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Change Your Mindset

Top Gun Thinking: How a Combat Pilot Makes Important Decisions

if you put these practices into application, you’ll be an ace decision maker

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Image Credit: Unsplash

You are in your office. It’s the end of the month. Deadlines are closing in. The pressure is mounting. The scrutiny of the entire company fixes its focus on you and your team to make the right decisions to get the company across the finish line and close out the month strong. 

You are no stranger to pressure.

Now imagine your office is narrowly avoiding incoming munitions and is moving one-hundred and fifty miles per hour, one to three feet off of the ground, and the difference between everything being fine and everything being a fiery catastrophic disaster of twisted metal and burning turbine fuel is a fraction of a second and one slightly miscalculated decision.

For retired Army Chief Warrant Officer III (CW3) Derek Zaleski, that pressure was just another day at the office.

After serving as a pilot in AH-64 Apache helicopters for the United States Army for nine of his nearly twenty years of service, Derek fulfills various project management roles for the government currently. 

The extraordinary trust that is placed in his ability to make sound and timely decisions under extreme pressure makes his leadership skillset a high-value and high-demand commodity in the corporate marketplace today. 

A decision-making faculty that was forged and polished over several years in the cockpit of a multi-role attack helicopter.

So, how does a pilot like Derek condition himself to make good decisions with precision execution when the pressure gets real?

Here’s what this veteran high-pressure decision-making professional credits his calculated decisiveness to (let’s all take notes):

Care, care, care

Taking care of yourself by eating right, exercising, hydrating and ensuring your body gets plenty of rest is a pivotal component to keeping you sharp and balanced. 

When your body receives the nutrients and minerals it needs to sustain itself it helps support a better functioning autonomic nervous system which can be the difference between high performance decision making and neurotransmission dysfunction at the worst possible times. Engage in good self-care.

“Truly successful decision-making relies on a balance between deliberate and instinctive thinking.” – Malcolm Gladwell

Education, education, education

The mind needs as much conditioning as the body does. Never stop learning and growing. Seek information related to your field of expertise as well as challenging yourself to learn new things every day. 

This keeps the electrochemical organ between your ears in tip-top shape and ready to tackle difficult decisions and high-pressure scenarios. Keep your mind sharp.

Train, train, train

Prior to operating an aircraft on the tarmac and in the air, pilots in-training will spend countless hours in simulators gaining a spatial awareness of the aircraft they specialize in and being presented with a myriad of stress-inducing scenarios from engine loss to instrumentation failure. 

This type of stimulus response training contributes to a level of readiness and preparedness that keep pilots calm, cool, and collected when the most important decisions need to be made under the most extreme circumstances. 

Train yourself and your people on worst-case scenarios and ensure there are plans in place to assist you and your team while making decisions in difficult or extreme circumstances so that extreme circumstances aren’t new when they’re experienced in real-time.

Analyze, analyze, analyze

For every one hour of flight a pilot can pretty much plan on two or more hours of debriefing afterward. This reflective period post-flight will be spent analyzing every second of flight from engine start-up to engine shutdown. 

The objective of this is to allow critique from the pilot and the team on factors that influenced the success or failure of each mission. Accepting and applying feedback from the data and the team empowers the pilot in the future to make even better and more educated decisions when the pressure is at its peak. 

During these periods of analysis, pilots are able to determine if improvements to processes are necessary and invite perspectives from a diverse team of fellow aviators who may be able to articulate deficiencies in the flight analysis that the pilot in the cockpit wasn’t able to see through their own lens. 

Hold frequent meetings with your team with the purpose and intent of improving synergy and decision-making performance.

Even if the nature of your work is not a matter of national security or life and death, if you put these practices into application, you’ll be an ace decision maker in no time; ready to stand up to the pressure and navigate your team towards success.

Brian Parsons is a leader, teacher, author, philanthropist, and CEO of Just Keep Playing Media, LLC with over twenty years of experience in diverse leadership roles. He is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, a former peace officer for the state of Colorado, a former non-profit manager, and the author of the Don’t Bee a Prick leadership book series.

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Change Your Mindset

The Art of Convincing: 10 Persuasion Techniques That Really Work

The knack for persuading others can act as a catalyst for change, open doors, forge alliances, and effect positive change

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how to be more persuasive

Persuasion is not as complicated as it may sound. In fact, it is something that we have been practicing since childhood. Do you remember convincing your parents to let you skip school, asking your teacher not to assign homework, or persuading your boss to give you a day off? Well, these are just small examples of what persuasion looks like. (more…)

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Personal Development

5 Key Reasons Why Perfectionist’s Procrastinate

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Procrastination Perfectionist Patterns

Hey there! I’m Joel Brown, a procrastination mindset specialist. In my world, it’s all about guiding my students through repatterning exercises to break free from the shackles that prevent them from scaling new heights in life.

Now, you might hear ‘perfectionist’ and think, “Ah, they’re destined for success!” But here’s the real deal: perfectionism is far from a superpower. It’s a sneaky villain in disguise, sapping emotional and physical strength, disrupting sleep, and fueling an endless cycle of rumination—all in the pursuit of getting everything ‘just right.’ This relentless chase is what we call the ‘Obsessive Idealist‘ procrastination type.

If you don’t know which out of. the 6 procrastination types you are then you can take this quick 3 minute procrastination type quiz on my Mindstrong Academy website.

Through my fourteen years of coaching, I’ve identified six procrastination types, but my journey started with a personal revelation—I am an Obsessive Idealist. I’ve been there, constantly toggling between creation and procrastination.

And today, I invite you to explore this path with me. If you’re nodding along, thinking, “That sounds like me; I’m a perfectionist too,” then stick around.

I’m about to shed some light on why you might be stuck in this cycle.

 

Here’s a perfectionist procrastination type video here of what I’m breaking down in this article for you:

The Obsessive Idealist: Unpacking the Perfectionist’s Paradox

First things first, make sure to take the procrastination quiz: mindstrongacademy.com/quiz to see where you stand. Now, let’s dive into the world of the Obsessive Idealist. Often labeled as high achievers or perfectionists, the core of their procrastination lies in the mind’s protective pause. It’s a shield against perceived threats, pitfalls of perfectionism, and the constant battle between the now and the future in our minds.

Here’s the paradox: what seems like a strength for high achievers can become a crippling hindrance. Obsessive Idealists are in a constant struggle to avoid failure, aiming for 100% perfection. But let’s face the truth—no one is perfect. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, athlete, or any individual striving for excellence, embracing imperfections and learning from failures are crucial steps.

 

The Traps of Being an Obsessive Idealist Procrastination Type

Analysis Paralysis: Overthinking every detail to the point of inaction is a common pitfall. It’s like trying to get everything perfect, but in reality, it backfires, stalling your progress.

The Unrealistic Standards Syndrome: Setting impossibly high goals is like chasing a mirage. It’s not just about being competitive; it can lead to unfair self-criticism and unrealistic expectations of others.

The Time Trap: Believing there’s never enough time to complete a task perfectly leads to constant postponement. This selective focus on strengths, while avoiding areas of improvement, limits your true potential.

Avoidance of Criticism: Dodging feedback hinders growth. It’s essential to learn to accept constructive criticism without internalizing it as a reinforcement of the “I’m not good enough” narrative.

The All-or-Nothing Lie: Believing that you must operate at full throttle or not at all is a dangerous misconception. Embracing the middle ground, like delegating tasks and seeking mentorship, is key to balanced success.

Embracing Imperfection: The Path to True Progress

 

In the MindStrong Academy, where I teach conquering procrastination, we focus on managing these patterns effectively. Currently, we’re offering a 7-day free trial, so don’t miss out on this opportunity to transform your mindset: MindStrongAcademy.com The Academy is more than just a course; it’s a community where you’ll find support, accountability, and tailored resources like a 31-day planner and visualization audios to realign your focus.

 

In conclusion, recognizing and managing your tendencies as an Obsessive Idealist is crucial. By addressing the deep-rooted “I’m not good enough” narrative and embracing imperfection, you can shift from a state of constant stress to one of harmonized power.

Remember, movement doesn’t always equate to progress. It’s about finding balance, embracing downtime, and allowing yourself the space to grow and learn.

I encourage you to take the quiz, join the MindStrong Academy, and start your journey towards a more balanced, successful life.

Let’s break free from the chains of perfectionism together!

 

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Change Your Mindset

Unlocking Success: Subconscious Reprogramming, Mindset, and Transformative Strategies for Improved Wellbeing and Business Performance

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What if I told you that the negative thoughts or self-limiting beliefs that you may have, are not actually yours?

In this article, I will discuss subconscious programming and how it can be reprogrammed in a way that allows you to reach your greatest potential. I will also provide tips on how you can integrate this information as a leader within the workplace.

The subconscious mind is shaped before we begin forming our own conscious thoughts, and these conscious thoughts are influenced by the subconscious mind. This means that even the thoughts that you’re consciously having, are merely an extension of that pre-existing conditioning. 

When something becomes deeply ingrained within your mind through repetition, and there are other supporting thoughts that reinforce it, you will identify this information as your truth. These repeated thoughts become beliefs, and your actions will align to support and validate these beliefs.

The Importance of Observing Your Thoughts

If you continuously tell yourself that you aren’t capable or good enough, how likely are you to put in the effort to challenge this narrative? If you’ve always been a procrastinator and tell yourself that you always will be, you’re going to continue procrastinating. If you run into an obstacle and don’t believe you can overcome it, you’re not going to look for solutions or try your best to resolve it.

It’s extremely important for you to become an observer of your thoughts and understand the impacts of how those thoughts can impact your life, relationships, and overall outlook on life.

Here are some questions to help guide you:

– What are your recurring negative thoughts, and how are they impacting your performance and relationships? 


– How have these thoughts held you back from achieving your goals and living the life that you’ve always dreamed of? 


– What have these thoughts already cost you and what else will they cost you if they don’t change?

Societal conditioning, influenced by a lower level of collective consciousness, has made the experience of debilitating thoughts highly prevalent. It’s not your fault that you have them, but it is your responsibility to change them and choose better ones.

The Subconscious Must Be Reprogrammed 

Reprogramming the subconscious involves positive affirmations, visualization, and consistent repetition to replace negative beliefs with positive ones. You have to become aware of the thoughts that make you feel bad and do not serve your best interest.

What are the growth-oriented thoughts that would you rather have instead? Any time that a debilitating thought crosses your mind, always correct it with new thought that uplifts, encourages and empowers you. Be consistent, be patient and understand that your logical mind will not make this process easy for you at first.

Being Delusional vs. Consciously Creating a Better Reality for Yourself 

By definition, the term delusional means “holding false beliefs or judgments about external reality that are held despite incontrovertible evidence to the contrary”. When you have held onto debilitating beliefs for so long and your previous actions have served as evidence to confirm their truth, it is inevitable that your logical mind will deem your new thoughts as delusional. This is where embracing change tends to become most challenging, as it involves confronting this resistance with unwavering commitment. 

 

What you have to understand is that your former beliefs and former actions do not dictate your future, unless they remain the same. As the old beliefs become obsolete and new beliefs take their place, there will also be new aligned actions that produce different results, and this will serve as evidence to support your new truth. That being said, the most delusional thing that anyone can do is elect to keep an unfavorable mindset that was programmed for them by external factors and willingly relinquish their own personal power as a result of it.

Success is Fundamentally Rooted in the Mindset

How we show up for ourselves and others, communicate with employees, and perform in business are deeply connected to our mindset and everything that has shaped it. Let’s delve into these interconnected aspects and explore five transformative tips that will catalyze positive change in the workplace. 

 

A growth-oriented mindset encourages resilience, adaptability, and a willingness to embrace challenges. On the other hand, a fixed mindset hinders progress and limits potential.

Tip 1: Embrace a Growth Mindset

  • Establish the belief that abilities can be developed.
  • View challenges as opportunities for learning and improvement.
  • Cultivate a positive attitude toward continuous growth and development.

Unpacking Trauma and Navigating the Impact

Unresolved trauma can cast a long shadow over our personal and professional lives. It shapes our reactions, influences decision-making, and impacts our interactions with others. Acknowledging and addressing trauma is essential for creating a healthier, more productive work environment.

 

Tip 2: Prioritize Trauma-Informed Leadership

  • Cultivate empathy and understanding for individual experiences.
  • Provide a safe space for open communication about trauma.
  • Implement support systems and resources for employees dealing with trauma.

 

Elevate Relationships and Sales Performance

To enhance relationships, communication, and sales performance, a holistic approach that intertwines mindset and trauma-informed practices is key.

 

Tip 3: Implement Empathy-Driven Communication

  • Train teams in active listening and empathetic communication.
  • Create an environment where open dialogue is encouraged.
  • Recognize and validate diverse perspectives, creating a culture of inclusivity.

Tip 4: Invest in Professional Development

  • Offer continuous learning opportunities for employees.
  • Develop leadership skills to enhance communication and relationship-building.
  • Prioritize sales training programs that align with evolving market dynamics.

Tip 5: Maintain a Positive Work Culture

  • Create a workplace where employees feel valued and appreciated.
  • Implement recognition programs to celebrate achievements.
  • Encourage a balance between professional and personal well-being.

By embracing a growth mindset, acknowledging and addressing trauma, and implementing empathetic, integrated strategies, individuals and organizations can create a transformative ripple effect. In this interconnected web of personal and professional growth, how we show up truly matters, influencing the outcomes we achieve and the impact we leave on those around us.

 

Enjoy the Journey 

As you embark on the empowering journey of subconscious reprogramming, remember that change takes time, and self-compassion is your greatest ally. Surround yourself with positive influences, whether it be supportive friends, inspirational books, or mindfulness practices. Seek guidance from mentors who have walked a similar path and found success in reshaping their mindset. Embrace the discomfort that may arise during this process, for it signifies the shedding of old layers to make way for the new. Reflect on your progress regularly, celebrating even the smallest victories, and be patient with yourself as you navigate the intricacies of transformation. 

In the spirit of rewriting your narrative, I encourage you to take the first step today. Commit to a daily practice of positive affirmations, visualize your desired reality, and consistently challenge self-limiting beliefs. If you would like support along the way, consider joining like-minded communities, Facebook groups, and curate your social media to reflect these new changes you want to embody.

Remember, thoughts become actions, and actions reinforce beliefs. It’s never too late to embark on an empowering journey to reprogram your mind, and achieve the life you have always dreamed of!

For more tips and strategies on how to improve your mindset, follow me at @bigdivineenergy.

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Change Your Mindset

How to Let Go of Unconscious Patterns That No Longer Serve You

Spending more and more time going inward will free you to move forward.

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Image Credit: Midjourney

I was chatting with a friend of mine who was recently laid off. The experience has been overwhelming for him in a myriad of ways, including feeling inadequate and not good enough to get another job. (more…)

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