One of the best things about being an entrepreneur is the learning from the amazing people I meet, many of whom are extremely open to sharing their personal experiences in a very candid manner. On a recent trip to London where I attended the Entrepreneurs Organisation (EO) London University I was privileged to meet Debra Searle. Debra, a 5’4” novice rower rowed solo across the Atlantic when her 6’5” oarsman husband vacated the 23’ plywood boat after developing an uncontrollable fear of the ocean.
Debra’s story and her achievements since are captivating. Debra was kind enough to share her mind tricks for success with us and has given me permission to share them in my M2 Woman Coach column:
- Run the Movie –Often stress gets in the way of achieving peak performance. In order to combat this Debra uses a strategy she entitles ‘run the movie’. What she does is actually visualise the moment she is stressing about like a film in her head, she then views the outcome that she wants to achieve. When the actual moment arrives in real life, she is able to draw confidence from what she has imagined and therefore is able to achieve the desired conclusion.
- Shifting Comfort Zones –Whilst rowing in the 2 person plywood boat Debra was forced to undertake the role that her partner would usually have taken. In this way Debra was forced to step outside her comfort zone; learning and ultimately expanding her comfort zone to include new experiences. “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got.”
- Passionate Belief –When Debra was faced with the daunting prospect of losing her partner from the boat many though her race was over. In spite of that, she passionately believed she could do it (even if everyone thought she was crazy to even try).
- Control the Controllable–In order to be a more effective leader Debra focusses her time and energy on things within her control. She creates a ‘to do’ list and puts a tick next to the things she can control and an ‘x’ next to the things she can’t, thereby limiting her procrastination time and reducing her stress levels.
- VisualTriggers of our Moments of Success –When you have moments where you are not confident you can draw on past successes to remind yourself what you can actually achieve. We are all in control of our mind-set and we have all had successes in the past to draw renewed confidence from.
- Free Words – The positive influence and encouragement from others (via satellite phone) helped Debra get through some of the lower points. Words are free and can help motive, pick up and inspire others. We should be generous with our words.
- Audio Triggers – Music has the ability to change and shape our mood. Create playlists that have meaning to you and use them to put yourself into the right mind frame.
- See Yourself Succeeding – Regularly visualise yourself achieving your goals. You can use this in your personal and business life. This can also extend to team members and verbalising a shared vision.
Debra says “I’m convinced that if we choose the right attitude, even when faced with what can sometimes feel like insurmountable hurdles, anything is possible.”
With this in mind, here is a practical exercise that Debra developed and uses daily:
Choose Your Attitude – Choose your attitude for the day every morning. List out loud all the reasons for choosing that attitude and the benefits of retaining that attitude for the day.
Richard Conway is Founder & CEO of Pure SEO.