Mental Fitness -The X-Factor for Crushing Government Marketing

Emily Harman, GMARKU Ambassador

I’m sure you’re already aware there’s a significant “mind game” to government marketing. As the former Director of the Department of the Navy’s Office of Small Business Programs, I met with contractor sales representatives frequently. I heard thousands of stories about the challenges of selling to the federal government.

These days you might be thinking that it’s difficult to stand out from the crowd. Or perhaps you’re thinking that face to face events made it so much easier to connect and, with COVID restrictions, it’s challenging to market your company’s products or services.

Over the next year, I’ll be sharing a series of monthly blogs on how you can address these challenges. I’d like to offer something for you to consider. It all starts with your mind. You can improve your results by strengthening your Mental Fitness (PQ).

In addressing my own sales/marketing challenges after starting my coaching business, I invested in Shirzad Chamine’s Positive Intelligence® Program. Shirzad’s work is work is a synthesis of the latest breakthroughs in neuroscience, cognitive and positive psychology, and performancescience. The research is the basis of his New York Times bestselling book Positive Intelligence, and his Stanford lectures.

Mental Fitness or (PQ) is a measure of the strength of your positive mental muscles (Sage) versus the negative (Saboteur). This measure of your Mental Fitness is called PQ (Positive Intelligence Quotient). Shirzad’s research with over 500,000 participants has shown PQ to be the best predictor of how happy you are and how well you perform relative to your potential.

Consider this. If you’re not physically fit, you’d feel physical stress as you climb a steep hill. If you’re not mentally fit, you’d feel mental stress, such as anxiety, frustration, or unhappiness, as you handle work and relationship challenges.

Per Shirzad’s research, 80% of people score below the minimum level of mental fitness required for peak performance and happiness. With recent breakthroughs in neuroscience and technology, you can improve your mental fitness significantly within 7 weeks of practice.

The results? Dramatically improved performance and productivity and a calm, clear, and happier mind. Who doesn’t want those results?

Within 6-8 weeks of mental fitness training, you’d be able to see the results in MRI imaging:

  • Increased grey matter in the PQ Brain region, where your Sage lives
  • Decreased grey matter in the Survivor Brain region, where your Saboteurs live

Per Shirzad, improvements in Mental Fitness led to substantial results:

  • At MetLife, trained salespeople outsold the control group by 37%
  • Motorola recorded improved productivity in 93% of trained employees
  • At Sanofi-Aventis Pharmaceuticals, the average salesperson with improved competency sold $55,200 more per month
  • At L’Oréal, strength in these competencies resulted in $91,370 increase per salesperson

At CIBC, strength in these competencies account for 32% of booked sales and 71% of pipeline sales

So, let’s talk about the muscles that make up your mental fitness.

3 Core Muscles Constitute Your Mental Fitness

There are 3 core muscles of Mental Fitness.

1. Saboteur Interceptor Muscle
Your Saboteurs generate all your negative emotions, including stress, anxiety, self-doubt, anger, avoidance, procrastination, insensitivity, or discontent. Mental fitness requires the ability to intercept and discredit the Saboteurs. I’ll go into more detail on the Saboteurs in future blogs. Perhaps you’ll recognize some of them. Judge, Avoider, Stickler, Hyper-Rational, Hyper-Vigilant, Victim, Controller, Pleaser, Restless, and Hyper-Achiever.

2. Sage Muscle
Your Sage is the one in you that handles challenges with a clear and calm mind, and positive emotions. It also has access to your 5 primary powers.Empathize, Explore, Innovate, Navigate, and Activate. For peak performance, you learnto boost all 5 powers and know when to use which power.

3. Self-Command Muscle
You’re not in full command of your mind. If you were, you would choose to entirely silence the Saboteurs in your head. You would choose to not stress out over what you can’tcontrol, push away self-doubts, recover from disappointments immediately, and spend little time in anger, regret, or blame.

Let’s focus on the Self-Command muscle.

Why build the Self-Command muscle?

  • Spend less time, energy, and emotion judging ourselves and others, or circumstances; and,
  • Use a simple technique, PQ reps, throughout our day in order to:
    • weaken our inner ‘Judge”, our source of fear and anxiety, and
    • strengthen our inner Sage, our source of wisdom and compassion.

You can strengthen your Self-Command muscle by following three steps: Notice, Stop, and Shift.

Step 1: Notice Your Saboteurs
Become aware throughout the day of any negative emotions, feelings of frustration, anger, fear, worry, disappointment, stress. These are alerts that your Saboteurs are active. Don’t linger in these feelings. Just notice and detach without judgment.

Step 2: Stop: Do PQ Reps
PQ reps help to quickly get us out of negativity in our heads and back into our into our bodies by paying exquisite attention to a physical sensation. As little as 10 seconds will help quiet your thoughts and accompanying emotions. Stay with the practice for several minutes if you can.

There are many ways you can perform a PQ rep. Here’s one using the breath.

  • Notice the rise and fall of your breath in your chest or abdomen.
  • Notice your breath entering and leaving your nostrils.
  • Feel the air moving and notice the temperature of the air.
  • When your mind wanders, andit will, shift your focus back to your breath.

Step 3: Shift to the Sage Perspective
Your Sage handles challenges with a clear and calm mind, and positive emotions. Access some or all your 5 primary powers: Empathize, Explore, Innovate, Navigate, and Activate to address the situation.

Tip: Set alarms throughout the day to remind you to perform a PQ rep. Also, do a few PQ reps before a sales call or meeting. At the end of the day, reflect on your experience in practicing Notice, Stop, and Shift.

I’ve experienced the transformational power of strengthened Mental Fitness and I wish the same for you. Join me to support you on your Mental Fitness journey by visiting