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Co-presenting with Sally Gunnell OBE

Have you ever been heard to say, “See; I knew this would happen”, or something similar? Sally recalled how she lost races in her early days, pinpointing the moment she’d glance across at her competitors, allowing herself to believe they were better than her. “70% of winning happens in the head” Sally told the audience. Back then she had to control her beliefs. So what changed, what did Sally do?

Positive psychology played an enormous part. She worked on all aspects developing her Positive Mental Attitude (PMA), addressing positive affirmations, associating with positive people (to this day Sally avoids people who are negative) and visualisation – picture from start to finish, seeing in her mind the outcome she wanted – crucially feeling the winning emotion.

Motivation was key, complacency the enemy. On bad days all Sally had to do was think of her rivals.She would soon be kitted out, stop-watch in hand, ready to go.

Sally spoke most sincerely about her competitors. Had they not been there she wouldn’t have won medals – competition, fierce at times, was essential. (Sally remains the only woman to have held the European, World, Commonwealth and Olympic 400 metre hurdles titles at the same time.

So, do you believe what you see or see what you believe? We are all able to instigate unwanted results by ‘seeing what we believe’ – i.e. we embed our fears and belief on situations. Sally understood this. She trained her belief system enabling her to see what she believed. Powerful! Life changed.

Once we’ve learned to over-ride negative voices in our head, we give ourselves a gift. It becomes a life-skill accessible only to us in our personal toolbox. When times are tough Sally is able to draw strength from her experience, gaining inner confidence and sense of direction. Sally learned how to win.

My life changed when I understood “what we believe is true”. If you don’t like what you believe you have the power to change it – we will believe whatever we tell ourselves.

Easier said than done? maybe. Challenging! Yes. Impossible – No.

Knowing we have control over our beliefs enables us to make decisions about our future. So why not decide to use your belief system as a tool to help you get to where you want to be, coupled with what you want. Strive to win. Dare to dream… to dream big. Then Believe!