It's an Inside Job

Struggling with Stress and Pressure? Learn Mental Training for Balance and Well-Being

December 11, 2023 Season 4 Episode 24
Struggling with Stress and Pressure? Learn Mental Training for Balance and Well-Being
It's an Inside Job
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It's an Inside Job
Struggling with Stress and Pressure? Learn Mental Training for Balance and Well-Being
Dec 11, 2023 Season 4 Episode 24

Send us a Text Message.

Feeling the pressures of high-stress environments and seeking balance in your professional life? What if mental training could be the key to developing resilience and well-being at work? If you're ready to explore these concepts, this episode is for you.

In this episode, we engage in a conversation with Hege Brekke, the founder of Processio, about mental training and workplace well-being. We explore how mental training plays a crucial role in developing psychological well-being, resilience, and achieving balance in high-pressure environments.

Imagine being able to navigate high-pressure environments with resilience and balance. 

By listening to this episode, you can:

  1. Cultivate Self-Awareness: Understand how the narratives we tell ourselves impact our emotions and behaviors, and learn to recognize and adapt to different situations.
  2. Enhance Presence and Focus: Discover the importance of being present, refocusing thoughts, and overcoming distractions to improve performance and well-being.
  3. Develop Mental Training Techniques: Gain insights into visualization, positive self-talk, affirmations, and the difference between learning and performance modes.

Three Benefits You'll Gain:

  1. Improved Self-Awareness: Develop a deeper understanding of your emotions and behaviors, and learn to recognize and adapt to various situations effectively.
  2. Enhanced Mental Focus: Learn techniques to stay present and focused, improving your performance in high-pressure environments.
  3. Resilience and Balance: Discover strategies to build resilience, manage stress, and maintain balance in your professional and personal life.

Are you ready to enhance your mental training and achieve well-being in the workplace? Scroll up and click play to join our enlightening discussion with Hege Brekke.

Learn practical techniques for developing resilience, improving focus, and fostering psychological well-being. Start your journey towards a balanced and resilient professional life today!

Hege Brekke's contact info:
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hegebrekke/
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/prosessio.no/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/prosessio.no/
Web page: https://www.prosessio.no/

Tags

Inside Job podcast, mental training, workplace well-being, Hege Brekke, founder, Processio, self-awareness, adapting, intentional shifts, behavior, being present, learning modes, performance modes, imposter syndrome, positive self-talk, self-regulation, personal growth, work culture


Tags

Inside Job podcast, mental training, workplace well-being, Hege Brekke, founder, Processio, self-awareness, adapting, intentional shifts, behavior, being present, learning modes, performance modes, imposter syndrome, positive self-talk, self-regulation, personal growth, work culture

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Feeling the pressures of high-stress environments and seeking balance in your professional life? What if mental training could be the key to developing resilience and well-being at work? If you're ready to explore these concepts, this episode is for you.

In this episode, we engage in a conversation with Hege Brekke, the founder of Processio, about mental training and workplace well-being. We explore how mental training plays a crucial role in developing psychological well-being, resilience, and achieving balance in high-pressure environments.

Imagine being able to navigate high-pressure environments with resilience and balance. 

By listening to this episode, you can:

  1. Cultivate Self-Awareness: Understand how the narratives we tell ourselves impact our emotions and behaviors, and learn to recognize and adapt to different situations.
  2. Enhance Presence and Focus: Discover the importance of being present, refocusing thoughts, and overcoming distractions to improve performance and well-being.
  3. Develop Mental Training Techniques: Gain insights into visualization, positive self-talk, affirmations, and the difference between learning and performance modes.

Three Benefits You'll Gain:

  1. Improved Self-Awareness: Develop a deeper understanding of your emotions and behaviors, and learn to recognize and adapt to various situations effectively.
  2. Enhanced Mental Focus: Learn techniques to stay present and focused, improving your performance in high-pressure environments.
  3. Resilience and Balance: Discover strategies to build resilience, manage stress, and maintain balance in your professional and personal life.

Are you ready to enhance your mental training and achieve well-being in the workplace? Scroll up and click play to join our enlightening discussion with Hege Brekke.

Learn practical techniques for developing resilience, improving focus, and fostering psychological well-being. Start your journey towards a balanced and resilient professional life today!

Hege Brekke's contact info:
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hegebrekke/
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/prosessio.no/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/prosessio.no/
Web page: https://www.prosessio.no/

Tags

Inside Job podcast, mental training, workplace well-being, Hege Brekke, founder, Processio, self-awareness, adapting, intentional shifts, behavior, being present, learning modes, performance modes, imposter syndrome, positive self-talk, self-regulation, personal growth, work culture


Tags

Inside Job podcast, mental training, workplace well-being, Hege Brekke, founder, Processio, self-awareness, adapting, intentional shifts, behavior, being present, learning modes, performance modes, imposter syndrome, positive self-talk, self-regulation, personal growth, work culture

Support the Show.


Sign up for the weekly IT'S AN INSIDE JOB NEWSLETTER

  • takes 5 seconds to fill out
  • receive a fresh update every Wednesday

Transcript


[0:00] Music.


Introducing "It's an Inside Job" podcast with Jason Liem


[0:09] Welcome back to It's an Inside Job podcast. I'm your host, Jason Liem.
Now, this podcast is dedicated to helping you to help yourself and others to become more mentally and emotionally resilient so you can be better at bouncing back from life's inevitable setbacks.
Now, on It's an Inside Job, we decode the science and stories of resilience into practical advice, skills and strategies that you can use to impact your life and those around you.
Now, with that said, let's slip into the stream.

[0:37] Music.


Introduction to the concept of mental training


[0:46] Welcome back to It's an Inside Job. I'm your host, Jason Liem.
This week, we're going to dive into the idea and subject of mental training, but what is it exactly?
Well, it's the practice aimed at developing and fortifying our psychological wellbeing.
It is a crucial aspect of achieving resilience and maintaining overall well-being, whether.

[1:10] In the context of sports or the workplace.
Mental training involves a range of techniques and strategies that are specifically designed to help us with stress management, to set goals, visualization, to find motivation, to help us with emotional regulation, and fostering a positive mindset.
The significance of mental training lies in its potential to empower individuals, each and every one of us, to thrive in high-pressure environments.
It's to bounce back from setbacks. It's to strike a harmonious balance between personal and professional lives.
And so this week, on this episode, I am very privileged to welcome Hege Brekke.
She is the founder of Processio. Hege is known for her dedication in the areas of well-being and peak performance.
And she's been a source of inspiration and support for countless teams, leaders and individuals.
She established Procesio back in 2021, and it is a living testament to Hega's distinctive vision.
Her approach is firmly grounded in values such as trust, curiosity, realism, and the the courage to provide honest feedback when it's most needed.

[2:21] Hega's role often entails guiding large groups and teams, mentoring individuals with a sharp focus on nurturing the desired behavioral shifts through introspection and self-awareness.
At her core, she empowers individuals, emphasizing the importance of personal responsibility for growth.
What truly sets Hega apart is her remarkable ability to forge meaningful relationships, demonstrating genuine care and an exceptional talent for bringing people together.
As a leader, she artfully balances clarity with compassion, and is unafraid to challenge the status quo.
Her relentless pursuit of progress and unwavering commitment to quality, coupled with her objective discernment, instill profound trust in others through both her words and actions.
I found recording this episode with Hege to be very insightful.
In this episode, Hege shares her expertise on mental training, workplace well-being, and the cultivation of high-performance cultures.
And the practices we explore in this episode can be both applied to both the sports sphere as well as the professional sphere.
So without further ado, let's slip into the stream and meet Hege Brekke.

[3:35] Music.


Introduction to Hege Brekke and her background


[3:40] Well, I'd like to welcome everyone back to the show. It's an inside job.
Today I have a special guest, Hege Brekke. Hege, welcome to the show.
Oh, thank you for inviting me. Hege, I thought we could begin the conversations like I do with all conversations by maybe you briefly introducing who you are and what you do.
Okay, my name is Hege Brekke and I have been working in larger companies, as Accenture and Deloitte with recruitment but also leadership training, development of necessarily competence to perform a leadership role. So I have also been working as a mental trainer for handball and football for some years.
Yeah, I think that's an interesting crossover between sports, business and mental well-being and sort of mental training. B, we could begin the part of the conversation, you sort of defining what that means like I mean how this mental training itself what does What does that encompass?
Does that include?
Oh that's a really good question because like it says in the word it's training but for me it's more uh you know um yeah you're conscious you're cognizant and conscious of what you're doing yes of awareness yes and my interest was that in sports they don't have so much.

[5:10] Money to develop trainers in mental skills. So it started with coaching trainers in the leadership role, but afterwards I was working with the teams for some time. I also find an interest in the how can you train your mind or how can you prepare yourself before a performance to be the best version of yourself. So I have also been working with the players and also the group. How can we be good together? So for me mental training is to get to know yourself and find out what is my strength. What do I need to use because that's my strength. But also what are my autopilot, do you know what the pilot? Yeah, yeah. autopilot? Yeah. What, do I do that I don't really want to do? I want to change that behavior. So some of the things that I've been doing is working with individuals on those things. But also, what I find really interesting is working with the team, how can we be.

[6:26] Performance high performance team together?


The importance of self-awareness in mental training


[6:29] When you're doing the mental training, then it's focusing on the individual sports person, sportsman, sportswoman also, and then also working with the team.
So the old Greek maxim of know thyself or know yourself. How does understanding one's nature and beliefs and values contribute to building this sort of mental fortitude, this mental resilience when performing when competing?

[6:53] Well, I think that's a really good question, because I think it starts with knowing yourself.
I think if we want to be the best version of ourselves, you have to know, who am I?
What is my nature? What is my personality? And I'm not only talking about taking a test and get the answers there.
But really, if somebody tells you you are like this or you are like that, really go inside and figure out, do I believe I'm like that?
Or, why do people see me like this? You know, to know yourself, know your nature.
I think mental training starts with that.
Because my experience is that some players or also coaches, they have been thinking about these questions and they are safe. Who am I? But others, they are more insecure and they haven't been thinking about it. So if you're going to develop something, I think you need to know where the point A is. Who am I? Where am I? And also, if you want to develop, what do I want to develop? What do I want to do more? That is one of my approaches to mental training.
Because I think that's very important because, you know, all of us, our brains are.

[8:16] Narrative machines. They're constantly trying to understand the world and the context of how we relate to the world and other people around us by creating a story.
And so a lot of stories begin with I am or this is or they are.
So it's always the to be form.
And the to be form is like you could say, for example, I am nervous, right?

[8:40] Or I am excited. I mean, there are two labels, but the narrative we tell ourselves, from my experience, triggers an emotion and that emotion triggers a certain behavior.
So if I feel incompetent or not skilled enough, then that will tank my emotion of self-confidence and thus I will may not engage as much with the performance or with the world.
But if I feel that I'm confident, not overconfident that I have the ability to deal with this situation that I have a certain level of performance, and that becomes my narrative, my labels I that place on myself, then my emotions will, that will bolster me, right?
I will feel emboldened.
I will feel the courage, even though I have the fear, I feel encouraged to move into the storm and my behavior will be one of to engage and to enable myself to move into that.
So I think it's, I see a lot of what you do and what I do, there's a lot of transition, even though we come from two different disciplines. I think there's a underlying mechanism, a common denominator in what we do, where it goes from head to heart to hand.


The connection between mental training in sports and other disciplines


[9:48] Yeah. And also one thing that I see both in business and in sports is that I feel, I experience that we all are looking for...

[10:02] These boxes that we want to put ourselves or others in. So after I have been working, who are you? What is natural for you? What are your beliefs? What are your life philosophies.

[10:17] Or values? Then I start to reflect, are you like this? Do you always believe that? Or are you that always or are there situations or contexts that this flourish or this veins, you know, it disappears? And that may confuse somebody, but I really think that is important, because in mental training, you need to know what do I need from the situations to be on my best, or what kind of trigger will come inside of me if I'm in this situation. So it's important to know who you are. But I believe that we are not one thing. I can be both patient and unpatient. It depends on the situation. So that is like step two for me. Yeah, step two is understanding your limits, your boundaries and working within those limits and boundaries or trying to find ways to adapt when those triggers or those edges, you meet the edges of who you are and try to develop a sense of resilience or robustness to move through that. And as you said, it's very situational. Is that what I understand?
Yes, I believe so. I had one person who had the anger issue.

[11:42] So what we did is what that before a game, we could sit down and have a talk. If you feel that anger, how do you really want to react?

[11:54] What is the, when this emotion is coming, how do you want to deal with it? And by talking about this in front, this player told me, you have to watch this game and write down if I managed to do that or not. So by doing things like this, I could see the person really made a difference, you know, he really developed another response. Yes, sometimes he could fall back, but you know, we need to master new behavior. We have to know how we want to behave in this situation and then.

[12:39] Have somebody to help us master them. So that's one thing. So the idea, just to explore that a a little. So the idea in that case is this particular person, he had anger and it didn't play out in the best way. And so what you asked him or her was to kind of project how do you want this anger to play out? How would you like to see it more productive? So it's helping you and not hindering you. And then he says, or she says, they picture something in their mind. And so once they picture in their mind, you kind of reverse that back to the emotion of anger, but maybe back to the thoughts, which is the coding of the emotions is like, okay, how do you want this to play out as you as you've described it to me.


Differentiating between experiencing an emotion and identifying with it


[13:23] And so there are certain thoughts that he or she thinks in order to have that productive outcome that they wish to have.

[13:30] Well, I tried to tell them that it's a difference between an emotion and being that emotion.
Try to make yourself a little space to recognize that emotion, but choose how you want to react to that emotion.
If I feel anger, I don't have to be angry.

[13:55] Yeah, so you can notice the anger and you don't have to identify with the anger.
Yes, I think it's important to identify, you know, the real feeling. I don't want my players or my leaders who I've been working with to not acknowledge that that's the feeling, because So that for me is a toxic positivity, you know, you have to identify it, but I want you in a calm state, think about how do you want to react?
If you could choose, how do you want to react? And by naming this response, when they're in the situation, you know, the brain, it's more easy to, okay, now I know how I want to react on that.
Can I ask you, Hege, because I think that's a very interesting point that you've made.
So what I hear is that when they're in the in a situation, when they're in the heat of battle or the heat of performance, that they become cognizant or they become conscious of what they're doing to shift.

[15:02] But I can understand, you know, sitting in a meeting room or in the locker room when you're helping them to deal with that performance issue.
But in the heat of the moment, sometimes a lot of us get lost in the moment.
Get so focused on what's going on externally that we lose focus internally, like sort of the internal drivers. My question to you is how do you help them to be more present in the moment in the heat of competition in the heat of performance?
Oh, it's a lot of things I could have been talking about here.
But for me, I try to this is also important for leaders. It's not only for sports people. But I try to tell people that, you know, our focus, it, our brain, our thoughts, it's one, it wanders, it wanders forward. What am I going to do in the next meeting? Or what am I going to do tomorrow, this important meeting with my new clients, or it goes backwards, you know, what just happened in that meeting, I felt that somebody got angry at me, or somebody was telling me something that I didn't like.
So I tried to...
I tried to talk about how much are you able to be present because it's normal.

[16:27] That your thoughts are wandering. But how can you refocus? Do you have any tools that make you refocus and be present? Because we know that if we are not present, it's really hard to master.
It's really hard to do a good performance. Because, you know, when you talk to somebody, you can see if they are really there, or if they are on the phone or are thinking about something else. So if you really want to connect, or if you really want to be on your best, you have to be present. So there's a lot of things that we train about that. But it starts with them being aware.


The Importance of Being Present in Sports and Performance


[17:14] In handball, for example, and also in football, you have a defense play and you have a player that the goal is to move forward. So when you're in defense, you have to be present in defense.
You cannot think about the next time you're going to try to put a goal. So that's one of the things that I think it's important that you're starting to notice on yourself, when am I focused and when.

[17:44] Do my mind start to wander? And maybe you know it, but there are science that tells us that our brain is wandering 47% of the time. And when our thoughts are wandering, we also feel less happy. So, that's another thing that's also important to...

[18:10] I think that's very important because what you referred to, this 40% where the mind's wandering, it's something called the default mode network. And so, when we're not focused on something external, on a task, on a job, on performance, then our mind starts to wander.
And it's okay to wander sometimes, but when you find yourself in a stressful situation that's that's provoking some level of anxiety, there's some sort of tension, animosity, on some level of uncertainty, then that mind-wandering becomes, as you said, it flies to the future and plays out all the worst scenarios, or it jumps into the time machine and goes in the back and think, oh my god, I did so bad this time, and this is a predictor of how I'm gonna play in the future. Now, I agree.
And so it's the ability to move into the present. One of the things I find is that certain sports, I like bouldering, climbing, and when I'm sitting off the edge of a wall.
I don't have time to think. And that's one thing I think in certain sports, right? The intensity of sports, you don't have time to think. Like if you're playing racquetball or squash or tennis, or climbing or what have you, the sport is moving so fast that you have to stay present. You're just kind of there. But like when I'm playing golf, oh my god, I have all the time in the world Self-criticize myself and have self-doubt.

[19:34] Well, I think golf, it's a really good practice on mental training because you are doing 18 holes.
I also play golf and I know that some holes will be okay and some are terrible.
So how do I refocus and not take the frustration or anger from the last, in the new hole that I want to play well.


Differentiating Between Learning and Performance in Sports and Business


[20:02] But I also talk about, both in business and in sports, about the difference between learning and performance.
Because sometimes we need to be in a learning moduse to master new things.
And sometimes we are playing a match, maybe a really important match, and that's not when we are going to test out new things.
So when you are talking about that, I don't have the time to think, I need to use my autopilot.
I think that's what sports are doing so well. They practice, practice, practice, practice, and then they play their game.
So in the practice, they're supposed to be in a learning mode, you know?
And maybe they make more fault.

[20:55] Mistakes or they fumble a ball or whatever. do the best they can. They try to improve. They are not mastering yet, but mistakes are expected.
But when you're playing that game, you want to use your autopilot. You want to perform. You want to master. You want to make as little mistakes as possible. So I also think it's important for leaders to think when can I practice? Is every day a performance modus for me? Or the people I lead, when can they learn and grow? So I think it's important to think about that.
I think that's a very salient point you've made because when leaders hire someone like like yourself as an external coach to spar with him.
That creates the perfect opportunity to learn, right? They can talk about some situation that happened that week, and they can walk through it and you can help them take it apart through the quality of your questions. And that allows them to self-reflect, to have self-awareness.

[22:03] Or if they have something coming up the next week, as you said, you can create the performance in the theater of their mind. How do you see this playing out? How would you like to see it playing out?
What would you do? And again, it sounds like that ability from performance, giving the presentation in front of the C-suite people and practicing that, then the practicing can become when they're meeting with you as an external coach because you're not part of that particular company culture. You're not tainted in that sort of sometimes... A lot of people can think in similar ways when they're part of the same culture. It's just the way we are as human beings. That's how we, that's how we're wired. But when they bring someone such as you, a professional from external to talk through things, what happens? It's a completely different perspective because you're not a friend per se, even though you are in friendly terms, you're not family, you're not a colleague. So you have a completely different dimension. There is a completely different pattern of interaction. That in itself, that novel interaction also creates novel and new types of thinking about how how they can move forward. So I really like that between practice and performance.

[23:17] Yeah, and I ask a lot of questions. And I also tell my clients that that's my job to ask questions, maybe questions that you have stopped asking, because it's how we do it here. So I tell them that, well, I ask them if that is okay. And most of my clients say, of course, ask those questions, we need to reflect.
But.

[23:42] If I work with individuals or team or culture, I always start with trying to find out where are we now? Where are we now? When I work with teams and organizations, it's very usual that we have.

[23:59] A different view on where we are now. When I get a mission, it's often you have to help us to move forward. But I tell my clients, okay, we can make some agreements on what we are going to, what kind of effort we are going to make. But we have to start with acknowledging that we need to have a common mindset of where we are. And when we see the same, we see we are here, then we can talk about we want to go there. It's important for me to ask those questions to make them reflect, because I'm not an external who comes with all the answers. I'm not an expert that knows everything and they don't know anything. They know a lot of things. I just want to facilitate and make them start to talk, make them start to listen to each other and find out what are we wanting to do here?
Well, what I can see, Hege, you're almost as a catalyst. You come in, they are the experts of their own domains, of their own disciplines, but sometimes when we are experts, we.

[25:16] Just see everything as one clump. We don't see the individual skills or the individual logical bits that have to fall into place, and we just assume we know that. But when someone such as yourself comes in, you can ask some very simple questions, but it can create a profound reflection in someone's.

[25:35] Like, you know what, I didn't see that. They didn't see the crack between the, you know, in the sidewalk. And then in that crack, that opens up a whole world of exploration, which they can learn and develop. And so it's just that, you asking them questions, because what I find a lot of the times is that I'll ask what I think is a very straightforward, basic question, and they think it's maybe an oversimplification of a question.
But in the exploration of that, when they're explaining their thoughts and emotions, yes, they're explaining it to me.
But a lot of the times, they're explaining it to themselves out loud in their own words.
And that in itself, you start seeing the light bulbs kind of ting ting ting ting going off in their head, right?


The importance of reflection and time management


[26:17] And then all of a sudden it's like, okay, let's follow, let's go down this trail that we didn't see, right? And all of a sudden, there may be a potential solution there to their conundrum.
Yeah, I love that, Jason. I really love that, because that's my experience as well. They know a lot of things, but they need to have time to reflect, they need to have time to think.
Many of my clients, they say that we don't have time, time enough to reflect.
So, one of the things that I need to do is make them make time.
You know, for me, it's almost akin to someone trying to get from point A to point B, from one city to another city, and they're speeding along because they got to get to a meeting, but they don't have time to look at the signage, right, to make sure they're going the right direction.
They're just speeding along. They see the tarmac, they see the asphalt, just keep following the road, right?

[27:09] But unless you look at the signage, how do you know you're going in the right direction?
You may feel like you're going in the right direction, but maybe those feelings, you're basing your decisions based on false data or misinterpretation of that data, right?
So I think it's so important to find that time to reflect, just to look up, to make, sure you're heading in the right direction on the horizon.
Yeah. And also if it's a team or an organization, you need to, maybe your brain and your knowledge that okay we have to do this but you have to have the people with you so you have to also you have to be aware that other people maybe need more time than you and how can you then you as a leader.

[27:55] Facilitate or make time for dialogue so you can unite about where are we and where do you where do we really want to go if i can just shift the conversation because What I see a lot of times, especially younger people coming up in the game, they're very skilled, very knowledgeable, and they're hungry to make a difference, to contribute, to add value. But a lot of the times, they're so focused on the performance that sometimes they have an imposter syndrome. Logically, they know they've been placed in that position because of their skill, knowledge, and who they are. But emotionally, they feel that someone's made a mistake. And this imposter syndrome, as I said, and they get so wrapped up in perfection that they, will check things three, four times when they know logically they've done it right the first or the second time. How do you help someone to show a little more self-compassion to themselves? And how important is self-compassion in this process, of between learning and performance?
Well, I think if you want to be really good in something, if you really want to master something, you have to meet yourself with compassion because you're going to fail a lot.

[29:14] So if you are a person that only wants to be good, but you don't want to fail, I think it's really good to grow as fast as you need to grow to be really good at something.
In my world, maybe I use the terms a little different than you, but I make a difference between performance and result. And in football, for example, you can tell that if we win with the 3-0, that's a result. But how we played, that is the performance.

[29:46] So in business, results are the numbers that you are trying to use. But performance is more like


Creating a clear direction and cultivating the desired culture


[29:56] how do we do things here? What do we, how do you say it? How we collaborate, how we cooperate, how we communicate. So I try to ask the leaders, okay, you want to reach those results, but how are you going to do it? And many of them think that's a really difficult question. Of course, it is because then you starting to talk about what do we want to see more of here? And that is, is, for some, maybe they don't want to make it so clear, because there are many ways to go to Rome, for example.
But I tell my leaders that if you don't know what you want, how can you make the culture so you get more of what you want?
For young people who want to perform or make a good result, I think that the people who are really good in something.

[30:55] They are resilient because they know they have to fail and they have to get up after they have made a failure.
And you can't just do that without be nice to yourself or tell yourself that, okay, I tried.
Maybe that was a difficult task for me, but I dared to try.
And in the same in sports, You know, my experience is that when coaches are really angry at players, it's not what they do and fail.
It's not what they don't dare to do.
The chances they didn't take. Yeah, well, they make them go beyond their comfort zone.
They want them to do maybe some new things or try something, but they want to do what's safe.
So for me, failure is both doing something wrong that you shouldn't have done, but also, Do something you should, but you don't dare to do.

[31:59] Yeah, failure, she is a good teacher, right? I mean, it's when you talk about from textbook knowledge to experience knowledge, experience knowledge will always tell you the truth.
And the question is, if you're willing to lean into it and to understand that truth, because there's only two roads, right? You either ignore it, or you bring it on and somehow build yourself so you're more resilient, so you can push through, you know, those limits sometimes.
I think that's very important. You know, as I've spoken on this podcast before, my father used to tell me, Jason, when you move into any situation, you either succeed or you learn.
Succeed, great. Spend time, reflect and learn from it and celebrate. When you fail, learn from it. It's okay to feel bad. It's okay to feel defeated. Those are normal emotions And you should learn from them.
But don't don't drown in those emotions. Use it as an excuse not to push yourself, to push your limits, right?
Constantly grow, constantly strain. And so that's it. Succeed or learn.
And I've taken that philosophy with me all these years I've been on this planet.

[33:13] Yeah. And it's a good, it's a good one, because what I also say is that when you feel when


Understanding your own needs and knowing yourself better


[33:20] When you master failure, different feelings are arriving.
But what are those feelings telling you about your own needs?
So if you're failing and you feel ashamed or embarrassed, okay, what is that feeling telling you about your own needs?
Why is it important for you to be good?
Why is it important for you to master?
So we're coming back to know yourself, you know? Because when we start to find out, oh, I'm a person that really likes to be good, and and I don't like to do things wrong.
And you can smile at that.

[34:03] Music.


Deep Dive into Self-Understanding and Role-Playing Scenarios


[34:11] In part 1, Hega talked about mental training as doing a deep dive into understanding yourself better. It's about asking yourself some pretty specific questions like, what am I good at?
What do I tend to do automatically? Who am I? Really? What do I need to perform at my absolute best? What gets under my skin and sets me off? Basically, it's about getting to know yourself inside out. Part of this mental training involves role-playing scenarios. It's asking yourself How would I handle this situation if it came up?

[34:45] What about this one? What about that one? This helps us to learn new ways of responding to things, to events.
In mental training, we also dig into our emotions.
We learn that there's a difference between having emotion and letting that emotion take over. For example, just because you feel angry, it doesn't mean you have to become the Hulk to become angry.
You can notice the anger without letting it completely define you.
Now here's the tricky part.

[35:12] How do you stay focused in all this self-discovery when you're in the middle of performing?
Well, it's about understanding the difference between learning and performing.
Learning is all about trying new stuff and getting better.
It's about improving our game.
But when it's showtime, you're not experimenting anymore. You're putting into action what you've practiced.
There's no time to try this or try that. You execute on habits.
And let's not forget about the difference between performance and results.
Performance is about how you play the game, while results are the actual scores on the board.
When it comes to coaching and mental training, it's not just about what you're doing right, it's also about what you might be holding back on.
It's about asking yourself why you're so driven to be great at what you do.
In a nutshell, mental training is like a personal journey when you get to know yourself better, how to manage your emotions and to figure out how to perform at your best. It's about understanding what makes you tick and how to handle different situations. All the while, keep an eye on the bigger picture of success. And so now, let's slip back into the stream.

[36:23] Music.


Importance of Visualization in Mental Training


[36:32] Wondering, could you speak as a mental trainer to the aspect of a visualization and how important that is and why that's important. Well for me, visualization, it helps you to prepare yourself for a task. In sports, it's a technique.
You're going to play a game and you can imagine that you play the game. You can imagine that you fail, but then you come back. As a goalkeeper, for example, you can see yourself doing a wrong thing and you coming back because many goalkeepers have told me that if they if they let in a goal too early, the whole match is ruined. And I asked why there's a lot of time left. So when they can use this technique for priming their brain and their body.

[37:24] To, for an action and to deal with feelings and different situations. They master that better when they're in that situation. So I don't know if I answered your question, but also players, I can, I can prep them and tell them that this technique, it will help you to help your brain to recognize how things will go play out when you're on that.
Definitely, that's well said. That's well said. Because visualization, just to kind of speak to it, it's not just about what you see. It could be, you know, if you're at a starting line about to start a run around track and field, it may be the tactile, the.

[38:12] Feeling of the track under your fingertips or your your feet in the starting blocks, and you're breathing. So visualization, it's almost like it's all-encompassing. It involves all of the senses. And the more vivid you can paint the picture with the different senses, the more your brain actually thinks it's happening.
Because one thing about the brain, as complicated and as amazing as it is, if the conscious mind's off, it can't tell reality from fantasy. Sometimes when we're sleeping, you're sleeping there in bed, all of a sudden, you kind of have this reflex as you think you're falling down.
That's a prime example.
But back to what you're saying, the visualization, the brain, you're creating a sense of certainty, I guess, some sort of cognitive map that, okay, so in the first 10 minutes, if they score, what does that mean?

[39:05] You still have whatever, 80 minutes left in the soccer match or the football match.
And especially if there's something they fear, I want them to put themselves in that situation and give them the tools to handle that fare.

[39:17] But it's really important, the things that you say now, Jason, because that's what I also do.
I tell them, what do you smell in this situation? What do you feel? What do you see? I want them to connect to their senses, because then it's easier for them in this situation to feel relaxed. I have been here before. I have dealt with that before. When I work as a mental trainer, you can do so much. But I have to be honest, I have never been working with two people that I have done exactly the same because the one size does not fit all. So visualization is for somebody.


Personalized Approach to Visualization Techniques


[39:55] Somebody is like they can, I can show them a framework. And I asked them, what do you want?
What are you curious about? What do you want to work with? And some of them choose visualization, you know. And then we start to work with that. But the people who work with that, they feel that they get more confident in different situations. So by training, you know, that's what mental training by training that you are in that situation, it helps you cope with the stress with the press. And you feel that, okay, this was outside my comfort zone before. But now, I really feel that this is something that I can I can recognize it in my comfort zone.

[40:42] And then you have made the developments. It's exactly what you said. You know, like you said, what do you smell? What do you feel? What do you taste? Whatever. You know, you engage all those senses because the same neural mechanisms and same neural architecture, whether you're actually physically doing the act of bouncing a basketball or imagining bouncing the basketball, it fires off the same networks. Even though your muscles are not going off, it fires off the same patterns in your head. And that's why visualization to the detail that you speak to both in the boardroom and both on the playing field, why it is so effective.
Because you're firing that pattern over and over and over, creating that sense of what?
And confidence. Yeah, and I also have good players who have some issues with self-esteem.
You may not think that, but many of the things that they get credit for is being good at something. So they think that if I'm, they don't think it, but I discover when I talk to them that they are on the top of the hill when they make a good performance, but when the performance is not so good, they start to have negative thoughts about themselves or they have negative emotions.
So then we can...

[42:06] For example, start with positive self-talk or affirmations in that period if they feel that now everything is working against me. And I also can see what that does to somebody, that they start every day by telling themselves some frames that are important for them. And often And often those affirmations, it's more like, how do I want to deal with this, you know?
They're putting, they're giving power to themselves.
How do I want to deal with this situation? I can cope with stress.
I can cope with that. I can cope with being injured.
I can cope with, you know, for example.

[42:51] I think what's very important, what you said about self-esteem, You know, when we identify our value and our worth based on our performance, you know, we can have off days.
And if I'm basing my self-worth on my particular behavior, I mean, that makes me very fragile.
Right? I think we need to separate.
And it sounds like you're saying this is to separate my identity, my self-worth, my self-esteem from the performance.
Yes. what I do affects the performance, but there are sometimes variables out there that you will never take account of nor be aware of that can affect that performance.

[43:35] Well, I think that's true. Self-esteem and self-acceptance. They are often confused to be identical, but they are not.
When people are trying to figure out what their identity is, what their self-worth is, I think it's based on the effort. It comes back to something you said. You said something about the difference between the performance and the score, the results, right? The results could be we won the game five to zero, right? We slaughtered them.
But how the culture is, if it was done with collaboration, cooperation, that we don't have to identify ourselves with the outcome, but we can identify ourselves with the effort because effort is something that we can always look at, right?
The performance in itself, I guess maybe I'm mixing terms here, but the performance itself is for me, it's about effort.

[44:27] I think it's the results or the outcome of those results maybe is where we do not want to link our self esteem or self worth.
Yeah. And I also like to explain it like this, that performance is something that you can do something about. But the results.

[44:45] May also have elements that you can't control. In business, it can be another company who discover a new techno, techno log. Technological. Yes, sorry. And you can do a really good performance, but well, or in sports, they can have, they, yeah, in skiing, for example, you know that some like it, a rainy weather, some like when the snow is hard. So there are elements that you can't control. But what you can control is the performance that day. So the more you focus on what you can do something about, I think you train your mind to be the best version of yourself. And I don't mean that we are supposed to be the best version of us ourselves all the time, every day, 24 hours, that's not what I'm saying. But But in sports and also in business, you need to know how to prep yourself before a meeting or before a game.
It's also really important to.

[46:05] To slow down and not being the best version, but you know, restituere.

[46:13] Yeah, the restitution. Yes, restitution.
Recovering and such. Yes. So, but it's a balance, you know, but if we are talking about performance, we know that you can prep individuals or team to be in a kind of mode that they will likely perform better than in another mode.
That's for me is important. That speaks volumes to something that I talk about sort of two different types of mindsets of maximizing and sufficing. Maximizing sometimes is like where you have to show up and deliver 100 percent but if you're doing that all the time if you're driven by that perfectionism or that imposter syndrome or whatever it is that's driving you to constantly deliver 100%, that is not sustainable. At some point, cracks will show up and you will just falter.

[47:09] I think sometimes we need to understand that the demands of life, the demands of the job, or demands of the sport sometimes means we need to suffice. And suffice means it's just good enough because there's so much coming at us that you can't have everything. You have to make the tough call of trade-offs. Everything on your plate is important, but some things are going to be more important than others. And I think if you are not able to shift from maximizing to just sufficing, it's good enough. Then I honestly, I've seen it time and time again over my long career that people burn out, hit the wall and collapse as intelligent, as educated, as knowledgeable as they are. They don't use these terms that you've talked about of self-awareness and self-compassion and the difference between results and performance.
I think they're setting themselves up to to crumble at some point.
Yeah, and I think in the future, I think that will be.


Sustainable Performance Management and Development


[48:13] Very important for businesses to survive, I really think. Because the new generations that's coming now, they are much more aware of those things than my generation. And that's why when my clients ask me to do something about, you know, performance management and development, I'm really clear about, I love working with performance management or development, but it has to be sustainable. It has to be that, it's a marathon, not a sprint.
And again, it comes back down to culture. This is something you mentioned before, right?
Yes. And we also know that when we have this element of well being in a football team or handball team or in a business, we perform better as well. So it's it's a really important thing that what we do is something that we can do over time. It's not it's not something that will get people sick or people will start to leave because it's too hard to be here.

[49:19] You know, something I really liked you said is that sometimes you see the coaches kind of shouting at the players, right, but it's coming from a good place. It's telling them you can push beyond that.
What can you do? Because at the same time, you see really good coaches.
They create psychological safety on a team where the team feels they can be valued, they contribute and they feel secure in their position and such.
But at the same time, there's not too much psychological safety where you're bubble wrapping people.
It's like, oh, everyone's a winner. No, that's not it.
Sometimes you have to come hard down on a player or on an employee or on yourself to push yourself.
But it's coming from good intentions, not nefarious intentions, right?
You're trying to build a person. And I think sometimes cultures have gone, some cultures, business cultures or team cultures have gone too far where psychological safety is just that.
It's like, let's put a bandaid on everything. Let's bubble wrap everything so everyone feels safe and secure all the time.
That's not resilience.
That's not resilience at all. That's just setting up someone for fragility.
It's not equanimity, feeling comfortable in discomfort. And it's not well-being.
Because I think you said it was toxic positivity. I think you said almost. Yeah.
Oh, I really agree. And I...

[50:38] I believe that some organizations have misunderstood psychology safety because.

[50:48] When I talk to them, it sounds to me that that is the mission. That's the goal. But if that is the goal, people will not dare to speak honestly. So I believe that the goal has to be performance.
And safety is what you need to do to create that performance.
Psychology safety is really important. I've been working a lot with that.
But for me, it's a team effort.
It's nothing an individual can feel. Because for me, we are different as individuals.
And my resilience are different than yours.
So when a coach comes in in a dressing room and tells something, somebody can say yes inside and somebody oh my god and feel maybe hurt as well and also in the meeting in business you know something can be said and somebody is like oh my god I got hurt and somebody yes finally we are moving forward. And that depends on you, on your bandages, on your mental model, on your life, on what how you see the world. So for me, we also have to take a responsibility as individuals.

[52:08] If the team are going to be the best version of themselves. What is my, yeah.
No, no, I think that's such a salient point, because, you know, psychological safety is, it's I always feel there's sort of two forces that are playing into that right. You have independence where as an individual I want to perform, I want to use my skills, I want to contribute. But there's also interdependence and again in the sense of sports.
You know, we're trying to win a game, trying to win a match, and so through the interdependence, through passing the balls, through communication, through cooperating, collaborating on the pitch, on the field, on the baseball diamonds, we can do that.
So, and I think it's a balance between these two forces of independence and interdependence. And again, it's creating that cohesion, that glue that puts them together, but at the same time, not having so much psychological safety, you know, where everything has to be inclusion and diversity. Yes, you can have diversity of opinion and you can have inclusion. But you know what? Some ideas are going to sink. Some.

[53:15] Strategies are not going to float. And we have to be good with that, right? And so in a sense, I think if we can balance this, because it's a lot of it's about inclusion and diversity, and I completely agree. But if we let the pendulum swing too far on the other end, then you almost get what you don't want. Yes, exactly. And what I am trying to, teach my clients is that we need a culture that when tough feedback is coming, the intention is good. My intention is not to hurt you. It's not to break you. It's not to make fun of you.
You, my intention is that I want us to be better. So if you really understand that and you really believe that, I think you can have really tough feedback.

[54:12] But if our relationship is not that good, if we haven't connected, if I'm not sure on your intentions, what you're telling me may be well meant, but I don't receive it because my insecurity, my bandages will think that you're saying something else. It's a really, really important key to understand how to be safe and also give a feedback culture.


Building Trust and Transparency for Tough Feedback


[54:43] That's why I think coaches of whatever sports is so important because you know he or she will show their transparency. They may be hard, they may be strict, but they are transparent. They've built trust amongst their team, right? And through that transparency people understand what to expect.
They understand the intentions of the coach, even though the coaches scream across to me across the pitch, because I did something or I played too individually in that particular strategy. But I know he or she's coming from a good place. But I think it takes time to build that trust, right? It takes time to build that transparency. And it just doesn't happen.
Now, I think everybody understands this. But emotionally, sometimes we just wish it would just be a snap of the fingers, right? Oh, they understand what I'm saying. No, they don't.
You have to take time. Yeah, that's why I think communication is really an important skill, you know, and also not to communicate, but also to.

[55:49] If you're a leader, have some questions that you check out. Did they understand what my intention were?
Or did they only see, did they hear anything else that I should be aware of?
So really important. Yeah, communication is everything and it's a two-way road.
It's saying something, but it's also listening and truly reflecting on what a person said.
And then as you said, using the questions to explore.
If I may just shift the conversation for a sec. In our pre-meeting you talked about the knowing doing gap. I was wondering how can individuals bridge this gap and turn their knowledge and competencies into actions effectively? I think we've addressed this to some extent, but is there other elements we haven't discussed yet?

[56:36] Oh, I love the knowing doing gap. Maybe you can explain it first. What is the knowing doing gap from your perspective?
Yeah, from my perspective, the knowing doing gap is sometimes I can take an example, me as I'm a mother to boys, I know that I shouldn't yell at my boys. But I have to be honest to tell you that I had done that, even though I know I shouldn't, they are grown now, and they're doing well. But you know, we all do things that we're not proud of.
So, the knowing-doing gap is to know something, but do we manage to do it?
But you can't manage to do something you don't know anything about.
That's why self-awareness is so important in my work, both in mental training, but also with leaders and team development and also culture.
Culture. We need to be self-aware of ourselves and how we affect other people. So, this is the end of my talk.

[57:46] Also, self-awareness can be so much. It can be relations I have with myself, relation I have with others, because I think the relation I have with myself really affects the relations I have with others. So if I'm kind to myself, if I do failure and I smile at it, if I really managed to smile, I'm self compassion, you know, and then I think it's easier to be self, compassion to others as well. But if I have this, what do you call this critical.

[58:23] Self criticism? Yes. And self talk, and you're so stupid. If I do that to myself, Mostly, I would be more like that to others as well.
So self-awareness of my, who I am, what do I believe, how do I want to be?
What do I want to be to others?
What are my relationship to myself? What is my relationship to others?
All that things, that is for me, knowing.
And doing, it's self-regulation and competences.
What do I actually do?
So when you talk about self-regulation, can you more operationally define it from your perspective?
Self-regulation. It's when my emotions really flourish. We have been talking about this before, but I really think that we are emotional human beings that also think.
Think that we are thinking people that also feels. But I think the feelings are so strong in us. If I really feel that you don't wish me well, my brain is telling me things that are not true. I think that our thoughts are.


Regulation to Connect with Feelings and Self-Reflection


[59:45] Many times negative and repetitive. So for me, this regulation is to really connect with my feelings, and to know myself through my feelings. And I have been telling you this before, but for me feelings, and you know, I'm a mindfulness instructor, so that I've been learning a lot about this through this practicing, but to registrate your emotion, and then be curious about what are my needs? Why do I feel this way? What are the signals? Why is this important?
That can help me with my self-regulations.


The Power of Curiosity and Self-Awareness


[1:00:30] Yeah, I think what you said was curious. I think the curious mindset is to understand, it's to search for the explanation why you're feeling or thinking a certain way.
You know, it's too easy for us to ask ourselves, why am I feeling this?
Why am I thinking like this? You know, this self-judgment where we have to justify a certain emotion.
And I think if someone takes the curiosity mindset, and that could be as easily as shifting on how we ask the question.
Because if I ask myself, why am I feeling this way?
Well, then I have to justify that. But if I shift it to, as again, self-awareness of what I'm asking, specifically asking myself, What is the reason I'm feeling this way?
What is the reason I've assigned this meaning to this situation?
You know, there's a difference because when I feel that I have to justify my actions or my thoughts or emotions to myself or to anyone else, that puts me on defensive mode.
That fires off completely different networks in my brain.
But if I can explain myself, if I come from a place of curiosity, well, then that makes me in a place where I can reflect. So I just wanted to pick up on that word because I really like that.
To be curious is part of self-regulation.

[1:01:42] Yeah, and also I like to be, I have a Norwegian word that is called nyskjerri til stedverdset.
And if I'm going to change to the- Translate that?
Translate that in English, it is more like a curious present, you know?
Yeah. To be present in a curious way.
And that is something I really like, to be curious, but also be present.
What's happening? What's happening?
Because I think that is a superpower. If you can put yourself if you can manage moments and be present with your own thinking and emotions, like what's going on inside and not get so trapped up in the outside. Man, that's a superpower. I mean, that that gives you an advantage performance wise, a lot of people on the field.
Well, I'm, I'm training and I'm failing. And you know, I think I'm trying to meet myself with compassion on that level. And I try to teach others as well to do the same. And one good example is that I have a friend who texted me some days ago. And he was really cool because he was telling me something on the edge.

[1:02:59] And he didn't see my language. I was laughing and I was thinking, I'm so glad I have this friend in my life. But I was busy, so I just sent him a thumbs up, you know. And after 20 minutes, he sent me a new message. Yeah, it's like, I'm sorry, now you think I'm a fool. And that is a good example for his chatter inside or what he's been thinking about himself after he sent that to to me. So I don't think we should be. Well, I think we should be aware that all of our we are all thinking like that. So it's so important to tell people their strength, how you make me feel. I like it when you do that. You make me laugh. You make me safe. It's so important, because we need that mirror. We need that mirror that it's okay to be yourself, though the text was a little bit on edge. I loved it, you know, but he was starting to punish himself inside and that's a good example. Yeah.


Vulnerability, Trust, and Shifting Narratives


[1:04:03] I think it's also important to caveat, you know, vulnerability is a strength, but it's being vulnerable in with those that you trust and that you respect, like being vulnerable across the board, that's that's a dangerous place to go. But with those that you trust and respect like your friend, you know, then by telling him what you were thinking, because he can't read the meaning in between the lines of a text or a thumbs up, right?
But when you say that, that can shift his narrative, right?

[1:04:34] Because he's thinking, oh, he just got a thumbs up. I wonder what that triggered in Haga.
Right? He's like, ah, I'm sorry.
I'm just respectful of your time, Haga. I was wondering, as someone deeply committed to mental well-being and peak performance, trends or developments do you see sort of shaping the future of this field that you're in?

[1:04:57] Well, I think my belief, I have to have to more talk about what I believe is coming to be important in the next year. I do really believe that we have to learn the difference between a result modus or focus or performance focus because everybody, everybody, even my mother who don't work anymore, can be the best version of herself by focus on how can I be a better mom, better wife, you know. It's well-being to know that I have control over what my life is about.

[1:05:41] And in business, I think we should talk about performance. It's important because some Some businesses will not survive if we don't have the focus on performance.
I think what is happening in the future, it will become more and more important that what we do is sustainable.
It has to be sustainable on both on the individuals, but also in the businesses or the teams.
So that's what I'm focused on now.
I want to work with clients that want to be good, but in a sustainable way.
So I think that's really important.
Well, Hege, I really appreciate your time today. You've shared so much knowledge and you're so passionate about it. I think if anyone's looking for an external coach, reach out to Hege. You have a vibrancy, a passion. I can see it just through your body language, through this Zoom call, how dedicated you are. It's always great to have an external sparring partners such as that when you see they live and breathe their philosophies.
Thank you so much. Yeah, well thank you. Thank you for spending some time with me today. I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts and your knowledge.

[1:07:03] Music.


The Power of Visualization and Self-Confidence


[1:07:15] As Haggis stated, visualization is a powerful tool and its importance cannot be overstated. It helps us tackle fear head-on by connecting with our senses and training our brain to recognize that we've faced similar situations in the past and can successfully deal with them. This process not only builds our, confidence but it also equips us to handle various challenges and stressors effectively. When it comes to athletes, the quality of their performance can sometimes become intertwined with their self-worth. However, it's crucial to understand that performing at our best doesn't mean being at our peak at all times, something that's just simply not possible. The key to focus on what we can control while acknowledging that certain elements are beyond our grasp. To bridge the gap between the knowing and the doing, Self-awareness plays a pivotal role. We need to understand how our actions affect not only ourselves but those around us. It's about recognizing our relationship with ourselves and how it extends to our interactions with others.

[1:08:17] Embracing a mindset of curiosity helps us delve deeper into our emotions, understanding why we feel a certain way rather than justifying those feelings.
In a nutshell, Hege Brekke offers invaluable insights that can be applied to the game of life.
Her advice helps us to optimize ourselves, enhance our self-awareness, and to navigate the challenges we encounter along the way.
In essence, it's about equipping ourselves with the tools to thrive and succeed in the diverse arenas of life. Well, folks, I hope you pulled a lot from that conversation as much as I did. And to you, Haga, a personal, deep and appreciative thank you for your time and your generosity of sharing your knowledge and experience with us today. And for any of you listeners out there wanting to reach out to Haga, I will leave all her contact information in the show notes. You know, folks, resilience, equanimity, well-being, these are not things that are just given to us.
We have to go through the crucible.
We need to experience life in order to build resilience, to build the muscles of equanimity, and to feel a sense of wellbeing.
And we have to earn that right to sit at that table. If you, your team or your organization are interested in delving deeper into building a more robust and resilient organization, mindset, well, give me a shout.
Well, anyways, folks, that brings us to a tail end of another episode.
Until next week, when we continue this conversation, keep well, and be well.


Introducing "It's an Inside Job" podcast with Jason Lim
Introduction to the concept of mental training
Introduction to Hege Brekke and her background
The importance of self-awareness in mental training
The connection between mental training in sports and other disciplines
Differentiating between experiencing an emotion and identifying with it
The Importance of Being Present in Sports and Performance
Differentiating Between Learning and Performance in Sports and Business
The importance of reflection and time management
Creating a clear direction and cultivating the desired culture
Understanding your own needs and knowing yourself better
Deep Dive into Self-Understanding and Role-Playing Scenarios
Importance of Visualization in Mental Training
Personalized Approach to Visualization Techniques
Sustainable Performance Management and Development
Building Trust and Transparency for Tough Feedback
Regulation to Connect with Feelings and Self-Reflection
The Power of Curiosity and Self-Awareness
Vulnerability, Trust, and Shifting Narratives
The Power of Visualization and Self-Confidence