Mindfulness & Mental Performance with Micha Shaw

Even when an outcome is unexpected, don’t forget to give yourself credit for trying to accomplish your goals in the first place. “This year has been challenging for everybody and sometimes, you have to give yourself a little bit of a break,” says Micha Shaw, mindfulness coach and retired competitive swimmer. This week, Shaw talks about the process of coming to terms with things that have happened in the past, and how mindfulness and resilience practice can better prepare you for what’s to come in the future.

When Shaw moved from Alaska to California for school, it was a big change full of opportunity. She began swimming competitively and found herself facing off against poolside champs. It was intimidating at first, she says, but she soon learned not to let that get the better of her. After college, she got into open water swimming. Within two years, she’d gone from novice to nationally-ranked. But, when she competed for an Olympic spot at the world championships, she fell short. It took her a long time to understand that experience and now, she helps others learn to focus on the process, rather than just the outcome, and appreciate the little things along the way.

Key Moments You Don’t Want to Miss:

  1. Acts of Kindness How the challenges of a COVID year have made it more important than ever to practice kindness toward yourself and others
  2. College Athlete How Micha Shaw first got into competitive swimming and learned not to give up, even when facing down the best of the best
  3. Olympic Dreams How Shaw went from open water novice to champ in two years and had her sights set on the Olympics
  4. Time to Process What Shaw has learned from working through her experience in retrospect, and how that’s informed her mindfulness practice

What You’ll Learn:

  • Give yourself credit for the effort you’ve put in
  • Focus on the process more often than the outcome
  • Break your large goal into smaller, achievable ones
  • Be intentional about practicing gratitude
  • Do the work before you need it

Quotes:

“I think (it helps) if you can see, even in the midst of really dark times, that there are these tiny, little things to be grateful for. Once you start looking for them, you can see them easier.” -Micha Shaw

“You have to have that big goal and then break it down into the little goals along the way. I also think knowing why you’re doing something and holding that intention, or your values, close to your heart, so that you’re moving forward with that in mind (is important).” -Micha Shaw

“People who have done the mindfulness practice, or who have built more of their resilience, going into COVID, they handled the uncertainty so much better because they’d prepared for it. If you put in the time, you’re preparing yourself for something that’s going to happen down the road because we’re going to have adversity and challenges and heartbreak. It’s just part of life.” -Jake Thompson

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Episode 272