Self-confidence is the number one variable for impacting performance

Darren Hardy Interviews Dr. Jason Selk.

Dr. Jason Selk is considered to be one of the premier performance coaches in the United States. While serving as the Director of Mental Training for the St Louis Cardinals he helped the team win their first World Series in over 20 years, and in 2011 he assisted the Cardinals in the historic feat of winning their second World Championship in a six year period. Dr Selk’s is the author of Executive Toughness and 10-Minute Toughness.

Learning Lessons from the Interview: (as interpreted & understood by me).


Internalizing a process mentality – The mind can fully focus on only one thing at a time. If your mind is fully focused on the results i.e. the scorecard it cannot be at the same time focused on what produces the result.


What made Cardinal win – The refusal to Quit, a relentless solutions focus – with process mentality control the thoughts in their head. Within 60 seconds shifting the mind from focusing on problem to solution or improvement.


Process guarantees results – Good or bad.


Channel Capacity – Human brain can handle or manage only three (3) things at a time. E.g. juggling 3 balls at a time you only focus one ball a t a time and so you can manage all three.


The problem is that Human beings think they have a larger bandwidth.


Results Goal: Identify top 1, 2 or 3 top processes that are most impactful or producing the results you are looking for.

Identify the process for your results goals. Nail the top three processes and when time is left then work on the other things.


A BARE MINIMUM OF GREATNESS can help us meet our big hairy audacious goals. With process goals we need to have processes that we can finish on a daily basis.


Self-confidence is the number one variable for impacting performance in all of sports psychology and performance psychology.


So for bare minimum of greatness find out what you can do from a process standpoint on a daily basis, i.e. not only on your best days but also on your worst days. So you are nailing the most important activities. This way your confidence is high and you are scoring – this way you can then nail your big hairy audacious goals.



Explanatory Theory – Whatever you focus on expands. Whatever you allow your mind to focus on in terms of the thoughts in your head is going to grow. Whatever we think about dictates how we feel and behave.


As human beings we are built in a way where we focus on problem, PCT – Problem Centric Thought. Our mind does not automatically focus on what we have, it focuses on what we don’t have.


Normal people always think about problems and that grows.

We can retrain our brains so PCT is no longer the norm but RSF – Relentless Solution focus. This takes training.


Being mentally tough helps you perform at a consistently high level and impossibly demanding situations, and life is an impossibility demanding situation.


It is training approach to “Mental Toughness” e.g. If you want to grow your biceps you will go to the gym and regularly train on your biceps and they have no choice but to grow. Similarly the mind, we can retrain out brains to be mentally tough but it has to be trained.


Taking 30-60 seconds/day recognizing what you have done well, two or three things. These done on a consistent basis start to add up and your self-confidence goes up. Self-confidence is the single most impactful variable for impacting performance.


Second thing that is essential is the mental workout. It can be done in 100 seconds.

  1. Centering Breath – breathe in 6 seconds, hold 2 seconds, breathe out 7 seconds (this slows down the heart rate and puts your brain in a position to be more effective)
  2. Repeat to yourself personal “Identity Statement”

E.g. I outwork my competition every day

I am the most effective salesman in the country

I experience true love and excellence as a husband and father

(Focus on what you want – Identify important things in your life. Identify the characteristic that will cause you to have the success you are looking for in those important areas.)

                    You need to make those identity statements short enough so you can remember.

  1. Now take 60 seconds and do some visualization. First 30 seconds vision of self-image in on where your life would be 5 years from now. Next 30 seconds in the upcoming day what you will have to do in process form to accomplish that vision.
  2. Repeat the Identity Statement
  3. Take the Centering Breath


As you go through next few days, months, year and catch yourself feeling in a negative emotion, e.g. fear, anger, depression etc. realize that your brain is focusing on a problem.

Ask yourself these TWO questions

  1. Think what is one thing I can do differently that can make this better.
  2. Ask yourself what you did well today – Ritualize it. Put it on your phone. WHAT IS ONE THING I HAVE DONE WELL TODAY. You slowly but surely build your self-confidence.

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