This journey is not just about what I learned from Kieran, but more importantly, it is what we have learned together and as a family. It is fun to see Kieran apply the tools that we have had a conversations about and practiced together.
Doing a 360 on a bigger jump was a big step for Kieran earlier this year. (Play Video Above) He had written it down as a goal, and he was determined to do it. He had accomplished it once, and then a couple of days later when he went to do it again, it had become windy, which made him a little nervous and scared. I asked him how he got over that fear and was able to stomp the jump? He said, I just thought of Fight Song by Rachel Platten.
He explained, “That song makes me feel strong and then I know I am going to do it.” Wow. He was aware of the conversation in his head and knew it impacted his confidence and capability. He made a conscious decision to be strong, knowing it would influence the results. This awareness of what is going on inside, and knowing he had a choice of what his mindset could be, is a powerful tool when fear shows up and you get outside your comfort zone. Kieran has built this song into his practices when he is determined to shut all the negative thoughts out.
We had a conversation when he was younger about the power of “magic breathing.” A technique that he could use to help settle down when he was having a hard time managing his emotions. It became something that we coached each other on. When he sensed that I was stressed out he would look at me and say, “Dad, magic breathing.”
That turned into a deeper conversation when he was getting frustrated that he was not doing something to the level he desired. We came up with an acronym that he could relate to. It helped him remember what to do when he got frustrated or a little scared. Kieran loves eggs for breakfast and he ended up connecting with that. The acronym began as EGG, and we later added the “b.”
E – Erase – Erase self or other expectations and experience joy
GG – Go Get’m – Focus on internal execution, not external results.
B – Breathe – Get Centered and use your breath to get out of your head and into your body.
- Present – Here and now. Not in a past or future conversation
- Open – Open to all information coming in without judgement
- Connected – Connected to yourself, the people you are with and the ground you are on
It has been an awesome tool for Kieran. He can remember it and access it quickly. He determined how it was relevant to him and now he owns it. Whenever I see him going sideways, all I need to say is “EGG B,” and he understands that he can make his own choices.
Check out the book The Rise of Superman. It exposes the impact of building a capability to be in the moment, focus, and take action with in fear. This capability has transcended the extreme sports world. It has become part of the nomenclature of the culture. Techniques have been passed down that were pioneered by many, such as Tony hawk and Laird Hamilton, and now help create the ability for younger kids to reach unbelievable levels sooner than their predecessors. When Trog, at 3rd Lair, taught me how to “drop in” skateboarding, he was coaching me on some of these techniques. Check it out here.
These practices building capabilities to be powerful in the moment can be applied to your next presentation, hard conversation, or doing a 360. Each of us have our own different comfort zones. These techniques help us expand those, whatever they are.
Kieran and I have learned together about the power of developing practices. I look forward to see what the next ones are we create together.
To read Kieran’s Story, please click here.