Category Archives: Resources

Mental Toughness – 4 Secrets From The Navy SEALs

We can learn about mental toughness from the U.S. Navy SEALs.  They are people who have survived the most challenging military training in the world.

navy seal

Here are the “Big Four” mental skills taught to Navy SEALs:

1) Goal-setting. How are you going to get through the next half hour? Turns out that this kind of close-focused goal-setting is a key to peak performance anywhere. It doesn’t matter whether a person is on a stage, in an athletic competition, or in the middle of a fire-fight. It is simple, and proven. One major way to combat stress is to NARROW YOUR FOCUS to the immediate future.

2) Mental rehearsal, or visualisation. How often, when you’re anxious, do you imagine success? Give this a try: see what it will be like when you’re performing your goal with success. Notice how your body feels and what you hear. Do this over and over again and you are providing your brain with an experience of success.

3) Take Charge of Your Self Talk. We are constantly talking to ourselves.  When you notice you’re saying something negative say “Stop!” or “Cancel!” and say “You can do it” or “Forget that glitch – focus on what’s next!”

4) Arousal Control.  You control a panic response with deliberate breathing.  INHALE DEEPLY (for a count of six), hold it for a count of two, then exhale for a count of six, emptying your lungs. Do this three times. Practice this anytime during the day. It will become your instant stress control, lower your blood pressure, and flood your brain with oxygen, increasing your ability to think and react thoughtfully.

Give this “Big Four” skills a try – and you’ll find you’ll become more resilient in your work and personal life.

Stepping Stones – A Useful Metaphor For Sustaining Resilliance

2 stepping stones

I hear a lot of positive talk about ‘forward’ movement and lots of negative judgments about ‘backward’ movement.  I wonder what are the different ways we could talk about our movement through life, rather than forward and back.  We all know, in life it can be tricky finding our way through.  There isn’t a Google map with specific directions… It is much like crossing a rapid stream with only some stepping stones to make our way across.  We need to find our own way, each at a different part of the stream.

So, at times we do make a step forward and find, as we test the footing, that it isn’t a safe place for us.  In this case, it’s wise for us to return our weight back to the place where we last had sure footing and from there have another look for the best way forward.

To me, that doesn’t seem like failure, foolishness, or ‘backward’ movement. It seems like wisdom, to reach out and test for solidness.  And, when we get information that it isn’t safe, it is wise to return to a stable place to reassess.
Of course, it can be that the unstable stepping stone could be used as a launching pad to another place which may be bigger, more stable, and so we may still choose to take that risk.

So, I wonder as we contemplate this analogy, what are some of the ways we can talk about the ways we step through life that are more supportive?

Some comments

Steve says, “I like your comments on forward and backward and thought of another analogy that could be perceived as whole. I call it the balloon effect where we expand and contract during our progression through life.

As beings we start out in life as one, we often find a partner, have children and then reduce back to ourselves in the later stages of life (Sometimes the size of our house reflects this as more bedrooms are needed and then later we withdraw to smaller buildings of less maintenance and expense);
It may be that we grow a business in the early phase and then back off during periods of different demands;
During our journey as we experience new things we can be very passionate and involved in something and then reduce that interest when we are satisfied with the outcome and look for something new”.

Barb says, “Yeah too right.  Imagine stepping out to cross the road without careful appraisal.  Going forward may mean being wiped out by a mac truck.  Stepping back to the curb may mean having a life choice tomorrow”.

How To Connect With Others – A Guide To Keeping It Safe


During coaching and chatting this last week or two, there has been a common theme about connecting, about feeling confident and safe when fully opening in relating with others, especially in intimate relationships.

This got me to wondering …

Why do we fear honest and true connecting with others?

It’s true it can be challenging enough to be connected with our own self in a balanced way when we are living in a world which itself is out of balance. The yang outweighs the yin; the masculine outweighs the feminine; the head outweighs the heart and the gut; the fiscal outweighs the ethical; work outweighs pleasure, and you will be aware of other imbalances in the world in which we live.

But, we often hear that we need to ‘find a balance’.  Well, you can’t find a balance. Where would you have left it?  Did you put it down with your keys?  Is it in the glove box of the car?  No, balance can’t be found!  It develops, through being constantly aware of ever changing flow of life, through staying in tune with your energies, and consciously choosing an on-going state of balance.

You know that keeping physical balance, like when standing on a balancing ball, or an uneven surface, requires strong core muscles, and it is the same with keeping our internal balance, we need to strengthen and support our mental, emotional and spiritual muscles, as it were.

So, how can we continue developing the internal strength that can allow us to always…
be with self and others in a balanced and responsive way?

First, we need to find the balance within, and come to our center.  This develops through being present, practicing mindfulness and correct breathing (along with good posture, diet, sleep and exercise of course). It’s then we can harmonise with those close to us. This happens through open and honest communication, removing judgement, letting go of attachment and expectations, opening to the energies of others and flowing with them. This is not achieved in a day or in the moment we…

recognise the value of developing your balance.

This is a life journey we can chose to take.

Yes, some ‘technical’ knowledge is helpful, when it comes to, intimacy and relationships, and I do teach this in my workshops and in coaching programs, but ultimately it’s much more about ‘how’ you do things rather than ‘what’ you do. It’s about the ‘being’ rather than the ‘doing’, it’s about feeling positive and confident about yourself as a person and expressing that from the inside out. That too is about balance, about being centred and calm and confident and being able to flow with what’s in you and what’s between you and the other person.

And, although it takes courage to continually challenge your fear and grow strong in responding from your center, I can absolutely guarantee you, it IS a much safer way to be with others.

As you think about this now,
how is it you can know that acting out of our fear by being defensive actually brings to us the very thing we fear?

Living courageously is a reward in itself – scary at times, but so worthwhile and exhilarating.

Ask yourself, what’s one thing you can do right now to…

begin to …

challenge a fear,
strengthen your courage and
develop greater balance now?

Yes, now, today, in this moment.