The Enemy Within. Commitment versus confidence

If you listen closely to people, you will hear them say that they would commit to certain endeavors if/when they feel a certain amount of confidence to ensure some success.

I find this quite ironic. Granted, from the principles of mental toughness and success, both are important. 

Yet, when we begin with issues of confidence, we run the risk of never feeling confident enough. Confidence is full of excuses, and it is greatly influenced by the ebb and flow of life. The caveat being that we may never feel confident enough, for all you perfectionists out there.

Lean in, and listen up. Let's take it a little deeper. 
Consider that minor inch-shift in mentality

Ultimately, confidence is a function of what?

Ultimately, confidence runs the danger of being the function of Ego. When leading an endeavor, ego is that false self that measures 'good enough', 'better than', 'measures of success'. If this is the starting point, I can guarantee y'all that it will lead wayside.
Why? Simply because too many of our ideas revolving around these issues are tainted by our blind spots of conditioning and self-esteem. Confidence is a buzz word in our Western societies.

So, is confidence vital in maintaining endurance? Of course it is, when placed and used correctly. But it cannot be the starting point in daring to take those first steps.

We have a term in martial arts and in Chinese martial arts, we talk about 'Yi' (loosely translated as intent) or Yi-zhi, meaning will and intention. 
Just for a moment, view this concept as another way to express commitment. 

When we open our minds and commit to anything, we override a large aspect of our confidence issues. We decide. We intend. We decide to make something happen, and that will mean learning and adjustments along the way. Yes, we need a certain amount of confidence to keep at it, but nothing can stop a strong intent, willpower, commitment. 
It means the commitment to say, "This is what I am going to do, and I will figure it out".

As we take those steps of small successes, confidence is built lending fuel to take it to a greater level. 

Tell Ego to step aside, and commit.

I don't care what it is. You decide:

A career endeavor
A health goal
A fitness goal
A team goal. Work, friendships, relationships, or athletics.
A personal development goal
A crises, health or otherwise in life

When the commitment is made cultivate an open mind to remain aware and receptive to opportunities that lead to steps of success. It is a much more efficient way to succeed. If we focus too heavily on our confidence issues, we remain stuck there. 

If you're a team player at work or otherwise, commitment to the highest objective takes the ego out of the way, abolishing selfishness and lends loyalty to win.

The greatest fuel combined with commitment? We'll cover that soon in a future post.

Want to know more? Want to learn how?
Contact us at Solborg 

Stay safe and warm wishes,
Tamera Daun

Endurance and the Mind


The arenas in which we operate and strive for improvement are many; career, athletics, life, whatever it may be. There will be crucial crossroads, and times of exhaustion. They are inevitable.  

At certain points in life or training, we will need to go the extra mile and put in the extra effort, but it will rarely be without purpose. The experience of successfully pushing through discomfort helps us to grow, and helps us to handle even more of what life may throw our way. 

Whenever we challenge ourselves and wiggle out of our comfort zones one step at a time, we not only strengthen our confidence to do more, we ultimately train our endurance.

Endurance is built from the inside-out; one step, one workout, one day at a time. It is the decision and will to do so, the discipline to keep moving forward, and belief in ourselves to do it.

At some point we notice that we automatically gain second wind, third wind, or even a fourth wind. Each time we meet circumstances that demand an expanded capacity within ourselves, we will be better capable to meet those demands with less fear or worry. It doesn't matter if it's a chosen goal, physical training or life just throwing us a curve ball. 

Needing less time to re-group and re-coup, we catapult ourselves further than we initially imagined. 

Now hold that thought, and let's put it aside for a moment...

Individual responsibility put aside; the number of people preferring to engage trainers and coaches is on the rise for a variety of reasons. 

For athletes, this is a given circumstance.    

What role can a trainer/coach play in motivating and inspiring that extra effort out of their clients/students/athletes

Aside from the obvious talking points, there are also subtle little tools in the process of coaching and teaching lending great effect on the brain and more generally, the mind.

Building endurance is, in my opinion, most influential at breaking points of exhaustion. The point of surrender. The main reason being that in these moments, the mind moves beyond a state of perceived control, regardless if that state is negative or positive. It capitulates to frustration. In some cases, it short-circuits into a state of emptiness. Ego perception reaches a breaking point of what it thinks you can, or cannot do.

When you temporarily take the mind out of play, there resides chance that the physical body still has an ounce or two left. Squeezing those out builds that incremental variance, becomes stored into muscle memory, and expands consciousness. 

The mind is a tricky coyote to trap, yet at certain moments it can be beneficial to side-step it to a degree. Endurance is one of them

We can either walk through the front door, but we can also slide in through the backdoor. Preferably both. The purpose being to keep pushing for the mind and body to land on the same page.    

It may not seem so, but in this state the brain is wide open for suggestion or direction as to the next step forward. The next movement. 

When the client, student, or athlete seemingly cannot produce one more ounce; the window of opportunity opens wide. 

Important is how the performing individual has trained themselves to self-talk and power through. This is vital, yes. 

However, the trainer/coach/teacher also gains opportunity to amplify the sub-conscious effect, and it should never be underestimated. 

Mistakes made at these points can hinder and tense the individual, and create subconscious blocks. A teacher or coach must therefore strive to be a role model in mental mastery; ever present in the moment, and flexible and fluid in communication. They must believe in their student/athlete's highest development and potential. Moreover; caring, patient and generous with their energy and skill.

Fundamental elements:
  • Trust is fundamental.
  • Authentic expression. The trainer's exuded energy is paramount.
  • Proximity is important.
  • Intonation is vital.
  • Hands-on guidance is many times purposeful.

They are all subtleties for the experienced teacher and coach to internally check themselves, and master. Replay responses and results, and learn to better read the body language of athletes/students/clients.

  • It can mean a more effective endurance training
  • It can mean less frustration
  • It can mean better cooperation
  • It is functional and sets the stage for optimal teamwork 

Strength is little worth without endurance to utilize it. 

Want to know more 
Contact me at Solborg  

Stay safe and warm wishes,
Tamera Daun

Meditation and Athletes. The mental edge.


Elite sports and Eastern philosophies converge at a fascinating point. The practice of meditation, leaving little doubt regarding the mental edge effect.

Those with a long-standing meditation practice know what it's all about and for those people that have never tried, the eye rolls clearly relay their thoughts. Yet, martial artists and Yogis have always known the power of meditation in their physical training and practices. It's just very difficult to communicate the depths of this to others.

As the physical and nutritional status of elite athletes achieve over-the-top levels, reducing individual variance between them in performance, the mental edge is the IT to be harnessed. This is why so many athletes are on the path to master that IT, and meditation is the key that unlocks that majestic castle door filled with hidden hallways and secrets into the human brain and mind. It is the ultimate basic tool in mastering the mind

It's not only athlete exclusive. Meditation is equally important for high performance individuals, people with high-stress jobs and lives. It basically benefits anyone and everyone. 
Furthermore, an effective advanced meditation practice lending the greatest lifetime effect, is somewhat different from a basic mindfulness practice. Neither can it be compared to visualization.

To throw a few names out there:

Lebron James
Kobe Bryant
Carli Lloyd
Barry Zito
Tiger Woods
Jason Woolley
Ben Simmons 

Stephen Curry says that meditation has trained his mind to consistently 'be in the moment', and help him think ahead and outsmart his opponents

Derek Jeter has meditated for an hour each day since 2012 and claims that it has not only made him a better athlete, but a better person.

Several NHL goaltenders have included yoga and meditation into their training schedules. Goaltender Keith Kinkaid (Columbus Blue Jackets) has a yoga practice but claims that the meditative aspect of it as most important, especially breathing technique and the ability to stay patient on shooters. He feels calmer and less chaotic.

Joe Namath a transcendental meditation practitioner has stated that meditation increased his all-field vision/perception, reaction time, endurance and speed recovery. Also leading to a deep restful state it was a vital key in restitution after games.

Seahawk coach, Pete Carrol, introduced meditation to the whole team and claims that it played a huge role in the process toward the 2014 Superbowl. 

As stated above; those that know, know. Progressive thinkers in their fields willing to do what it takes.

Meditation not only delves into the depths of calmness. From the perspective of the mind; it uncovers blocks, insecurities, releases judgements and the ego holding back the expression of true passion and one's true nature. It unleashes expansive thinking and potential. It focuses the mind, increases the perception of time lending patience and response time. It works on so many levels that it is almost impossible to relay the experience through the written word. Furthermore, it also delves into personal development, reduces anxiety, aids sleep and healthy habits.

Meditation is a change agent. It transforms and supports transitions
In our competitive world it gives a mental edge ahead of all those that don't meditate.

As we talked about in, Mental Toughness advantage, there is wiggle room in which to work and cultivate mental toughness. This is one of those practices that supports the 4 c's of commitment, control, challenge, and confidence.

Neuroscience research is also gradually uncovering the longterm effects of meditation on the brain. 

A few fun facts from research and brain scans:

- The amygdala shrinks with meditation over time affecting anxiety levels and increasing calmness and response time. The amygdala is our 'fight and flight' center. 

-The pre-frontal cortex thickens affecting awareness, concentration, and decision making.

- Neuroplasticity: The connection between the amygdala and the rest of the brain weakens also leading to greater attention and focus.

- People with an advanced meditation practice feel less pain, even though brain scans show more activity associated with pain.

Impressive, yes? Yes. 

Yet, meditation helps us through all of life's processes and phases. It is a comforting go-to, and brings us home to our essence and core. YOU and life, will never be the same.

When engaging a mental trainer/coach in learning a lifetime meditation practice and guidance through the process until it becomes habit, it is helpful if your trainer also has a medical background and personal development training. Why? Because it will give you a complete understanding of the larger picture, and the full-body work can be done with the same trainer based on underlying trust and confidence in the process.  

Questions or want to know more? Contact us at Solborg Behandling or send me a note at tamified

Stay safe and warm wishes,
Tamera Daun