08 Dec 2021

4 easy steps to supercharge your mental fitness


The year is closing out…fast! For many, 11th hour work demands are coming in thick and fast, our family commitments are increasing, and Christmas is once again nearly here. Along with the excitement, we can also feel very bogged down by mental stress, demand overload and sheer exhaustion. The end of year sprint can be challenging. Our negative mind chatter tends to flair, when quite frankly we just want to maintain our work performance till the finish line, keep our family relationships in good shape, and maintain a positive peace of mind.



Good news! There are solutions to bust consuming stress and negativity. It’s called building mental fitness. Mental fitness is the work of globally renowned CEO, coach, author, and Stanford Business School lecturer Shirzad Chamine. Put simply, to be mentally fit, means we can face any looming challenge with a positive rather than negative mindset. Our mental fitness is not only the greatest predictor of how happy we are, but also how likely we are to reach our potential in all aspects of work and life.

Shirzad’s work on mental fitness combines breakthroughs in neuroscience, cognitive and positive psychology, and has been studied with over 500,000 CEO’s, executives, students, and elite athletes in 50 countries. The results speak for themselves…work and life feels better and is better when we are mentally fit.

As individuals when we build our metal fitness we are:

  • +++ happier
  • Less impacted by stress, even under pressure
  • Better at managing conflict
  • Better at building trusting relationships
  • Less likely to micro-manage our kids as parents
  • 31% better team performers at work
  • 3x more creative in our jobs



So how do we obtain this alluring mental fitness? When we are mentally fit, we have a stronger ability to know, bust, tame, and reframe our negative mind habits. The more fit we are, the faster we can recover from the setbacks, challenges, and stress in our everyday. Our negative mind habits are universal phenomenon’s, they are very natural, and we each develop them in childhood to make sense of and survive in our respective worlds.

These negative mind habits are called our SABOTEURS!  As adults our saboteurs have become invisible inhabitants of our minds, and when faced with stresses we activate our saboteurs and fall into negative behaviour and thoughts. They are responsible for the anxiety or negativity we can find ourselves sometimes swept up in. They have memorable names too….THE JUDGE, THE CONTROLLER, THE VICTIM, THE HYPER-ACHIEVER, THE AVOIDER….there are 10 in total and we each have our unique dose of some more than others.



  1. KNOW YOUR SABOTEURS – take Shirzad’s free 10 min mental fitness assessment here and learn what’s saboteurs are holding you back. You will be gobsmacked!


  1. BUST THEM – Everyday begin to take note when your saboteurs are hi-jacking you and putting you in a negative spin. Simply label the saboteur lie (I call mine the attacking hyper-achiever!). Watch it lose its grip on you immediately.


  1. TAME THEM – once you’ve labelled your saboteur, shift your attention to a physical sensation for 10 seconds. You can do this in any situation. For example, focus on your toes, your breathing, or rub your fingers together. Bring your hi-jacked mind to the present moment. You may need to repeat this a few times.


  1. REFRAME THEM – Become a self-talk champion. Now you have quietened the hijacking saboteur try and think of 1-2 ‘gifts or opportunities’ that could arise from your challenge. For example, what knowledge are you gaining that you didn’t otherwise have, or what inspiring action could you take that you simply would never have thought of otherwise.


Our saboteurs waste a ton of our energy. If you are feeling bogged down in the end of year frenzy, perhaps lean into a little mental fitness building. As Shirzad rightly says ‘It’s the X-factor, to achieving greater performance and happiness in life’.


#mentalfitness #wellbeing #performance #happiness


Poppy Griffiths is a professional coach and Director of UnlimitU a high-performance consultancy which supports the career and family success of working parents, personal and leadership development of women, and the positive mental wellbeing of people. If you or your organisation is interested in coaching, workshops, or speaker programs, please get in touch. poppy@unlimitu.com.au 



Poppy is UnlimitU's founder and principal success coach. "Every human has more potential, hidden, held back or in the making"