, and stop competing, both physically and mentally.

John knew that Jessy’s attitude would be a significant obstacle to success in her future endeavors, in life as well as in sports. While his son could bounce back from his mistakes, his daughter lacked a key ingredient to success—resiliency to failure.

The path to success follows many twists and turns. Individuals who ride through those pitfalls with resolve and resiliency, typically will achieve success.

One of the greatest examples of resiliency is the story of Thomas Edison. His road to success was racked with a multitude of failures. Many times in his young life, he faced excessive debt incurred from acquiring new equipment and continually building a better laboratory. Also, he failed many times to sell and promote many of his important inventions. In addition, other inventors stole his designs and infringed upon his many patents. And the most famous Edison failure story, retold many times, is the amazing number of mistakes he made before discovering the effective light bulb.

However, Edison’s resiliency to failure was built on his effervescent optimism. Edison did not view these failures concerning his light bulb invention as a permanent happening or as an insurmountable obstacle, but rather as pathways he no longer needed to take. He simply saw every failure as a temporary roadblock to his future success.

Jim Abbott is another optimist with great resiliency. Jim was born with only one usable hand, which can be a major problem for someone whose dream is to be a Major League pitcher. However, Jim did not give up, but developed a strategy that fit his strengths. After pitching the ball, Jim would quickly switch his glove to his usable hand so that he could field any possible hit. He honed his skills so well that he not only became a Major Leaguer but an all-star pitcher for the California Angels.

Both Thomas Edison and Jim Abbott allowed their optimism to shine on their paths to success. Most people have the belief that optimists see the glass as half full while pessimists see the glass as half empty. While this is the archetypical analogy, psychologists believe that the difference between an optimist and a pessimist is how each explains a failure event.

Optimists are resilient because they follow what is known as the TUF strategy when describing their failures. For instance, when failure comes to an optimist, they see it as “Temporary.” If an optimistic student fails a math test, she believes that she was not “with it” on that test and that tomorrow will be a better day. Optimists also see failure as “Unique.” Optimistic students who fail a test believe they were not good at that particular chapter, but the next chapter will be different. They will “get” the next chapter. Failure, to an optimist is also “Flexible.” Optimistic students believe that if they change their behavior, such as by trying a new strategy, failure will be less likely to occur in the near future. If they get a tutor for this next test, success is around the corner.

In direct contrast, pessimists do the opposite when evaluating failure and mistakes. First, pessimists believe failure will not change in the near future. They believe they will continue to make mistakes and fail. Second, pessimists believe that failure will happen for every situation. Pessimistic students who are not good at a particular chapter in the geometry book believe they will not understand any chapter in the book. Third, pessimists believe can do will change failure. A pessimistic student believes that getting a tutor or studying more will not help them get better grades. For them, once failure occurs, the situation becomes hopeless.

The good news is that you can become more optimistic. Martin Seligman, author of Learned Optimism, and the foremost psychologist in this area, says that an optimistic attitude can be acquired with the appropriate thinking patterns. According to Seligman, anyone can relearn and change thought patterns to become more optimistic.

The following are strategies to help children develop the TUF mentality.

Drill: Tune up the “T

To enhance the temporary dimension of failure, you should emphasize the fleetingness of mistakes. When you fail a test or do poorly in a competition, realize that life is a series of peaks and valleys. Sometimes we find what works, lose it, and then find it again.  Some days are just going to be worse than others. Some days we have it and some days we just do not. Here are some examples of questions that illustrate the temporariness of failure:

            Were you at 100 percent today? (Perhaps tomorrow or the next time you take the test, you will be at 100 percent.)

            What might change in the near future?

            Will you feel better next time?

Drill: Urge on the “U”

To enhance the unique dimension of failure, you should emphasize how the event was special. For instance, in tennis, perhaps the player rushed the net and that did not match up with your game. If the failure relates to testing, perhaps this chapter did not match up well with your thinking style, but the next chapter will.

Ask the following questions:

             What was it about this specific player (test) that you did not like?

            Are  there any strenths that you have that will help you succeed in the future?

            How do your skills match up differently with the upcoming tests (opponents)?

Drill: Foster the “F”

To enhance the flexibility dimension of failure, illustrate how failure can change by altering some behavior. For instance, if you blew a musical recital, focus upon changing a strategy for the upcoming contest. Perhaps a change in preparation is needed. Or you may need to practice her breathing techniques before the recital. If you shot free throws very poorly at the last game, try implementing a pre-shot routine—a series of behaviors that a player conducts before the shot that can lead to better performance.

Also ask the following questions:

What can we change for the upcoming contest for you to be successful?

Is there another strategy you can implement to be more successful?

Will a tutor help you succeed? Do we need a different coach?

On a scale from 1 to 100, how much effort did you give? Can you give any more effort? How can you go about doing that?

When you use the TUF mentality, failures should begin to soften and the road to resiliency should be much easier to find.

Chapter 6: Imitate Greatness

Matt was frustrated. His son, Kip, towered over everyone in his basketball league, but he was timid at the hoop. Like many fathers, Matt coached his son, and like many fathers, he was hard on him. He tried yelling, he tried coaxing—but no matter what Matt did, Kip did not get aggressive on the court.

Then the two of them watched the Lebron James play on television. Kip told his father that he admired Lebron. Kip admired the way Lebron dominated his opponents as he pressed towards the hoop. That gave Matt an idea: He would encourage his son to act as if he were the Lebron James of his league.

Matt told his son, “Whenever you have the ball, copy Lebron. Imagine what he would do and do it.” With those words and insight, Kip’s behavior dramatically changed. He grew aggressive on the court as well as around the hoop and began to live up to his incredible physical gifts.

Teachers use this technique (modeling) to help their students learn a new skill or get better at an already acquired skill: It’s easier for most people to imitate something they’ve seen than something they’ve read about or heard described.

Seeing someone else do something can give people a visual understanding of the action. They see how all the pieces fit together, which may make it easier for them to copy the action. Modeling provides essential information—such as rhythm and timing—that is difficult to convey with words. For all these reasons, modeling makes learning easier and teaching more effective.

Studies show that imitating a role model also gives psychological benefits. Observing someone else perform a risky move can help reduce anxiety about performing the move. Seeing people you admire doing something also can make you want to do it. The right role models increase motivation.

But perhaps modeling’s greatest benefit is the way it can boost confidence. It definitely helped Mike. The class assignment was to speak in front of the class about future goals. Mike, however, was petrified to speak in front of his class. In the past, he had broken out in a cold sweat and at times frozen up and forgotten what he had practiced. Before he was scheduled to give his speech to the class, his buddy, Ryan, got up in front of the class and spoke. Ryan was cool and calm and spoke with great passion about his future interests. Mike gained solace in how well Ryan did, and when his turn arrived, he pictured Ryan and how the class responded. Mike could not believe how well copying another person enhanced his own talents.

Here are a few methods to help you imitate greatness:

Drill: Develop a Montage of Greatness

For this activity, you’ll need poster board, scissors, glue or rubber cement, and magazines with pictures.

Cut out all the people you admire. Once you have enough pictures to cover a poster board, arrange them into a collage and paste them on the board to create a collage of greatness. Hang this someplace where it will spark visions of greatness, such as on her bedroom door.

 

Chapter 7: Get a Life Line

Amy Miller walked into her boss’ office and declared “I don’t think I have what it takes for this job”. Amy had just redesigned the Park City Bridge and was 6 months behind schedule and $40,000 over budget. Amy then added, “I love the work-what I don’t enjoy is the stress of the numbers and time constraints when trying to complete every job”.

Amy works for Badgett and Badgett Associates, an architectural design company just outside Boulder Colorado. Her boss, Tim Badgett had hired Amy for her creative flair and spunk, greatly needed at, what he felt, was a company losing touch with the times.

Tim Badgett, has been the CEO of the company for the past ten years-his father had stepped down a decade ago, after starting the company 30 years prior. Tim knew a great personality and employee when he saw one and told Amy, “I had just visited the bridge this morning-the lines and shapes fit perfectly within the contours of the environment-The bridge complements the river and molds into the mountains like no other bridge I have ever seen-it is magnificent”. He added, “Amy-you are a visionary.” Tim then told Amy to forget about the small details, he would have someone help her with those issues.

After the meeting Amy wrote on a piece of paper “visionary” and posted it on her computer’. She had decided to use that as her “job line”-She would focus on the big picture-and not worry so much about going over budget or if there is a delay in completing a project. Her job line allowed Amy to settle into a fantastic career.

Do you have a life line?-A pithy statement to guide your emotions, actions, and decisions down the best path.

The all-time great tennis player John McEnroe has a life line-“Always moving forward”. John said his desire is to continually move ahead in his life. He is always trying new things. Besides being a tennis player, John has played in a band, owns an art studio, hosted his own talk show and currently commentates tennis matches for television. John’s life line has guided his entire career.

Drill: Get a life line

Develop a lifeline-one that fits your goals and guides your actions:

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Always keep trying
  • Bounce back
  • Be a visionary
  • Never give up
  • Be your own best friend
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff

Pick one that works for you and post it on the computer as Amy did-and use it as a guide as well as a comforting statement.

Drill: Give yourself a nickname

Do you remember when you gave your buddy that great nickname-That enduring name that created a special bond.

Why not give yourself a great nickname? A nickname can be a powerful tool along side the life line.

When Orel Hershiser got his nickname, his career skyrocketed.

It was 1984 and Orel was struggling in the majors as a pitcher, and having a terrible season. After one tough game, Ron Perranoski, the pitching coach told Orel that Tommy Lasorda wanted to see him in his office. Tommy was the head coach of the LA Dodgers and a legend at the time. While Tommy was a passionate leader, he could also be abrasive and brash when he wanted to make a point.

At the meeting, Tommy let Orel have it. He said that Orel looked fearful on the rubber and began to berate Orel, “Who do you think these guys are at the plate? Babe Ruth? The bambino is dead!”.

Then Tommy said that Orel had the right stuff and that he believed in his skills. He told Orel that he needed to take charge on the mound, that he needed to be a fighter, a bulldog-and then Tommy said, “From now on I am going to call you bulldog.”

Out of that meeting a nickname was born and so was a pitching legend.

Orel’s nickname made him feel more tenacious on the mound and fight for every pitch. Perhaps it’s time to give yourself a nickname-one that breeds the feelings and actions you need to be more successful at key moments on the playing field and in your life.

Chapter 8: Think Big

Our belief system can change our physiology. Medical research has documented time and time again how patients will feel better after given an inert substance such as a sugar pill, if they are told that this pill will be beneficial to their health. They believe in the pill, and it helps their healing process. This is known as the placebo effect.

The belief in ourselves can heal any wounds of difficulty and allow us to continue with great energy and persistence toward our dreams. Rudy Kalis’ belief in his abilities allowed him to overcome an unfavorable start as a sports caster. Actually, Rudy started his television work as a news caster in Green Bay Wisconsin at a small television station. Per chance, the current sportscaster walked out of the job due to an argument with the management, and they offered Rudy a 30 day trial at the job. After the 30 days, they brought in two consultants to evaluate his work–after to which they told Rudy that he should find a different career. Not devastated or humbled, Rudy continued his path and sent out promo tapes to other stations, one being Nashville. They liked his work, hired him and Rudy Kalis has been a beloved icon in Nashville for the last 30 years as a sports caster. By thinking big-much bigger than those consultants-Rudy realized his dreams.

Belief in yourself can fuel the fire to overcome any criticism or adversity: It can even take you from a “grocery boy to the Super Bowl”-it happened for Kurt Warner in his story book season of 1999.

After playing for his college team, Northern Iowa  for one year, and throwing for almost 3,000 yards, Kurt believed he had what it took to be an NFL quarterback. After college, he had a tryout with the Green Bay Packers. But with the likes of Brett Favre and Ty Detmer, he did not have a chance and was cut.

He moved back to Cedars Falls, Iowa and got a job being a stock boy at a local 24-hour supermarket. However, he still kept his dream alive. He continued to prepare for his shot at the NFL, staying in shape mentally and physically, studying game film and hitting the weights. All the while, Kurt would tell his coworkers that he was much more than a grocery boy-that someday he was going to play in the NFL.

Then he got his chance-another tryout with an NFL team-the St. Louis Rams. He had a terrible tryout, but they signed him anyway to play and sent him to Europe. He led that NFL Europe team in passing yardage which opened up a spot as the second-string QB for the St Louis rams. When an injury came to the starter-Trent Green, Kurt Warner finally had his chance.

In the 1999 season, Warner generated the second best statistical season of any quarterback in NFL history. He completed 65 percent of his passes and 41 touchdowns. He led his team to the Super Bowl –coming from behind with a game winning drive in the last two minutes. In that magical year, Warner was voted the NFL most valuable player as well as the most valuable player in the Super Bowl-a long way from bagging groceries-and it all came from a true belief in his ability. Kurt thought big and he achieved his ultimate goal.

While our belief system can make us accomplish wondrous achievements, it is a double edge sword-our beliefs can also create a ceiling to our potential. This belief principle happened with the 4-minute mile. No one thought it was possible to break that impenetrable mark-and so no one did. However, amazingly, when Roger Bannister did accomplish this world-class feat in 1954, there were 45 other runners who broke the barrier within the next five years. These runners had a belief of limitation until Roger shattered it for them.

The following tip will help you to think big and overcome any belief barrier:

Drill: Think big:

To help you think bigger, get a small index card and write “Think big”. Place it on your refrigerator or on your computer. Every time you see this card, it is to remind you that ceilings do no exist for you. You have no limitations. You can do anything, achieve your dreams and reach the greatest heights-in sport and in your life.