Do you want a powerful tool to boost your confidence, improve your focus, and help manage performance anxiety? Check this out.

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When You’re Feeling Stressed or Anxious

Picture these scenarios: you’re at your belt test, and you’re feeling super anxious. You really want to pass that test, but performing in front of all those people—people you know—turns you into a nervous, sweaty mess.

Or… you’re at a karate tournament. You’ve spent the entire day competing and waiting, competing and waiting. You have one division to go, but you’re exhausted, and don’t know if you can push through.

Or… you’re at work and having a stressful day. You’re sick of things going wrong, tired of dealing with difficult people, feeling scattered and tense and done.

What’s a simple tool you can use in each of these scenarios? Apart from running away, or lying down and having a nap, or quitting your job? Something you can use in ANY context, to instantly feel more confident and focused and in control?

Use a Mantra

Our thoughts can be incredibly powerful, influencing our feelings, actions, and behaviours. Using a mantra, or a personal affirmation or statement, can effectively alter your mindset. The right phrase can be just the thing to get you thinking and feeling a particular, desired way.

Mantras are commonly used during meditation, to evoke a feeling of calm and improve concentration. But mantras can be used in any context. During that belt test. At a karate tournament. At work.

Anywhere, anytime. It’s simple.

Some examples: “Let’s do this.” “It’s go time!” “This too shall pass.”

A Simple Phrase Can Get You Focused

I use my mantra all the time, and it works.

Whether I’m at that belt test and feeling really anxious, or at a tournament and losing steam, or working on my website and pulling my hair out over some glitch, and wanting to call it quits.

One simple phrase gets me back on track. I instantly feel more confident, calm and focused.

Make Your Mantra Relevant for You

My mantra is personal. It’s a reminder of my core reason for practising karate. My motivation for pushing through, for dealing with punches to the face, bruises and injuries, muscle soreness and exhaustion, stress and overwhelm. My reason for doing it is simple: I love it.

So my original mantra was simply that: “I love this!”

Word Your Mantra Strongly

This worked alright, but it didn’t have quite the conviction I was looking for. It didn’t work, for instance, at extremes, when I was feeling particularly stressed or particularly low.

So I changed it. I’ve learned through trial and error that I perform my best when I adopt an aggressive mindset. Not in an “I’ll cut you” sort of way. Moreso jacked and ready to go. The easiest way for me to invoke that is by swearing. So my mantra now: “I F*CKING love this!”

It sounds simple. It sounds kinda stupid. But it actually works.

Whether my energy is lagging, or I’m feeling tense and I want to flee, that simple phrase instantly clears my head and makes me feel more powerful and confident.

Brainstorm Ideas

So try it. Pull out a sheet of paper. Do some brainstorming. It might take some time to find a mantra that evokes that particular feeling state you’re looking for. And you might need more than one mantra, to be used in different contexts. Maybe one that makes you feel calm. One that makes you feel energetic. One that makes you feel aggressive and driven.

Keep That Mantra Positive

Be careful how you word it, however. Consider the difference here: “You’re awesome!” feels a lot better than “You don’t suck!” because the latter hints that yeah ,you don’t… but you’re definitely capable of it.

This is key. You want your mantra to evoke a certain positive thinking and feeling state so as to increase your motivation. So take care in writing it.

Whatever it is, make sure it fits for you.

Put That Mantra Everywhere

Once you’ve come up with your mantra, put it everywhere. Write it down. Hang it on the wall. Take a photo of it. Make it the background on your phone or your computer. Get that mantra in your head, so it comes to mind effortlessly in moments of stress.

So try it today.

Do it.

Cuz you’re worth it.

So git r dun.

You go, you.

(I f*cking love this.)

Is there a situation in which a mantra could help you? Brainstorm some ideas, and try each one out for a few days, until you find a mantra that is the right fit for you.

Recommended Resources

You’re reading A Powerful Tool to Improve Confidence, Focus and Performance by Sabrina Bliem, originally posted on The Karate Shrimp. If you’ve enjoyed this post, be sure to follow The Karate Shrimp on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!