Are You Playing Scared? Part 1

My old football coach used to tell our team never to play scared. Coach Wolf used to say, "The minute you play scared on the field, you either get hurt or you get beat. Regardless of the situation, the score, the opponent or adversity, it never helps to play timid." For anyone looking for optimal performance, playing "tight" in an athletic contest won't help.

So I ask you this question, "Are you playing tight and scared in the game of life?" Just the other day, a client asked me if the recent economic woes were affecting my business. I politely said, "I'm boycotting any recession we're in because I have too much stuff to get done!" While I was half-joking, my point was that there is no way I'm going to let my mind get weak and participate in feeling blue about a situation I can't control. My outlook is to focus on what I can control and forget about the rest.

Right now, it is absolutely imperative that you sharpen your mind and keep your attitude positive. Living in fear, living scared, and playing "tight" won't help your performance. Whether you are a personal trainer, attorney, teacher, coach, doctor, entrepreneur, or house mom, there are several things you can do not only to survive the current times, but to thrive in them. Here are my top ways to create a "winning attitude," stay positive, and prevent "losing" despite the adversity you may currently face:

  • "Armor up" everyday. This means that you must fortify your MINDSET everyday! Read great books, listen to books on tape, post positive quotes on your mirror or next to your computer, etc. Some of my favorite authors are Ken Blanchard, Mac Anderson, Napoleon Hill, and Brian Tracy. I also love to listen to audiotapes by authors such as Joel Osteen, James Ray, and Anthony Robbins. Feed your brain daily with positive words and uplifting messages. It is said, "Your thoughts determine your words, your words determine your flesh, your flesh determines your actions, and your actions determine your character." Therefore, your thoughts ultimately determine your character. Armor up!!!
  • Eliminate "negativity" from your life. This pertains to all areas of your life. This may mean that you can't hang with people who bring you down, you can't watch the news anymore or you won't read the newspaper. Going on a "media strike," along with training your mindset for positivity, can be a powerful way to help you create an energy that is dynamic and refreshing.
  • Have a "purge party." A purge party also helps reduce "negativity" in your life. A good "ole-fashioned spring cleaning" creates clarity, organization, and a sense of freedom and enlightenment. When you remove clutter from your life, it allows you to think clearer, to be more efficient with your time, and to feel good about your work and home environments. Enhance your new environment with green plants, waterfalls, positive quotes, bright colors, good music, and good smells all around. "Cleanliness is next to Godliness" and a good "purge party" can help you create the environment you need to think more positively.
  • Simplify. Now is a great time to simplify your life. Whether this means reducing the "number of things on your plate," learning to say "no" more often, or reducing your spending on items that will not enhance the quality of your life, you can help reduce stress, tension, and anxiety in your life by using the old "K.I.S.S" method (Keep It Simple).
  • Be creative. One of the best things about challenging times is that we're forced to be creative. What can you do to create an improved organization, a better system, more revenue, new programs, or whatever it is that you have always wanted to do? Richard Branson, from Virgin Atlantic, started his company when he was $400 million in debt. We often complain about our problems and frustrations. Dream about what you can create, regardless of your situation, and then make it happen. Your intentions ultimately determine your destiny.
  • Let it "flow." Now is not a time to play tight. When we get scared or nervous, we often get tense and tight. When you get tight, it affects your energy and vibration and you can no longer "operate" at a heightened state of consciousness. Let yourself flow with your thoughts, your energy, your passion, your desires, and eliminate the word "NO" from your vocabulary. Imagine that you CAN create whatever it is you desire in your life and that there is no better time than NOW to start. Let your energy vibrate at a higher frequency and attract other high-energy people.
  • Expect success. Ghandi said, "A man is a product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes." What do you expect? Winning is an attitude and losing is an attitude. Which do you choose for your life? One thing you CAN control is your attitude and when you expect success, success will follow. Determine your intentions, set an action plan and fire away. The important thing here is that you take action. This gives you momentum and momentum ultimately leads to positive results.
  • Check out Part 2 of Are You Playing Scared? In Todd’s next article.

    Todd Durkin, MA, CSCS, is an internationally recognized performance coach, personal trainer and massage therapist who motivates, educates and inspires people worldwide. He is the owner of Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, CA, where his wonderful team of 35 focuses on personal training, massage therapy, Pilates, yoga, sports performance training and nutrition to help transform the bodies, minds and spirits of a broad clientele. Todd trains dozens of NFL and MLB athletes, including 2010 Super Bowl XLIV Champion and MVP Drew Brees. He is the head of the Under Armour Performance Training Council and is a featured presenter on the Perform Better educational circuit. He is a two-time Trainer of the Year (IDEA & ACE). Additionally, Todd provides motivational talks and programs to companies and conferences worldwide.Men's Health recently named his gym, Fitness Quest 10, one of the Top 10 Gyms in the US. Todd has appeared on 60 Minutes, ESPN, NFL Network and has been featured in Sports Illustrated, USA Today, Business Week, Prevention, ESPN the Magazine, Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Men's Journal, Stack Magazine, Self, Shape, Fitness, the NY Times and Washington Post. Todd has authored 35 DVDs on strength and conditioning, functional fitness, massage/bodywork and business/personal growth.

    His new book, The IMPACT! Body Plan debuted in September 2010 and is a 10 Week program designed to create world-class fitness and life performance. You can sign up for Todd's FREE award-winning Ezine newsletter, the TD TIMES, at or

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