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A Little Peak Into My Thought Process

Phil Graham Bodybuilder

I’m often asked by many people (colleagues, clients, aspiring trainers and coaches) how can I make better decisions? What rules my thought process?

Whether you’re an everyday lay person, aspiring personal trainer, competitive athlete or successful entrepreneur you may find this brief blog spot useful.

Here’s a little peak into my own thought process….

Like everyone I’ve always asked myself how can I get better at what I do? How can I get to the top?

To be frank becoming more successful involves increased risk, effort and sacrifice. Never mind the fact, plenty want to see you fail!

Maybe you want to start a business, ask someone out, launch a new product, change job, tell someone how you feel or compete . The list of scenarios that involves decision making is endless,we do it daily.

But how can you be confident in your decision making?

At some point in our quest to better ourselves and become more successful major hurdles will appear, clouding our decision making:

No matter how well educated or trained you think you are, short term emotions will always try and get the better of you!


What Is Short Term Emotion?

You know those feelings of doubt that cloud your mind especially when you have an important decision to make? It often goes like this: What will they think? What If my plan goes tits up? Will I look like a complete DICK? What if I lose? What if someone else is doing it? Will I be branded a copycat or painted with the same brush?

Deep down you know you can do it, you know you could be successful but ultimately you replay the same arguments in your head until your convinced you are doomed to FAIL!

As a result you let short term emotions rule your thought process and decision making. You then quickly talk yourself out of what seemed a great decision/idea/better future…

Your overconfident staying within your little bubble of comfort and safety. Yes, this kind of thinking is useful, it’s natural, a protective mechanism so to speak!

Let me put it the hard way staying ‘ safe ‘ is more risky than taking a chance at something that could serve to give you a better future and most importantly life.


How Can I Over Come Short Term Emotion?

I follow two modes of thinking…

Firstly, I distance myself from short term emotion/feelings by asking myself how would I feel about my decision after a few minutes, after a few months and after a few years.

This gives me distance and really puts things into perspective. Why?

The present feels sharp, the future fuzzy… What do I mean? The present puts a spotlight on your emotions, however, the future provides a broader view (distance).

Thinking about your decision after a few minutes will still leave you feeling anxious, after a few months less so and after a few years not at all. This way of analysing your decision making makes the future appear as ‘fresh’ as the present.

As a result you might feel: Glad? Proud? Relieved you didn’t/did go ahead? With that initial feeling of yes or no…


Moral Of The Story…

Take a few steps back and distance yourself when first bombarded with feelings of self-doubt and ‘present’ emotion… Don’t let short term emotion be the main voice at the table.

The second mode of thinking I take when troubled with self-emotion is asking myself one key question:

“What Would My Successor Do?”

I’ll let you answer that…

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