Episode 45 - Mandy Napier

April 24, 2019 18 min read

Episode 45 - Mandy Napier

   

  

In this episode, we are joined by Mandy Napier of Mindset for Success as she shares her story of how mindset coaching has positively changed and improved her sporting journey. She gives us tips on how to change our mindset and apply these learnings in our lives.

Mandy is a Mindset and Performance Coach, Professional Speaker, Trainer, Author, Founder of ‘The Winning Edge Formula,’ and Creator of Get Breakthrough Results Program, a brand new 9-week online group program.  She coaches high achieving driven professionals and individuals and empowers people to clear their hurdles, reprogram their minds and perform at their best; ultimately to live a richer, healthier and happier lives, personally and professionally.

In this episode we cover: 

  • The story of how she started doing triathlons and 2 years later, representing Australia at the first World’s Long Course Triathlon in Nice, France.
  • Her experience at the race in Kona, Hawaii and how she pushed herself to finish it despite the hurdles she went through.
  • How our mindset can affect the way we feel.
  • Mandy’s journey from living in the UK, working and then travelling to different countries and settling down in Australia to marry and start training for triathlons.
  • The power of the subconscious mind.
  • Mandy gives us 4 key things we can do to change our mindset and examples of how we can apply these in our life.
  • 2 of the most interesting things that Mandy has seen in her travels.
  • The effect that a funny or happy mindset can do to help transform feelings of fear.
  • The importance of having a goal, purpose, and focus.

Links

Transcript:

FELICITY:

This is Episode 45. Welcome to the All Torque podcast, where each episode we interview an inspiring person to share their story with you. I'm your host, Felicity Dales, managing director of Body Torque.

I have here today Mandy Napier from Mindset for Success. Mandy is a Mindset and Performance Coach, Professional Speaker, Trainer, Author, Founder of ‘The Winning Edge Formula,’ and Creator of Get Breakthrough Results Program, a brand new 9-week online group program. Mandy’s background includes being a Master Trainer in NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), a certified MBit Coach, (Multiple Brain Integration Techniques), a Wealth and Talent Dynamics Flow Consultant, Certificate IV in Small Business Management, Workplace Training and Assessment, and a sales career that took her from London to Sydney to Brisbane.

Before that, she spent six years travelling the world including hitch-hiking through Africa, climbing the Himalayas and an overland trip from London to Australia with a fellow traveller. Prior to these, you did a four years honour degree in Environmental Studies, and have a long passion for sports. Currently, you’re a Partner with STEPS Charity on the Sunshine Coast and a Telephone Crisis Supporter with Lifeline for two years.

Mandy coaches high achieving driven professionals and individuals who have a desire and commitment to continual growth and learning, focusing on uncovering and clearing old patterns, shifting perspectives and creating new healthy habits and behaviours. Mandy empowers people to clear their hurdles, reprogram their minds and perform at their best; ultimately to live a richer, healthier and happier lives, personally and professionally.

Welcome, Mandy.

MANDY:

Thank you, Felicity. It’s my pleasure to be here today.

FELICITY:

Lovely to have you. Your background includes settling in Brisbane after many years of being a nomad, competing in your first triathlon at the age of 31, and just 2 years later, representing Australia at the First World's Long Course Triathlon in Nice, France. Tell us about that.

MANDY:​​

Well, when I settled in Brisbane, and I guess my background, I’ve always been very sporty and outdoorsy and adventurous; so when I settled in Brisbane, I decided it was time to get fit because I was going to be settled. So I was in the gym one day and there was a girl with a tin man triathlon t-shirt on, and I went, “I want to do one of those.” So I did my first triathlon on a borrowed bike and went home, and I got a letter in the mail saying that I came third. And that was my inspiration to keep going. So down the track, I did Goondiwindi in Queensland, which is called the Hell of the West. It’s really a tough race and I found I did quite well on the longer ones, so I was given the opportunity to represent Australia at Nice. And my aunt happens to live in the south of France.

FELICITY:

Wow.

MANDY:

Yes. However, on the day, it was in summer; and on the day we have this massive storm the night before. So it was, the weather changed, they were going to cancel the race, but we did it. And I think I really learned the lesson of ‘slow but steady wins the race’ because of the rain and the storm, and we were cycling 130 kilometres over the mountains. Many people fell of their bikes and they never finish. They went too fast down the hills. And I was very mindful of the slippery road. So I went carefully and slowly, and I finished. So it was a tough day.

FELICITY:

Fantastic. And great to spend some time with family as well.

MANDY:

Yes. It was wonderful.

FELICITY:

Realizing you were naturally better at long distances, after that you decided to train for Ironman races. And along the way, you competed at Illinois, qualified for and competed at the Australian Ironman Championships at Forster, where you place third; and qualified for the World Champs in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii at the age of 37. And I believe the lava fields at Kona was the catalyst for many insights and defining moments in your life. What happened there?

MANDY:

Well, very briefly, I've done really well at Forster, and done a lot of visualization techniques and trained really, really hard. And on race day you have to deal with what you get and I had been really unwell, so I wasn’t sure I was going to do it. So I did it, as we do, and on my bike, the first thing that happened is, two of my extra water bottles fell off the back of my bike. So I started again into a line of flat, “Oh, I don’t have enough water.” And with strong winds and the intense heat on the lava fields in Kona, and dehydration is one of the biggest problems. So I kept going, really tired, and then about 5 kilometres up the road, I nearly got blown off my bike by the wind. It was so strong and I realized I was starting to come down in a bit of a negative thinking, “I'm not going to be able to do this.” And the first defining moment was when I realized that I had to change what I was saying to myself. So I created a mantra and I changed it to, “The wind is my friend.” And I repeated it over and over again on that 180 kilometre bike ride; most lonely thing I've ever done, and I truly believe that that was the thing that got me through the cycle ride.

And I guess the other thing that was important about that is about three weeks after I competed in Hawaii, my body started doing some really bizarre things. My back would start, the muscles would be pulling me back and really spasming bizarrely, and nobody knew what it was. So ultimately I had to give my sport up overnight which was devastating. However the journey to heal myself, because nobody could fix me, no professionals that I went to and all the experts really knew what it was. The great thing about that journey is that along the way, not only did I heal myself; I stumbled across the neuro-linguistic programming and many, many other tools and techniques that actually worked. And I managed to change all these old patterns I haven’t known that I was running and completely transformed every area of my life. And then I got a life out moment which was the catalyst for giving up my great job and setting up my own business, ‘Mindset For Success’ some 12 years ago.

FELICITY:

Wow. Amazing. I haven’t heard anyone else used that term, “The wind is my friend.” I used to ride with someone that said that so it’s somewhat unique, and it’s a great mindset shift to be able to think like that.

MANDY:

Well, our words have, as you probably know, yes, our words have great power. And our words define our results. So imagine, when we’re telling ourselves, “I can’t do this, wind is strong,” you’re actually focusing on what we don’t want. So when we can shift it and tell ourselves enough times, “The wind is my friend,” it’s almost like internally, our subconscious mind starts to believe it. And then we start to feel better, we cycle a bit better and it all snowballs in a positive spiral upward loop. So they’re very, very, very important.  And then in the Run Lake, which is a marathon run, my mantra was, “Every step is a step nearer.” And I just kept saying that. They’re very helpful mantras.

FELICITY:

Yes. It’s great to turn yourself around and turn it into a positive as you say. Tell us about your story Mandy, your journey from being in the UK and then to training and competing to where you are today. We’d love to hear that.

MANDY:

Well, I guess, as I've said earlier, I've always been very sporty and adventurous and from a very young age, I've always wanted to come to Australia. I saw a geography at school. We saw a lot about the Ten Pound Poms. So I went home to my mom and I said, “Mom, hey let’s go to Australia,” and she went, “No, dear.” So anyway, I was too young to do it. So I went to school and I did my degree, and when I finished my degree in Environmental Studies, I worked overseas to 6 months in there. And when I finished, I literally put my degree in the cupboard, and I said, “Now, I’m going to do what I want to do.” So it took me on about a 6-year journey of many, many travels around the world which included an overland trip with an Australian friend I met. We were going to from London to Australia; we only got as far as Pakistan, and at that time, Gandhi had been shot, so we tapped the first flight into India.

FELICITY:

Right.

MANDY:

And then our money ran out in Singapore; but hey, it that was an amazing, amazing trip. And I actually had my year on a working visa in Australia. And then I left and I went back to the UK, and then I went to Africa. And I ended up working back after that in England for 4 years in the travel industry and my boss happened to own an office in Australia and spent half his time there. So I jumped the opportunity to come out to Sydney and start with helping him and his business. And after that, I moved to Brisbane, where I decided I'd be settled, and I just got married and that’s when I got into triathlons.

FELICITY:

Well, what a great country to start in.

MANDY:

Yes.

FELICITY:

So tell us about the hidden mind and its phenomenal power, you’ve already given us an illustration of when you were in the race and your mindset there, is there anything else that you can share with us?

MANDY:

Sure. Well just an example, so we understand, we all ran patterns, and our patterns are running our subconscious mind, which I call it ‘hidden mind’ which is a million times more powerful than our conscious mind. We were so being crypts of habit, we run our life by habit, which is an autopilot about 50% of the day. So when we’re not aware of what we’re doing, just most of the time, our unconscious mind takes over. So one of the patterns I was running many years ago that I wasn’t aware of, was, I was told when I was very young, that if you ever got married it had to be for life and you had to be loyal. So in my first marriage, I was struggling with the fact that I wanted to leave but I felt I couldn’t, and I didn’t know why. So that caused a lot of stress and angst and me being very hard on myself, which ultimately was the cause of how my body broke down. So I believed and I know the power of the subconscious mind and how it runs and shapes our lives and creates our illnesses and our health and our behaviours from things that we’ve done and experienced in the past that we’re not aware of. You see, we can’t touch our subconscious mind, we cannot touch a pattern of loyalty or a belief that says I'm not good enough, or I'm not experienced enough to do this.

FELICITY:

It’s quite elusive, isn’t it?

MANDY:

It is, and really, the best way to gauge it is to look at our lives now, and say, “Am I getting the results that I want in every area of my life?” And I guarantee there’ll be a few results that they’re not as what people want them and that’s because of all of our past stuff. It’s like we need to change the software in our mind so that we can clear out the old and put some new programs in it because many of the programs we got when we were very young are out of service.

FELICITY:

That’s right. We’re running an old blueprint.

MANDY:

Yes. And all the information in the world, you know I have all the books in the world, and so many of clients do; they get all these information, they know it in their head, they’re not implementing or they don’t know how to create pattern or belief or a thought. So I very much focus on the how to change things with tools and techniques from neuroscience, sciences of success neuro-linguistic programming and not.

FELICITY:

Well, that leads into my next question, which is as you say, we, as humans, we don’t do the things we know we should be doing. And how can we change that?

MANDY:

It’s so true. I think the first thing to realize is that we’re human beings, not human perfect. And I think the most important lesson is to be kind and gentle and forgive ourselves for not being perfect. And one of the best ways to change is by small steps to take consistently. However, the challenge we have is that our brain doesn’t really care about happiness and success; it’s about ways to keep you safe and comfortable. Our brand is motivated towards pleasure and away from pain. And if you think about it, how many times perhaps do you and other people get up and say, “I don’t feel not doing this project today. I don’t feel like going to work.” And then because we say we don’t feel like it, that’s the thought our body produces chemicals that matched the thoughts. So we obviously don’t feel like it when we get it in the down with spiral when we’re thinking and feeling in a negative way, our behaviours aren’t the best. So that’s one of the challenges that we do.

So one of the keys is to, first of all is to take small steps, pick one thing that we want to change and instead of, someone that has a new year’s resolution of getting fit and go to the gym 4 days a week, it’s perhaps making it really easy to get going. Because remember our brain is motivated to move away from pain; so just the thought of going to exercise 4 days a week if you’ve never exercised is painful. So you’re more than likely going to sabotage it. So I say to my clients, “Well, what’s the minimum you can do that’s easy?” And they all work for 10 minutes 2 times a week. So you start small, you celebrate every time you do it. So your brain sends you a bit a shot of serotonin. So you actually feeling like you can do it. You’re starting to prove to yourself that you’re the sort of person that can embrace exercise. And then, when you’ve created a habit out of that behaviour, then you can increase the intensity and the duration.

And the other key is to add a new behaviour. Imagine you want to create a new healthy habit; add it on to something you already do. So when you get out of bed in the morning, maybe you put your shoes by your bed, so you’re going to get up and it becomes a habit. You put your shoes on and you go for a walk. And if you want to say your mantras every day to help you lock in a new program, perhaps, as you walk to the bathroom and you have a shower, you say them in the shower. So you’re taking them up to something you already do, so you don’t sabotage yourself because it’s another task to do in your already busy day. And really, most people have enough to do, without another 10 things to do in their day. And that’s why most people set themselves up for failure because we have this inner thermostats that want to keep us safe and comfortable where we are.

FELICITY:

Yes.

MANDY:

So it’s like you’re putting in the thermostat from 20 degrees up to 30 in one hit, going to the gym 4 days a week. For more days, it doesn’t work.

FELICITY:

No. It’s quite excessive. And those tips that you just gave, they’re like having anchors, so they’re easy to integrate like putting the shoes by your bed it’s a reminder and a great go-to. Great. I'm doing that. I find that with cycling bunches, it’s similar I think, I notice with people that start off as beginners or new to a bunch, it’s very social and they love being extended. And then also, what happens is that then they want to go faster, or they want to, with bunch riding you can rotate. You’re actually getting that bit of challenge in it as well as, perhaps you know, it can be hard. But you can also exhaust so you’ve got that elastic band effect, and I think that that’s why it’s so successful as you say. Because it also gives people that commitment when you know you’re meeting a group of like-minded individuals, then, it’s easy to change that habit because you actually look forward to it.

MANDY:

Yes. And I think, thank you for sharing, I think you’ve also hit another really important mile long hit service, that’s the power of accountability, and training or doing whatever you’re doing with the group. So whether you’re having an accountability buddy or you’re going cycling with a group, the very fact of committing because you don’t want to let other people down, is a very, very important key as well and it can be very helpful.

FELICITY:

So if you have a bad day, maybe, how do you turn it around so that you don’t spiral into negativity yourself?

MANDY:

Well, I guess having downward, I've been down for so many years, I have plenty of tools and techniques. However one of the most important things I do is that any experience we have in life are the greatest assets that humans have, is we can change the meaning of it. So first of all, unless it’s life threatening, I usually can quite easily find a new meaning on it and let it go. Secondly, if someone else is doing something, it’s never about them, it’s about me. So I go, “Okay, what’s going on here, Mandy?” And then I can simply let it go. And also, I have what I call my blueprint for success; everything that I need is a bunch of tools to keep me going is in this book which I look at every day. So I simply pull something out of it whether it’s reading one of my quotes, reconnecting with my goals or my vision. Or, one thing that I love to do, I have great admiration for Richard Branson; so if I'm having a bad day, quite often, I will imagine that he’s in my office, and I say, “What would Richard say or do right here?” And I usually like and he’s saying, “Get over yourself.” Because most of my bad day is because I've got in my own my ways in some capacity so doesn’t take me long to get over it.

FELICITY:

That’s great. That’s great to recognize, and great to be talking to Richard on the side.

MANDY:

Absolutely. And if somebody that you admire is a role model can be really, really helpful, someone that’s done what you want to do. And the other key is to make best friends with your future self; so we have to change and shift our idea to create the results that we want. So imagine, speaking to our best friend whose our future self, that can be another very helpful thing as well.

FELICITY:

That’s not bad, too. That’s a good one. What is the most interesting thing that you’ve seen, Mandy?

MANDY:

I think when I was considering this the other day because I've been very fortunate and blessed to have travelled the world so much and seen so many amazing things, I think one, it’s so hard to narrow it down, I think it’s going to have to be two. One of them was going to a traditional wedding in the Hunza Valley up in Northern Pakistan, and that was just no Westerners have been to this area, ever.

FELICITY:

Wow.

MANDY:

So that was a really amazing experience. And the other one would have to be, when I went down the Congo River, as it was in Zaire, Congo there, on a riverboat and with all the locals and it was like, this whole life onboard. There were crocodiles that were on the boat, going to Kisangani, and they were going to be sold in the restaurants. There were people, living, grieving, little businesses set up, and then people from the shore would come out on a little pirogue dugout boats to trade wooden goods for salt and sugar and the basics. And it was just like a whole world on this boat going down the river. It was just amazing.

FELICITY:

That sounds amazing. Very unique.

MANDY:

Yes.

FELICITY:

And what about the funniest story that you can share with us? Is there something there that our listeners can have a laugh at?

MANDY:

I guess, for me, I guess what’s funny for one isn’t funny for the other one; I never reckon that I was a great comedian in life. I’m probably more of a serious one. But to me, one of the funny memories that I have is, I was hitchhiking, as you do when you’re young and carefree, in Africa. And I met this New Zealand guy, who I travelled with, and I persuaded him that we could hitchhike through the Serengeti. So it was a great idea. And he was a radio presenter. And he was quite a comedian, and I think the whole time travelling, standing on the side of the road, in the middle of the Serengeti, which is really a bit daft with no cars, because it’s not a thoroughfare; and just wondering what we were doing. He could find something funny in the moment or share a funny story with me so I think, humour in any situation can change it and transform it, and you can change a moment of fear, when you’re wondering how we’re going to get out of this national park or, how many hours are we going to stand here? It can transform it in a moment because it’s somebody’s different take on it and they can put a funny meaning, and give you a really funny story. So I always smile when I looked back to the times that we get to feel hardy and young and hitchhike though Africa yet I still remember this guy; that travel with him was just so funny.

FELICITY:

And like you said, people can change meaning in something and let it go. It does work out. So it really does work for you and put you in a better space, so you enjoy it.

MANDY:

And I said something that I learned from that, from my travels was, we take ourselves too seriously sometimes, and we’re here to have fun and meaning and share and give. And someone asked me the other day is, from my sporting days, what can you bring; what you teach to people and bring in? I think one of the other most critical things is that athletes; you’re a cyclist; athletes and sports people have goals. They have races that they want to do. So they have a really big WHY; just to why they get up early in the morning and train? Why they’re committed to doing what they’re doing? And having been an athlete, I've always, always had goals and done so many things. So what I tell my clients often is, imagine that what you want to do with your life, is you want to go for the Olympics, it’s your Olympics. How can you get a big enough WHY to do the things that you want to do? Whether it’s in your business or your life, and achieve them? That’s the key. You’ve got to get a compelling WHY and imagine that it’s as important as training for a race or an Olympics. And then so much force into place when you’ve got a purpose and meaning and a focus. You transform from, “I don’t want to get up this morning,” to you’re going to do it anyway because it becomes an important part of the journey and then you’re going to have more fun along the way as well.

FELICITY:

So great energy, so you’re actually bounced out of bed and you want to get up and attack right, so it’s great feeling. I'd like to thank you for joining me today, Mandy. It’s been really insightful learning about your stories and journey along the way. Our listeners can find you on your website which is mindsetforsuccess.com.au. And you’re also on Facebook, LinkedIn and you have your own YouTube Chanel, which is Mandy Napier. So we’ll have all those details in our show notes in our website bodytorque.cc. And you can reference and learn more about Mandy from those links. And yes, I'd like to thank you once again for joining us today.

MANDY:

Thank you, Felicity. It’s been my pleasure and enjoy perhaps some good cycling time over Easter.

FELICITY:

Thank you.

Thanks for listening to the All Torque podcast. We'd love it if you would leave us a rating and review on iTunes. This helps us to deliver content you want to hear about. Please take a moment to share it with your friends and family on Instagram and Facebook. I'm Felicity Dales, see you next episode for another story of inspiration and motivation on the All Torque podcast.


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