Five Skills That Will Change Your Life: Skill #1

By: Jim Murphy

Five (Inner Excellence) Skills That Will Change Your Life: Skill #1


  1. Believe in your dreams.
  2. Compete (and live!) and with freedom (and passion).
  3. Be fully present.
  4. Relax under pressure (control your physiology).
  5. Have emotional control.

This article is dedicated to my sister Naomi T. Murphy, who went to heaven at about 730pm, Sept. 20, 2022. Her life and spirit have been an incredible inspiration. I will spend the rest of the year praying and meditating on how to connect with and embrace her God-given strength and mental toughness so I can implement it in my life.

Inner Excellence (IX) Skill #1

Believe in your dreams.

The reason most professional athletes (and the rest of us) fail to reach their potential is that they get too caught up in negative thoughts and emotions. This was the first sentence in the last article and here it is again. Our lives are a reflection of our beliefs. Beliefs are feelings. A belief is a subconscious comfort level with all the areas of your life.

Right now, you have a certain belief about your ability to succeed (or fail) in every area of your life. Your subconscious mind, which runs the vast majority of your life, is continuously working to do two things: keep you safe, and line up your results and circumstances with your beliefs. It doesn’t care what you believe, it only cares to do everything it can to align the results you’re getting with your beliefs (and vice versa). It always wants your outer world and inner world to be in alignment.

Imagine you’re a pickleball player ranked #100 in the world, and you’re beating the #1 player in the world 5-0. You’re halfway through the match (games go to 11) and this would be by far the biggest win of your career. What happens next?

What happens next is your subconscious comfort level would likely be in direct contrast to the score. Let’s say you didn’t read this article and hadn’t studied/meditated on/visualized mastering The Five IX Skills That Will Change Your Life.

Then you wouldn’t know how to deal with the feelings that were sure to come (doubts), and you would go into protection mode (don’t screw up) and by the time the 11th point came, she would be the one to congratulate you on a “very good effort” and compliment you on how much you pushed her. Regardless, you would have lost. Because your subconscious was not comfortable with beating world #1.

So how do you do the work needed to believe? Or perhaps better said, what do you need to do to believe you can do something you’ve never done before?

First, you ask yourself, “Am I willing to believe that I can become someone I’ve never been before.” Every world champion and world #1 I’ve worked with first had to believe that they could become someone they’ve never been. This starts with the willingness to let go of the person (and competitor) they’ve been (and all their weaknesses and missteps).

So first we must be willing to believe that we can become someone we’ve never been, and then we need to let go of the past… completely. Anything not congruent to your growth is left behind.

I have a daily reminder on my phone at 3:33pm:

I do what no one else does so I can become who only I can.

This is to remind me that… I do hard things… I think different than everyone else… I don’t let the pain of sacrifice or the fear of failing stop me from taking the risks necessary to grow. And it reminds me every single day that I’m becoming someone I’ve never been before, and that person has more inner strength, more peace, and more joy.

To see how you’re doing with your beliefs (subconscious comfort levels), picture your biggest goal or greatest dream right now. What are the feelings around it when you vividly imagine that scenario? Those feelings need to be positive (although possibly nerve-wracking) ones. For most professional athletes (and the rest of us), imagining some extraordinary accomplishment either is too hard to imagine, or too scary to think about.

However, realize this: There’s someone in the world right now, who has lesser skills than you at this moment, but they have good feelings (positive, exciting ones) around their greatest dream, and that person is far more likely to achieve it than you. In fact, when you meet that person, they’ll likely beat you. But, here’s the exciting part, you can be that person. If you want. Because… you get to believe whatever you want. You just need to get the majority of the feelings in that area of your life connected and in align with that dream. It takes daily practice in what you think and feel, as well as improving how you respond to the thoughts about yourself and what’s possible for you.

Action to take:

  1. Ask yourself, “Am I willing to believe that I can become someone I’ve never been before?” Imagine that future you, with your major accomplishment. Are you comfortable taking that risk, in which there’s a good chance of failure, to give yourself the chance to do this thing?
  2. Ask yourself, “Am I willing to completely surrender my past, to let it go, such that whenever I’m reminded of my prior limitations, I can affirm and believe that I’m becoming someone new?”
  3. Every time you encounter resistance to that belief in that dream, you need to remind yourself you’ve let that old person go, and then immediately affirm the person you’re becoming.
  4. Install reminders on your phone of the person you’re becoming and the things you’re achieving (perhaps you’ll include the one I have at 3:33pm). Remember, if you already believed it, you wouldn’t need the reminders. Your mind likely will resist the new beliefs. That’s part of the process.
  5. Visualize all the major obstacles to your dream and see yourself embracing them and overcoming them. For my professional golfers, they regularly visualize the most intense pressure imaginable (i.e. the back nine on Sunday in the lead at the Masters) and then they exaggerate the challenges, seeing themselves embracing and handling them with their IX tools.

Note: One good routine to include in your morning routine is the GPS (3 minutes recalling grateful moments in the past 24-48 hours, 3 minutes being fully present, 3 minutes visualizing future goals and dreams, and 1 minute locking it in with the IX Funnel). The IX funnel is done by raising your arms like a Y towards heaven and accepting all the abundance included with your goals and dreams. I include a prayer with the IX Funnel but that’s up to you.

I’d love to hear your biggest goal or dream!

Love Jim


Thank you so much to those of you who’ve prayed for Naomi. While I’m very sad she’s gone, I’m very joyful that she’s in heaven with a new mind, a new body and filled with peace and joy.

I’m writing this from a cafe in London (thank you Cutter and Squidge). Tomorrow I fly to Istanbul, Turkey. I’ll be staying a few minutes walk from the Hagia Sophia (my favorite experience in Turkey on my last visit). I only have one day, but if you have any recommendations, let me know!

I get into Jeddah, Saudi Arabia Sunday night. I’ll be there for 8 days, then I’m off to Cairo, Egypt for four days. If you have any suggestions for great experiences in those places, I’d love to hear.

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