In sports, attaining peak physical condition for a game is never enough. You need peak mental performance as well. A lot of people see the greatness of getting that goal. You see the people holding up the trophy and they feel great, but there’s pain and hard work to get to that goal as well. Shane Austin, quarterback for the Arena Football League and president of Extreme Focus, wants you to go out there and make it happen. It’s time to push your mindset to its maximum potential and be a game changer. Get out of your comfort zones and change the world because that’s what we all are for. Tap into some mindset tips, tricks and principles that you can teach yourself as Shane talks about sports and how it translates into life, business, and all of these things.
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Playing The Game Of Life With Extreme Focus with Shane Austin
I’m completely hyped up and ready to roll with this guest that I have with me. Awesome Shane Austin is what I call him. He’s a quarterback for the Arena Football League and he’s the President of Extreme Focus, which is a great self-development company. This guy is full of energy. He’s full of information, he’s young, he has the entrepreneur spirit and he has a heart to serve. Mr. Awesome Shane Austin is with us here.
Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.
It’s great to have you here. I had an opportunity to go watch you play. You are an awesome athlete and you blew me away.
That was a good one to watch. We had a good win, a good team victory. I’m glad you saw one of our good ones.
You’ve got a bit of an arm on you. I’ve seen you throw a bomb.
It’s a smaller arena. It makes it look a little better. You don’t have to throw it as far.
You’re the quarterback of the team. You’re the leader of that team. You showcased some resilience out there. There were at least one or two turnovers that you had to fight through and it was a tight game in the beginning. It looks it was going to be a tight game all the way through the end, but you guys managed to pull away. Before we get into Extreme Focus, I do want to talk about that particular part of the game because it was critical. You could have fallen apart with a couple of turnovers, a couple of calls that you had but you remained resilient. What was going through your head when you were experiencing that?
Especially in Arena Football, it’s more of a marathon than a sprint. You’ve got to be able to take the highs and the lows and you got to be able to embrace the moment. That was one of my intentions going into it. I had three intentions that I wanted to stay solid with that it didn’t matter how the game went, whether we’re good, bad, up, down, sideways, you’ve got to be able to stay present in this moment. With that mindset, this moment could be the biggest play of the game. It doesn’t matter what happened. If I threw an interception on the first drive of the game and that could send you into a downward spiral.
The same thing with life, you have a mistake, you have some failures and you come up short sometimes when you feel you’re giving your all on everything. You can get frustrated and beat yourself up, but then you lose a piece of right now in this moment. That’s one of the most important things in football, in life and in any area of life is staying in the moment because that’s truly all we can control. One of my intentions was win the one. What I mean by the one is win that one play, when that one opportunity, win that one matchup. Whatever it was, this moment is only one. You can’t have multiple of them. It doesn’t matter what happened last play, doesn’t matter what’s going to happen later on, it’s a marathon. Stay in this present moment and win the one. We ended up able to win the one and win the entire game. That was a good showcase.
Win the one moment, the present moment. Sometimes focusing on the future can be a distraction. Focusing on what you want to get right later on down the road can be a distraction. It distracts you from what you need to do, what you need to focus on right now.
When you look at the long-term especially going to a football season, you’ve got a long eighteen-game season and that can be a little daunting. If you’re trying to win all eighteen games at one time, that’s going to be overwhelming. Same with life, you’ve got some big goals but maybe they’re down three, five years from now, that’s going to be a little overwhelming. If you take it back to one day at a time, one step after the other like Martin Luther King says, “You don’t have to see the whole staircase. You just got to take that first step and it’s one step at a time,” and that’s that mindset that you got to have. It’s a want-to-know mindset. This week, go on and out. It doesn’t matter the rest of the season, just this week, focus on it. It’s easy because we’re getting close to the playoffs. It’s easy to start looking ahead, it doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, just win this game. That seemed to help us out in those moments.
Is that something that you share with your teammates? Is that a team motto? How do you, as the quarterback, make sure the entire team has that mentality?
That’s definitely something that when you get together as a team, especially before you go into the game or even at the beginning of the week, you want to remind them. It’s easy sometimes to forget the little things. It’s easy to overlook those things. As a leader, you have to sometimes nudge people into the right direction. It’s not that they’re far off track. You have to continue to remind people to stay in that mindset, to stay present if that’s the focus point there, just stay present. It still comes down to one play at a time. When we’re down eight points or something and the game is on the line. We were in Albany and we were down twelve points with less than a minute left and at that point you can’t control the deficit that you’re in in this moment.
You can’t control necessarily the situation of the cards that you’re dealt but you’re in this situation now. We’re going to make the best of it because all you can control is this moment. I kept reminding the guys, “Take it one play at a time, we’ll see what happens. As long as there’s still time on the clock, we got a chance. We’re able to score. We were able to get the onside recovery. We’re able to go down the field and with 0.4 seconds we ended up scoring the buzzer beater, go ahead, touchdown. It all came down to playing in the moment. Even though it looks heroic in this last second buzzer beater victory, it still came down to one play at a time. When you keep it simple, amazing things can happen.
I’ve seen that play on ESPN and I’ve been watching it on YouTube over and over. That’s amazing that that mentality led to something that spectacular happening and ended up being a highlight for you. Not only a win but a highlight for you.
I had some bad plays that I wish I had back. There’s a play where we got stopped on fourth down and that could have been the game there. You can easily go into the tank when you have a setback that. You’ve got to reset. You got to be able to have that stoic approach where you’re levelheaded regardless of the score because that sets you up for the success. Doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to make ESPN and make this heroic play, but at least you’re in position to make that play when you have that mindset.
What do you do? This is Game Changer Mentality. You talked about having a level head, maintaining this mindset. Before a big game, what do you do to get yourself and your guys in that zone? Get that mentality in place to go in it and top all the challenges that you guys are sometimes up against.
First of all, I love the concept of Game Changer Mentality. I’m all about game changers, being around game changers, people that support and build you up, lift you up. After you’ve put in the physical work, you’ve prepared yourself to the best of your ability, there’s nothing much more you can do physically night before a game. What I like to do is dive into visualization. I’m big on the mental side of the game. We do a thing within Extreme Focus. We call it Game Ready. It is a game changer because it locks you into a few intentions.
I had a few intentions going into the game. You lock yourself into a few intentions because everything else is a distraction. You want to get yourself narrowed down into those focus points. You tap into gratitude, which is an absolute game changer because that’s a secret weapon. A lot of people understand that you got to be thankful and appreciative, but when you truly come from a place of gratitude, there are no negative thoughts. You’re in totally a positive flow of mind and when you’re in that flow, in that frame of mind, there’s a world of possibility and opportunity. We always want to start grounded in that gratitude.
The third step is getting into that visualization and seeing it clearly, seeing in detail what you want to happen on the field. This is something I do off the field as well, this is in the business and anything. A Game Ready gets you locked in and when you can see it clearly in your head, you can trick that subconscious mind into believing you’ve already done it. You’ve already accomplished it. That way when you do take the field, you tap into what they call that Flow State or as athletes call In The Zone. You’ve already seen it, your body goes into muscle memory and it’s amazing when you can tap into that. One thing I’ve been doing, I used to see it perfect. A perfect game, everything is going. When I thought about it I was like, “It never happens perfectly, even in life. Things don’t happen perfectly. That’s the way it is.”
They even say statistically football plays 70% of the time don’t go the way that you prepared them to go. You got to be able to react. You’ve got to be able to respond. I’ve been starting to see either setbacks or challenges throughout the game and then visualizing myself overcoming those challenges. That’s the key there is if you can see, then you already prime your mind to it to be able to handle that. You can have that level head when you come to the game, you’re like, “I already saw this challenge. I already saw this setback. Maybe I threw an interception but now I’m bouncing back because it’s back to this moment.” Visualization is a game changer.
What I’m hearing you say is that you want to see yourself as an over comer. You want to see yourself not exclusive of the challenges and obstacles, but overcoming them, getting through them. When you can see yourself doing that type of thing, when the challenges come, you’re not taken aback by it. You’re not thrown off guard because this is all part of your makeup. This is all part of the process that you already have in place subconsciously, you see yourself as that person and you have the confidence. That can give you the confidence to even deal with it. Whether you’re down twelve points, just a few seconds left to go in the game, whatever the situation is, you’ve seen yourself overcome situations like that.
The interesting thing about this season that I’ve never dealt with before was this is the longest off season I’ve had because I retired, I hung up the cleats in a way. I wasn’t planning on playing this year. Last time I played was two years ago. I’ve been training physically in the weight room, but I haven’t been throwing, I haven’t been doing all this stuff. I got picked up mid-season for this team and normally you’re with camp, you’re getting the timing down. You’ve had an entire off season of training, throwing the ball and all that stuff. I had to rely on this visualization piece because I didn’t have the physical side and I knew that my body could do it because the muscle memory in that. There’s some rust. Two years being off is no easy feat.
Even in the off season when I was training, I would take an opportunity if I was doing core, I’m doing bridges which are the worst. I would sit there because you got to sit there for a minute and hold it. I would visualize plays. I would start seeing it in my head over and over again and seeing myself. That muscle memory can start clicking but once I got back to playing again, I signed with the team. I went back and watched some film of myself, even back in 2014 to see it again, see myself on the field, and see what it felt when I was playing at my best. That way, I could pick it up where I left off because your mind remembers it. Even if it’s a feat you’ve never accomplished, you can almost trick yourself into believing that you have done it before. You’re more comfortable in that scenario rather than feeling, “This is way out of my comfort zone,” you’re like, “I can handle this.”
Changing The Game With Extreme Focus
You are President of Extreme Focus. Tell us a little bit about Extreme Focus. What is that?
Extreme Focus is a company my father founded and created because he’s a mental performance coach. He’s been working with some of the top athletes in the world. He’s been working with Army Rangers, Navy SEALs, Olympic athletes and now transitioned into business, CEOs, entrepreneurs and all that stuff. He came up with a company Extreme Focus. I became certified as a coach and I wanted to start doing this on the side of when I was still playing football that was my passion, I was able to be flexible enough. I can still have my clients on the phone, on the side. Once I decided to completely commit to it, I’m going to come in and I earned my way into the President role and the business side.
When you got sports or you’re self-employed coaching people, being a president of a company as a whole different animal. You’ve got to have a business mindset and you’ve got to see things a little bit differently. At the end of the day, I’ve noticed that sports translate beautifully into life, into business and to all of these things. Those same mental performance principles apply to all areas, it’s not only me teaching it, it’s me using it too. It’s taken my game on the field to another level, but off the field as well where I’ve been able to tap into some of the mindset tips, tricks and principles that we teach ourselves. You’ve got to be able to do it yourself before you can go and teach it. It’s been a game changer.
What are some of the things that you teach in terms of the mental toughness that has helped you on the field from Extreme Focus?
One of the things that make us unique in regards to what we teach and with other people. There are many great people out there that are doing this type of work. I know you’re doing some great stuff and I know we definitely connected on a lot of stuff that you’ve been doing. If you already have a mental performance coach that you’re working with or you don’t, this supports it and it helps cement it in. We use animals as a way to use their instincts to learn from them, but also you’re able to recall that principle or that lesson.
We talked about staying in the moment earlier. One of our principles we have is the hummingbird. The reason we use the hummingbird for that particular principle is because they flap their wings faster than any other bird and they’re the only bird that can hover and fly backwards. When they go and take the nectar from the flower and they go and soak in the nectar, they fly backwards, hover for a moment, embrace that moment and embrace the nectar. They’re like, “That is some good nectar,” and then they go back into it. That is our reminder. You’ve got to be able to embrace the nectar of life each and every moment, not looking past to the next flower or back to the last mistake.
Take a moment and soak in the now. We name each animal too. The name of the hummingbird is Etmo, Embrace The Moment. We could teach a principle all we want, but if you can’t remember in the heat of the moment when the pressure’s on, in the times when you need it, then what’s the use? We’ve developed these mental triggers. We call them Beast Triggers because they’re animals. They’re beasts and it unlocks the beast from within. Tap into that trigger. It helps you recall it there in the moment. You can just say one word “Etmo” and you go into action. You go into embracing the moment. Sometimes that’s my intention instead of win the one, I’ll just say, “Etmo.” We’ve developed this language that I say, “Etmo,” I’m embracing the moment.
That’s a trigger? Those are triggers that you guys are developing?
These are triggers just like when I was talking about visualizing challenges and overcoming and stuff. These triggers are for when you face this challenge or you’re faced with this setback, insert this trigger and this is going to help you overcome it in this moment. You can decide on which trigger applies to you in this moment, they all serve a purpose. One of my great mentors, Roger Anthony, he’s the one who developed the animals and then partnered up with my father with Extreme Focus to bring these to it. He unfortunately passed away in 2014, but he told me, “The answers are always in the animals,” and I’ve had literally to this day, any problem I’ve come up with, any challenge that I’m faced with, I look to the animals and the answer of shows up. The answer is always in the animals and that was a valuable lesson for me. I’m blessed to be able to give back and teach that same thing.
The Beast Trigger
A lot of times when we’re dealing with obstacles, we’re dealing with challenges, we’re so focused on the challenge. We’re focused on the obstacle. If we’re not focused on the challenge and the obstacle, we’re focused on how sucky it is. How painful it is. It’s good to have those reminders, those triggers that we can go to and that helps us regroup and remember that, “Beast Trigger, this is what I should be thinking. This is what I should be doing.” That’s great to have. I almost want to have some type of matrix in my office on the board then I can look at it, meditate and get them all deep in my subconscious mind so I can recall on them at any given time.
You are a leader, as the President of Extreme Focus and you’re a leader as a quarterback. What type of challenges have you had to overcome as a leader in both? Not just with winning games, being out on the field and leading the guys. They look up to you. The quarterback is the main guy all the other players look up to and as the President, you’re leading the company is as well. There are challenges that you have to deal with when it comes to dealing with people and how they deal with challenges.
You’ll see that as I’ve gone through this journey of mine, I’ve seen how the same leadership principles apply to the business as well as it does to sports. I learned leadership and the importance of it at an early age. When I started playing football, I started at nine years old. I didn’t start it off as a quarterback, I started off as a receiver. I was a backup quarterback. I only had one opportunity because the quarterback got sick and I got in and played the game. The next year, my coach had a great youth football coach and that’s a huge thing. I was blessed to have an awesome support system in this coach.
In that off season when I was training and working out with the team, he saw me dogging it on a conditioning drill. I didn’t go all out. I was in the middle of the pack. It wasn’t bad. I was in the front. I was still in pretty good shape. He said, “If you’re going to be my quarterback, you’ve got to be the first in every single drill we do, every single conditioning you got to be first. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was learning a valuable lesson in that moment is that leadership by example is much more powerful than a vocal leader.
Yes, there’s a time and a place to be that vocal leader, but if you haven’t earned the respect of your team, I’ve seen a lot of vocal leaders that people turn them out because they know that they aren’t a person of their word. A strong leader is one who has integrity, one who is do as I do, not as I say necessarily. Some of the people they say, “Do as I say, not as I do,” but they’re not the ones able to walk that walk, and they’re just talking the talk. I’ve always found that that’s a hollow leader. If I want to be a full solid from the foundation up type of leader, I’ve always felt that you’ve got to be able to lead by example.
When that coach told me at a young age that I’ve got to be first on the conditioning drills, that was powerful thing and I was first every time after that. I committed to it fully. When I committed to that, I not only committed to myself but I committed to my teammates as well. They knew that that was a guy that they could rely on, especially when the game was on the line. They knew that I put in the work, they put in the work. Everybody can rely and trust on each other and that’s a valuable lesson for life is that I’ve always felt that don’t ask other people to do something that you’re not willing to do yourself.
When you can get that buy-in and you’ve earned that respect, then there’s a point where you can give vocal. You can motivate people. They respect and they understand, “I’m going to listen to that guy.” You think Peyton Manning comes into a huddle, you think people aren’t respecting that guy? He’s gone out there. He’s got a track record. He’s got respect from the entire league and people are going to listen when he speaks up. Maybe a young, unproven guy, they might not listen as much because he hasn’t proven himself. It is tough though because for this season, another unique situation for me is I’m used to being with the team in camp. I’m used to being with them in the off season and training with these guys, getting to know these guys. This season, I came in mid-season. They had their quarterback go down who it’s his team. He’s the leader and now I’m coming in to fill in that role to help out.
That’s been an interesting dynamic for me. It’s like, “Do I just come in and be that vocal guy right away?” I just got to do by example. I don’t need to talk it. I need to go out there and show them I’m going to bust my butt every day in practice. I’m going to go and work the hardest out there that I can and them that I’m here to work. I’m here to help you guys any way I can and hopefully my actions speak louder than any words. I’ve earned that respect. The guys have been able to support me in that way too. You can see on the field we’ve had some success and I’ve only been here for a few weeks. Those little things they add up. The biggest thing for me is leading by example.
How To Lead By Example
It’s tough when you’re coming in midstream, even if you’re in a company. You get moved from one department to another, or you move from one company to another company and you’re coming in as the leader. They don’t know you. You’re filling in this position as the new leader. You have to establish yourself. One of the best ways to establish yourself is to lead by example. A lot of people come in with different philosophies and styles. When you’re coming in with an open heart, you’re going to bust your butt and you got to show them that, “I’m just like you. I’m coming in. I’m going to work hard every day. I’m going to give it all I got and I’m going to do my best.
By the way, I’m human too, subject to mistakes. Life is real. We’re going to fall on our butts sometimes, but we’re going to get back up. We’re going to make mistakes but we’re going to get back up, and we’re going to keep treading towards the destination.” It’s not as sexy, so to speak. It doesn’t have that layer, to lead by example. A lot of people they’ll recognize the power in leading by example. They want to come up with these fancy little philosophies of leadership, but I don’t think anything can take the place of leading by example.
I use a lot of football terms and stuff, but when you brought out to business or to life, there’s many different areas that you could be a leader. I’ve always felt that the foundation has got to be from integrity of who you are, who you need to be. That way if you are shifted from position to position and maybe you’ve got a different team and you haven’t been able to build up the track record with them yet or build that camaraderie to where you’ve earned that respect. As long as you always come from a place of integrity and your foundation is rock solid, rather than a foundation that’s set on sand that drifts away, then you don’t go with the rollercoaster ride because you’re levelheaded. You’re always coming from a place of integrity and that’s a place that you can build some leadership off of.
You make a mistake. When you’re busting your butt, you’re going to make some mistakes. You’re going to fail. You’re going to do that, but people are going to be able to respect you and lift you up because they know you’re coming from a place of integrity. You’re giving your all. They’re going to be like, “He might’ve made the wrong decision on this one, but I know his heart is in the right place. I know he’s not going to make that same mistake twice and he’s going to learn from it. That’s still a guy that we can rally behind because it’s always coming from the rock-solid foundation of integrity.
There’s a lot of accountability that comes with being a leader and sometimes that’s what shuns people away from wanting to be in that position, it’s accountability and then you talk about integrity. When I hear integrity, the next word that pops up in my mind is discipline. To be of integrity requires discipline. It requires a lot of discipline and you’re held to that standard, by that accountability because you’re in that leadership position. How have you been able to maintain that level of leadership, integrity and discipline on the field and even as the President of Extreme Focus? I would imagine there’s a certain level of accountability, integrity and discipline. How have you been able to maintain such a high level of integrity and leadership in both areas of your life?
You nailed it there with discipline because it’s easy to have integrity when things are going right. When you are tested or you make a decision that affects the entire team negatively and it’s on you, that’s when your integrity is tested. When you got to take ownership and when you are confronted with that, you have a choice whether you blame others or, “I’m going to put the finger on me. This is on me. I’m going to be better from that,” and that’s something that I’ve always tried to emulate whether it’s on the field or off the field. If it’s on the field, if I make a bad pass, it’s on me. If I make a good pass and the receiver drops it, I’m going to think instead of, “Catch that ball.” It’s a tough job. Everybody’s trying their best to be the best at their position. I’m going to think, “What can I do in my position to give him a more catchable ball? How can I make his job easier?”
I look to myself first, so then when I come to business, it’s the same way. If I’m going to ask somebody to do something and maybe I make the wrong decision, whatever that is or maybe it’s a bad result, I’m going to first always looked to myself, “What could I have done better?” That’s taking ownership. When you’re in that leadership position, you got to be able to take ownership. I’ve learned that the hard way in a good way, I guess as a quarterback, because the quarterback is always the first one to blame and always the one who gets too much credit when you win. I’ve been on both ends of the spectrum. When we lose, it’s all the quarterback. It’s their fault, even when I know deep down there’s this guy. It’s still a team sport.
You still, at the end of the day, have to take it and that comes with the position that comes with the responsibility. There are times where I knew it was somebody else but then the media come and ask me, “What’s going on here?” They try to lead you into these traps of like, “It’s me. It’s on me. I got to be better at this. I got to be more accurate. I got to be able to lead a little bit better.” When you can take that ownership, even when it hurts, even when it’s tough, that’s something again that the team will respect and that’s something that you can still build upon even on mistakes. You could still build upon that.
When you start throwing some people under the bus, that’s going to be a little bit harder to bring that back together and put the pieces back together. When you take that ownership and then when things do go right, it’s giving credit to the team. It’s going back to, “This a team win. This is a team thing. MVP award is the biggest team award disguised as an individual award.” It always comes back to the team regardless. Ownership is a huge part of being able to stay a leader throughout, on and off the field.
Your humbleness, that’s something that we haven’t talked about. That’s a big characteristic of a leader as well is staying humble and staying grounded. I can hear it coming through from you as you talk about when there’s a team win, it’s a team win. It’s nothing that I did, regardless if you were the winning touchdown pass or whatever you did that may have contributed to the win. It’s still a team win. It takes a lot of strength and courage to take the rap when things go bad, and then when things go well offer that up to the team. That’s an important trait of a leader as well, to recognize when, “This is on me. I’m going to look at myself and figure out what I can do to make things better,” and then when the glory is shared among the team. Kudos to you for being that type of leader.
All the things that we’re talking about, the more I think about them, you can apply these to real life situations. Not just on the field, in the board room, as the president of a company but a lot of times, you talk about taking responsibility. A lot of times in your personal life, we talk about being game changers. Not everyone is a football player, not everyone is a president of a major company, but we have challenges and obstacles in our lives and we are the leader in our own personal lives. Stepping up and taking that responsibility when there’s an issue or things are not going the way you want them to go in life, in general, is a game changer. What are your thoughts about that? For someone who’s an ordinary person that has goals and dreams that they want to accomplish, what are your thoughts?
It doesn’t matter what profession you’re in, whether you’re self-employed, whether you’re an employee of a team, you are the leader, you are the CEO, any of that stuff. When you end up getting results, however they are, good or bad, I see that as feedback. When you can take that feedback and attach yourself, the emotions from that result and observe how it is, then you’re able to see it with a different pair of eyes. When you have a setback, you have a failure or your sales are down, gathering that feedback and see, “What can I do to improve that? What can I do?” because when you go and start to blame others, even if you’re self-employed, it’s just you, “This person does this,” the sales aren’t going to lie. That’s feedback, you can either take it, you can be oblivious to it, try to blind yourself from it and ignore it, but the fact of the matter is there.
When you can take that ownership and put the finger back, “What can I do?” then you’re coming from a place of power, you’re coming from a place of strength and then you’re not truly failing. I believe that it’s only a failure if you allow it to be a failure or it’s only a setback if you allow it to be a setback. I call it even perceive setbacks because when you can learn from something or you develop a relationship from something, but on the outside the results didn’t look good, you can propel yourself forward and you’re either a stronger person, you’re a stronger company or you’ve adjusted something and made it stronger in that way.
Now, you have a better product out there, then it’s a win. That was something that needed to happen, but it takes that accountability to look at what do I got to do and look at it objectively rather than getting emotionally attached to the results. You look at it with this fresh pair of eyes and you propel yourself forward from it. That’s powerful, but it does take that accountability to be able to use that as a positive rather than letting that setback become just a setback.
Playing The Long Game In Life
I believe that sometimes the setbacks and the challenges of life can be deceptive. You explained it so well. You look at these things and they look horrible, but within them are goldmines, within them are answers, within them are solutions and there’s growth. It is that needle in a haystack and all you can see is the hay, but the needle is there so keep digging through it because eventually you will, you can get to it. A lot of times it seems big. It seems like a mountain. When you get to the top of the mountain, a lot of times small little space that’s there for you to get up on, but the mountain is much bigger than that. That’s what you have to conquer in order to get to the top. It can be deceiving.
Most people want to ignore those negative results. They want to pretend that they’re not there. It’s fascinating when people are not doing as well financially, that’s when they don’t want to look at their bank account. They don’t want to look at their bank statement. It’s like the ostrich putting his head in the ground, not wanting to see it. It’s still there. It’s not going to change anything, by you looking at it, it’s not going to change anything. What you can do is look at that and assess it and be like, “What is that feedback telling me?” The information doesn’t hurt us, it’s how we perceive that information. It’s how it affects our emotions. It’s how we then go into that downward spiral.
That’s one of the things is having a level of head to see it objectively rather than getting all emotionally invested in those results. If you think of an investor, they’re playing the long run, the successful investors at least. They’re not looking for that quick rich scheme or anything like that. They’re going to take their highs and lows and their ups and downs. In the long run, if you’re playing the long game, in the end if you’re smart and you’re level headed and not getting too flustered when things go a little awry. You got to play the long game in life too. That’s huge with that resilience.
I could hear someone saying, “That makes sense to me, but how do I do that? I look at my bank statement and it’s not what I want it to look like. It’s not been looking like what I want it to look for years now,” or “I can’t seem to get into momentum and get things going for me. I feel like I’ve tried to assess my situation but nothing is changing.” What would you say to that to that person who seems to be in this do loop of falling short or not accomplishing what they want to accomplish?
That one is a tough one for people to overcome because that’s one of the most common things. It’s like, “I feel like I’m doing the right things, but I keep getting the same results. I keep doing the wrong things and all that stuff.” A lot of times, especially the people that are looking into self-development, they’re doing their affirmations, they are visualizing like we’re saying. They’re trying to be grateful and all these things. They’re doing the right things on paper, but it’s still not getting the right results. A lot of times there’s some block from within and it’s something that we can’t see. It’s subconscious, but it’s not letting you get across that hump.
It’s that thermostat. You set it to 70 degrees and when it gets too hot, 75, it kicks in the cold and it brings it back down. If it gets too cold, then it kicks on the heat and brings it back up. You always are staying at that. It’s like, “Even if I make good money, I go and spend it and then I’m back where I was. If I’m not making good money, I’m able to save. I’m able to get back,” but you always stay at that same level and that comes to our subconscious beliefs. It can take some time, but the way that you got to work on getting your subconscious believing that you deserve the money, that you can allow and attract more money into you is you’ve got to work on a daily basis.
If you don’t believe it in this moment, you can do the affirmations, you can visualize it and all that stuff to help support it. The only way that you can get to that subconscious where the real, true strength is, that’s that core belief, not just on the surface, “Yes, I can,” it’s a knowing, it’s conviction from within. It comes from the conscious mind. It comes from being able to take in a thought and only letting the ones that you want to let root ground the seeds in and be able to water those seeds day in and day out. A lot of people allow those weeds to grow within their subconscious. They allow the negative influences. We’re around many different influences every single day, whether it’s on social media, whether it’s on TV, whether it’s the friends you hang out with, your environment, all of those things play a factor into everything in your life.
You can’t necessarily mute all the thoughts that you have throughout the day, maybe they’re negative or not, but you don’t have to let them settle in. You don’t have to water them day in and day out. You don’t water the weeds, you pull the weeds out, and then you only allow in those positive things, the things that uplift you. Surround yourself with the people that are uplifting you. Surround yourself with friends that are going after, going and getting it. You start adopting that mindset.
Now, you’re watering the right seeds. You’re letting those things grow within you and you’re developing that stronger belief system from within. Our minds are an iceberg, you only see the top tip. That’s us. That’s what we think about. All the subconscious things are things that we do habitually, second nature, that’s the bulk of it. That’s the 90% of everything. All your results are habits. It’s working on those habits, surrounding yourself with the right people, the right environment, that way you are only feeding what you want to grow and you’re starving what you want to die.
It leads me to another thought about self-image because I believe when you start doing those things, you start cultivating your self-image. You start getting rid of all those negative beliefs. You can start to believe that you can become the person that you want to become. With football, I see myself as a football player, as a great football player. I embody that self-image and it wasn’t just on the field. I embody being a football player off the field. I’m a CEO now, I embody that. I feel what that feels like, I know what that feels like for me and I embody that.
What are your thoughts towards someone developing their self-image to be the person that they want to be? You talk about the subconscious mind and the thoughts. A lot of the blocks in my opinion are because you don’t believe yourself to be the person that you want to become. You can’t see yourself as a Hollywood actress. You can’t see yourself as a star football player, as a CEO, as a person with a lot of money. Whatever it is, self-image has lot to do with that.
Self-awareness is a huge thing because a lot of people say they want to achieve these things and say that they’re going to go and do all this stuff, but they value their comfort zone more than they value that success. One thing that I’ve found with that self-awareness, being aware of where you’re at, where your comfort zones are and what’s limiting you is the key factor in being able to break those walls. You can start progressively growing that comfort zone to allow new things. You got to ask the right questions to yourself within. You got to ask some questions on what is serving me? Maybe you have high goals and you can see two different scenarios. You can see where you want to be, your vision. Maybe you’ve got a vision board, you’ve got to see where you want to be. We also see where you’re at right now, and what is that pain point that’s keeping me where I’m at right now? Asking what is a pain point of getting to that goal?
A lot of people see the greatness of getting that goal. You see the people holding up the trophy and they feel great, but there’s some pain to get to that goal as well. There is some hard work. There’s some struggle that might have to get it and that might be the thing that’s holding you back. You’re not willing to step past into that barrier. You got to ask the question, “What is it that’s holding me back? What are the pain points?” If the pain point is where you’re at right now, then increase that pain because that’s going to motivate you to get out of there like, “I don’t want that pain point. I want to get out of that?” That’s where you see the power of broke.
That pushes you but you also need something to pull you in the inspired state. That’s what are the gains from getting to that goal. Obviously, there are a lot of gains but when you can identify what the pains are and minimize that pain, “I’m willing to put in the work. I’m willing to become a different person so I can have something else.” Most people, they think when I have the nice car, when I have that thing, and then I can do the things that I want to do. I can be who I truly want to be but it’s reversed. You got to be who you need to be in order to do the things to help you to have those things.
You’ve got to flip it on its head, “Who do I have to become? Who do I need to be?” That requires stepping out of that comfort zone sometimes. Maybe it’s only a little baby step, maybe that’s all it takes. When you take giant leaps out of that comfort zone, you see people do it all the time, New Year’s resolutions and stuff. If they haven’t been working out and all that stuff, they’re like, “I’m going every day, seven days a week. I’m cutting my diet, all these different things.”
By February, you don’t see them at the weight room anymore. They can’t sustain that. If you did baby steps, if you were to just do a little bit, you change it. “I haven’t gone to the gym at all. Let me go twice a week and I’ll do 30 minutes,” and then once that becomes comfortable, “I’ll go three times and now I’ll go 45 minutes.” Whatever it is, do baby steps where you can sustain it and in the long run, that’s a huge difference when you’re looking back rather than a huge burst of change. You can sustain it when you do the baby steps so step out of that. Who you got to become to be able to achieve what you want to have.
You are a coach as well. Are you coaching with Extreme Focus?
I am. I do. I still have a few clients. I haven’t been focusing on the personal clients as much. I’ve been diving into the business. We have certification programs that we have now. We have what we call Beast Camps where we go to different areas and work with these high-level performers and that way the business people can see a little bit behind the scenes at Spring Training at the Olympic Training Center, the Special Ops, all of these different events. We have these little mastermind workshops.
I’m diving into that, but I still do have some personal clients on the side because I still love the working with one-on-one, but also I love building the company to be able to reach more. That’s why we developed the certification because we figured me and my dad, Dave Austin, we could only reach so many people with just us two. How can we reach more with the gifts that we’ve been given is we can develop an army basically that can go out and continue to teach and spread this word? We’ve got some rock star coaches and it’s been great to work with them so that they can go and spread the good word.
How can people reach you if they wanted to reach you? If they wanted to find out more about Extreme Focus? They wanted to increase their mental toughness? How can they get in contact with you?
You could contact me directly if you want. My email is ShaneAustin014@Gmail.com, but we also have ExtremeFocus.com and that’s a website. You can reach out to me on social media. I’m on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, @ShaneAustin10. You can reach out to me in multiple ways.
Thank you for joining me. You’re awesome and you have such a wealth of information. I have thoroughly enjoyed this time with you. You’re a great guy and I love what you’re doing in the world. I love the work that you do at Extreme Focus. Out there on the field you are a beast, so that Beast Training is definitely paying off.
I appreciate it. The pleasure’s all mine. I appreciate the opportunity to come in here on your show. I love what you’re doing as well. When I heard you speak, I knew I had to get to know you. I had to go and sit at your table. You’re a guy that walks your talk and you’re a living inspiration. Thank you for allowing me to be a guest on your show.
For the audience, this is Shane Austin. I call him Awesome Shane Austin. Check him out and you won’t be disappointed. Shane is full of information. Thank you for being with us here. It’s been awesome. Any last words?
Since we’re talking about comfort zones, one of my favorite quotes is, “A ship is safe in harbor but that is not what ships are built for,” so anybody in the audience, go tackle the open waters, go tackle the rough seas and find yourself some new destinations.
Go be a game changer. Go make it happen. Get out of your comfort zones and change the world because that’s what we all are for. That’s what we have those gifts. Shane is definitely expressing his on the field and in the boardroom. Thank you for being here for another wonderful episode of the Game Changer Mentality Podcast. We’ll see you soon. Take care.
- Extreme Focus
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About Shane Austin
SHANE AUSTIN is a professional football player who recently made history by becoming the MVP of the new China American Football league (CAFL), which is made up of NFL, AFL, and CFL professional football players along with new Chinese players.
In 2014 he earned All League honors while playing quarterback for the Cleveland Gladiators in the Arena Football League (AFL) leading Cleveland to the best record in the history of the league at 17 and 1 and earning Cleveland a birth in the Arena Bowl for the first time ever.
Shane was a four year Letterman at the University of Hawaii playing the position of quarterback.
He graduated with honors with a degree in psychology from the University of Hawaii in 2012.
He received his certificate as a Certified Extreme Focus Coach in 2013, and his results as a mental performance coach are remarkable.
During the off-season, Shane currently resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico with his fiancee, Megan Tinnin, whom he met at the University of Hawaii.
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