How do you mentally prepare?No lie. I am trusting big time here. Praying through fear. You get it. In a few days I will submit my application for the CMVA designation at AssistU. And, it’s a big deal.

“The CMVA designation is the second level of certification offered by AssistU. It is a Master’s level certification, and the absolute highest certification offered in the Virtual Assistance industry. It’s available only to AssistU CPVAs.”

Trusting big time here. Praying through fear. Right?

So, this brings me to what I really want to talk about. Mental preparation. Need it! Today! This minute! Every Second!

I am approaching this certification project management style. I have a plan (shocking, right?) and will simply act on my plan. (More about action on last week’s blog.) Most of my project planning style comes from my background with events. However, I think parts of it stem from an athletic background as well. I was once a competitive swimmer.

Now, let’s be honest here. I didn’t break any records or win any awards. In fact, if we are brutally honest, I was forced to practice and generally did not push myself while there. I didn’t hate it by a long-stretch… but I didn’t love it either. There are some fundamental things about competition that are just not “Amy”.

But, the nine mental skills that you hone (these are soft-skills, baby) as an athlete are:

  • Positive attitude
  • Self-motivation
  • Goal setting
  • Dealing with people (maybe even poise here)
  • Positive self-talk
  • Visualization
  • Anxiety management
  • Emotional composure
  • Concentration

The only way to persevere through the certification process, for me, is to project plan it like the seasoned professional I am, then visualize and mentally prepare, and pray.

Here are the steps I am adding to my structured planning for mental preparation:

  1. Focus on the solution.
    When I control the degree to which my emotions are amped up, through mental stability and physical fitness, I am able to prepare myself to function more effectively.
  2. Stay positive.
    This is really the most critical piece of my mental toughness game. When I take things one step at a time, even if that step is any improvement. A focus only on problems will most likely cause me more problems.
  3. Accept I am not perfect.
    Perfectionism is the foundation for my nerves and emotions ramping into overload. Again… preparing myself intellectually and reminding myself to do my best, and focus on grace not perfection, is the way to play this game.
  4. Remember no one wants me to fail.
    Like, really… no one. Those silly, stupid, often loud, crazy and inaccurate voices in our heads are so off-base that when I think clearly, I can laugh at them… but then I get caught up in what they are saying and I start to believe it. TRAP. No one. I mean NO ONE wants me to fail. Period. Get it straight.

So much of what we do is entirely in our heads. That mental game is most often where we lose, or where we win (if we play it right). I am preparing to play this mental game just right. I know I can nail the fundamentals, if I get out of my own way.

So tell me, how do you mentally prepare? I would love to hear your tips as I approach this certification period.


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