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“You can train three things: your craft, your body, and your mind.”  That’s something you’ll frequently hear from world-renowned high-performance psychologist, Dr. Michael Gervais.  I’m really excited about having him on the show because he is one of my personal heroes in the arena of mindset and psychology.  He frequently talks about the importance of self-discovery and our own inner lives, being aware of and training our inner narrative, and the power of vulnerability.  Over the course of 20 years working with world-leading performers, Dr. Gervais has developed a psychological framework that allows people to thrive in pressure-packed environments. His clientele consists of the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks, countless Olympic medalists, MVPs from every major sport, world record holders, internationally acclaimed music artists, and corporate leaders. He is the host of one of my favorite podcasts: Finding Mastery that explores the psychology of some of the world’s most extraordinary thinkers and doers.

Dr. Gervais and NFL coach Pete Carroll founded Compete to Create, an online and live master class for the mind. They have worked with more than 30,000 employees at Microsoft alone on the mental skills and strategies to unleash one’s potential.  Just last month in July of 2020, the Audible Original, Compete to Create was released. It’s authored by Dr. Gervais and Pete Carroll and is incredible.  It also has some really helpful PDFs that come with the audiobook.  The Compete to Create Audible Original just scratches the surface of their 8-week online course.

You’ll hear important and actionable ear nuggets in this podcast episode- things like defining your personal philosophy, how to build confidence and trust in yourself, the optimal level of emotional stimulation for high performance, defining success and so much more. I highly recommend listening to Compete to Create on Audible because it goes deeper into many important topics about mental skills training- from your psychological framework, to mindset skills to practice, to taking care of yourself, and getting adequate recovery.

“Confidence is a skill; we can train it. And you train it by being aware of how you’re appraising the external, how you’re appraising your internal, and then finding ways to challenge both of them. And if you do that on a regular basis, you got something.  And the only place confidence comes from is self-talk- what you say to yourself. That’s the keyhole to confidence is  what do you say to yourself and if you’re faking it, it’s going to get found out.”

– Dr. Michael Gervais

Topics Discussed in the Podcast 

  • What interviewing the world’s best performers on his podcast has taught Dr. Gervais about himself
  • Importance of relationships
  • Emotional Activation/Arousal for optimal performance (even at the Olympics)
  • Training confidence as a skill
  • How to be unbiased about self-assessment
  • Does confidence or vulnerability come first?
  • Difference between self-trust and confidence
  • Group/team dynamics and personal philosophy during challenges
  • Defining success


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