#1670 Your Inner Thermostat

Turn Up the Self-Image Heat

In our last +1, we talked about some powerful wisdom from Darrin Donnelly’s latest “Sports for the Soul” series fable, The Mental Game.

As you may recall, in the book a struggling golfer gets wise advice from his mentor who tells him he needs to control his self-talk.

More specifically, his mentor tells him that he wants to TALK to himself rather than listen to himself.

Note: That’s a REALLY powerful distinction.

I repeat: Quit LISTENING to the negative voices in your head. TALK to yourself positively and powerfully.


Remember: The point of powerful self-talk isn’t to deceive ourselves. It’s to DIRECT ourselves.


Self-talk is important if we want to perform at a high level.


You know what else is important?


Here’s how Darrin’s wise guide puts it as he coaches his struggling protégé: “‘You can’t consistently perform in a way that is inconsistent with your self-image. This means you can’t outperform your self-image—at least, not for very long. In the long run, whatever you believe about yourself becomes reality.’”

He continues by saying: “See yourself as a successful person capable of achieving great things and you’ll prove yourself right. See yourself as a victim of unfair fate who can never get ahead and you’ll again prove yourself right. It doesn’t happen overnight. Sometimes it can take years, but eventually it happens: your reality ends up matching the setpoint of your self-image.”


He tells us: “Think of your self-image as a thermostat. You set it at a certain temperature. Depending on weather conditions, the room temperature can rise above or fall below the set temperature at various times, but eventually it settles back to the thermostat’s setpoint. ‘It’s the same way with your self-image. Whatever it’s set at, you will live up to—or down to—that setpoint. When you give your self-image a setpoint, your mind—mostly subconsciously—works day and night to reach that setpoint.’”

That’s from one of the very first chats the hero of our story (Jack) has with his mentor (Eddie).

Jack is struggling on the PGA Tour. Eddie challenges him to step up his self-image from a struggling, barely-makes-the-cut PGA player to a championship-caliber player—sternly advising him that he will NEVER outperform a poor self-image.

When I read this chapter, I felt like I was reading a fictional version of a chapter from Lanny Bassham’s With Winning in Mind.

Here’s how Lanny puts it: “Your Self-Image ‘makes you act like you.’ It keeps you within your comfort zone. If you are below your zone, Self-Image makes you uncomfortable and turns up your power until you are within the zone. Likewise, if you are above your zone, the Self-Image will cut your power, dropping you back within your zone. As long as you ‘act like you,’ the Self-Image is content and does not interfere. To change your performance, you must change your Self-Image and elevate your comfort zone.

Controlling that change in your Self-Image may be the most important skill you will ever learn. You can change any attitude you do not like. When the Self-Image changes, performance changes.”

That’s Today’s +1.

Spotlight on YOU.

How’s YOUR self-image?

Do you need to turn up the heat on your thermostat?

Who are you at your ABSOLUTE best?

Imagine that.

Go be that.


P.S. Check out our hour-long master class on Self-Image 101 in the Heroic App for more.

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