I Need a Hero
The first question that I ask any of my clients is: “Who is your favorite Hero?”
Whether from a movie, comic book, novel, or video game we’ve all had a fictional, or historical, Hero that we admire.
These mythic Heroes provide hope, guidance, and inspiration in our darkest of times. It’s their actions that we look to emulate when we are tested.
Losing weight, starting a business, or finding the courage to speak to that cute guy/girl at the bar, can be clouded with fear, doubt, and uncertainty.
Conquer your doubt and fear by asking yourself, “what would [insert your favorite Hero] do?”
The Power of Sarah Connor
One of my first clients, Sarah, told me that her favorite superhero was Sarah Connor from Terminator.
She admitted that her biggest enemy to her weight loss success was the candy drawer at work. Every day she’d walk by it and be tempted to grab one.
The only problem was that she walked by this drawer multiple times in a day and one quickly became ten.
She felt taunted, provoked, and challenged multiple times a day by her nemesis.
Sarah needed a Hero. A Hero she’d already found strength in throughout her life.
The truth about our Heroes is this. We connect with those Heroes because we see ourselves deep inside of them. They are what we want to be but are too afraid to become.
Conquering the mental hurdle of the candy drawer was going to be a battle, a battle that would make a T-1000 look like R.O.B.
The Mind of a Hero
I asked Sarah: “what would Sarah Connor do to her nemesis? How would she handle the situation?”
“She would blow it up. No mercy, no second thought, she would blow the damn thing up”
Now she knew what her Hero would do, how Sarah Connor would handle a challenging situation.
I told Sarah the next time she approached the drawer I wanted her to visualize herself as Sarah Connor, rocket launcher in hand, blowing up her nemesis.
As she watched the rocket fly off and explode, showering pieces of the drawer into the air, I told her to imagine what it would be like to witness that scene and know that you killed your nemesis.
Sarah emailed me a couple days later:
“Robbie, I did it! I walked by the drawer and I imagined myself blowing the drawer up. Actually, I’ve been doing it all week and haven’t touched the candy drawer since last Friday!“
Visualize to Actualize
Tapping into your mind and visualizing how the Hero you admire would respond to an event can give you the confidence to imitate their actions and conquer your own temptations.
What puts you over the top? It is the mind that actually creates the body, it is the mind that really makes you work out for four or five hours a day, it is the mind that visualizes what the body ought to look like as the finished product.”- Arnold Schwarzenegger
Following in Arnold’s words, if the mind is visualizing what the body ought to look like as a finished product, could we not also visualize ourselves as the Heroes we admire?
Whether we’re trying to lose weight, start a business, beat a difficult boss in a video game, or talk to someone we’re attracted to, most of the time we only think of how we will fail. Our minds play these vivid movie trailers of our impending failure in our minds.
These failures, or the imagined failures we play out, look worse than a Michael Bay action sequence.
For some, their mental film plays out like a storybook Hollywood happy ending. These happy endings end with championship rings or world championship belts.
Famous athletes like Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Muhammad Ali, and Aaron Rodgers, have admitted that they visualized themselves executing a tough play when it was all on the line. They visualized themselves hoisting their championship trophy or belt in a grand celebration.
By rehearsing success in our minds, we actually train our brains for success. Recent research has shown that we use the same brain regions when we visualize an action as we do when we perform that action.
You’re The Hero You Need
At the end of 2015, my client Sarah told me that she had not touched the candy drawer at work for over 6 months.
Every time she walked by the drawer, she’d shoot a mental rocket in its direction and watch it blow up. This provided her a stepping stone to success.
The next time you’re faced with a mental hurdle or challenge, ask yourself what your favorite Hero would do. Play out that film in your mind. Imagine you’re Sarah Connor, Captain America, or Wolverine, and beat the shit out of your nemesis.