Mentale Fitness – vom Buzzword zur Alltagskompetenz

Dieser Artikel ist erschienen auf der Platt­form ‘Computer&Automation 10/2021

Clear, calm, laser-focused in a job interview

As career coach I am often confronted with the question of how you can be and stay your authentic and clear self in a job inter­view, be impactful in the middle of a poten­ti­ally stressful situa­tion, facing both chance and risk of denial.

You hold two keys to success in your hands!

Follow a clear-cut process to step up fully with your perso­na­lity and exper­tise and activate your mental strength to be be resilient under stress.

Key 1The process part is a path of explo­ra­tion, analysis and focus ahead of the inter­view. It’s about you, your passion and your USP for the market and the specific job in front of you. There are 3 leading questions:
What is your „I want …“, your values and goals?
What is your „I can …“ – your exper­tise and your success stories?
What is your „hitpoint and sweet spot …“ – your why this job and why this company?

This clarity gives you confi­dence and impact in how you step up and it makes you belie­vable having matching stories and successes to tell.

Key 2Your mental strength is to step up with clarity and calmness in the challen­ging context of a job inter­view and recover quickly when you are hijacked by stress

Does any of the follo­wing scenario and self-sabota­ging mindchatter sound familiar?
Before the inter­view: “I want this job so much. I am afraid I am blocked tomorrow and will forget what I want to say.” “If I lose, I will be in trouble. I need this job so much.“ „Am I good enough?” “What if they ask why I have left my old job. I am afraid my emotions come up again.”
During the inter­view: “This HR-execu­tive looks so puzzled. I seem to have given the wrong answer.” “I am so nervous, my voice trembles.” “Shit, I forgot an important info.” “I hear myself speaking and I don’t seem to come to the point.” “I am tense and not my usual self.”

If you are in that mindset of negative emotions you are in the stress part of your brain and have no access to your full poten­tial, your creati­vity, clarity and to calm laser-focused action.

What now!

I recom­mend highly effec­tive exercises to both activate your mental fitness muscle before the event and to recover quickly in case of stress hijacking during the event. These tools are from Positive Intel­li­gence by Shirzad Chamine.

  • Preempt your saboteurs:
    Antici­pate the inter­view and your possible self-sabota­ging reaction; Pause and breathe. Then imagine yourself reacting calm and clear and stepping up your best self.
    What is fasci­na­ting: our brain does not diffe­ren­tiate between real and imagined. When you imagine the positive process, the same neuro-circuitry pathway is activated as during a real success experience.
  • Activate your mental fitness muscle:
    This can be used before the situa­tion to gain energy and focus and in the stress situa­tion to quickly calm down and recover.
    What is fasci­na­ting: the little exercises, called PQ reps, only take 10 seconds each and they don’t need a quiet solitary place to practice. Do it in the middle of the hustle-bustle of life and if needed during a stress hijacking:
    The secret is to actively focus on your sensa­tions. By that you stop your mind jumping around and instead focus on one physical sense. You can feel the effect immedia­tely. If in that moment you were under a MRI you would also get the scien­tific proof that your stress center is quieted down and your sage creative part of the brain is activated.

Here are two of many varia­tions you can do

  • PQ rep using your sense of touch
    finger-printTouch one device (pen, paper, coffee cup, glass of water) in front of you and really feel the tempe­ra­ture, texture and sensa­tions on your finger tips. Maybe move your finger tips slowly so you can feel more sensations.
    Great Job!
  • PQ rep using breath
    breathingTake a couple of deep breaths. Now let your breath settle into its normal mode. Feel the rising and falling of your chest and stomach with each breath. Notice the tempe­ra­ture of air as it enters your nostrils and the tempe­ra­ture of air as it exits your nostrils.
    Great job!

If you do PQ reps regularly during the day, you can conti­nously build up your mental muscle.


Explore further possi­bi­li­ties with Mental Fitness – how to sustain­ably train and build up your mental strength, to be resilient facing any challenges and setbacks and recover quicker – for more click here

You have questions around impactful job inter­views and you want to learn more about a successful job shift:

Why does negative drag us down more than positive uplifts us?

colorful Vortex

And why is it so critical for us to have a minimum ratio of 3 to 1 positive versus negative?

If you are above this ratio you are uplifted by a vortex of positi­vity and if you are below it you are feeling conti­nu­ally dragged down by a vortex of negati­vity. Thank you Shirzad Chamine for compi­ling relevant research on this 3 to 1 ratio in your book “Positive Intel­li­gence” and adding your own studies of the PQ vortex for describing this energetic phenomenon.

What has evolu­tion to do with it?

Basically, our brain spirals on the negative as well as on the positive. The reason why our brain boosts the negative and why you need 3 positives to counteract 1 negative is that due to evolu­tion our brain holds on to and ampli­fies the negative far more than the positive. Being aware and remem­be­ring details of dange­rous animals was much more important for our ances­tors than remem­be­ring a beautiful flower.

What can we do to be overall more uplifted than dragged down?

We cannot change our circum­s­tances. What we can do is be aware and consciously shift our perspec­tive and outlook on life. This has a signi­fi­cant impact on our perfor­mance and well-being. As a conse­quence we are more calm, focused and curious and less anxious, hectic and stressed.

Make this a habit:

The minimum of 3/1 ratio should be maintained both inside and outside your mind – in the form of thoughts in your head and also extern­ally keeping a 3/1 ratio of positive to negative inter­ac­tions in relati­onships that matter to you. So pay atten­tion to when you have negative thoughts or emotions inside your head. These are moments when your mind feels stress, anxiety, anger, disap­point­ment, stress, blame, guilt, shame, self-doubt, regret and so on. These moments might happen in reaction to yourself, to others or to circum­s­tances. Maybe you are beating yourself up for a recent failure, or you are blaming your partner or colle­ague for not acting the way you want. Or maybe you feel helpless and angry because of events you cannot influence. When you notice that, counter that by comman­ding your mind to come up with at least 3 positives. They don’t have to be big or compli­cated things.

Are you open for a little exercise to train it?

Aim to 3/1 ratio in your mind:

Close your eyes.

Let’s think positive using perspec­tive. Bring to mind something that has been bothe­ring you.

Let’s think at least of a couple of possible gifts. First: to have the situa­tion not bother you as much, what strength do you need to grow. Maybe it’s about being more empathetic towards yourself or the other? So bringing compas­sion to yourself could be one gift.

Be curious about what you have learnt. How could that help you handle an even bigger chall­enge. What chall­enge might that be? Create a learning could be a second gift.

Can you think about a third possible gift? What else is crossing your mind, that you are grateful for? There are often so many gifts here and now, if you really think about it.

… Open your eyes when you are ready.

And you can do the same in your surrounding

Aim for 3/1 ratio in relationships:

It takes 3 positive inter­ac­tions to neutra­lize 1 negative interactions.

Think about it when you meet people. Sometime a smile, a positive word, a personal question or even small acknow­ledgments change a lot!

I hope this article was interes­ting for you. If you are interested to learn more about mental fitness and how to train it, feel free to contact me:

And if you want to know your own PQ score: do the free assess­ment:

The Author:

Dr. Uta Barbara Nachbaur an execu­tive and career coach and trainer, is specia­lized in leader­ship, mental fitness, commu­ni­ca­tion, conflict and inter­cul­tural navigation.


I would love to read your comments

Dr. Uta B. Nachbaur

Upcoming PQ Events with Uta Nachbaur

There are no upcoming events at this time.

Can your perspec­tive influence your energy and your performance?

How can our perspec­tive on us and on our work environ­ment influence our results and relationships?

After one year of Covid and lockdown how are you looking on what has been happe­ning and how do you feel mentally?

I myself started off last year planning short-term and solving momen­tary problems like how to shift on-site coaching and training into the virtual world and how to balance business, homeschoo­ling, familiy and partnership.

Sometimes I felt strong and able and sometimes simply being pushed and driven. Sometimes I saw myself at the steering wheel and sometimes I saw myself being tossed around not knowing where to turn next. This situa­tion also influenced my thoughts, emotions and how I reacted on others and on situations.

Not feeling in control of my emotional state and my thoughts wasn’t me. At that time I came across a mental fitness training program. I have studied it and practice it since with great impact. Mental strength accor­ding to Positive Intel­li­gence founder Shirzad Chamine is „the ability of your mind to manage your thoughts, emotions and actions in a positive and construc­tive way when being faced with diffi­cult situations.“

Here are some ahas and quick wins for you to use right away:

Our brain is sometimes our enemy and sometimes our friend:

In 2005, the National Science Founda­tion published an article summa­ri­zing research on human thoughts per day. It found out that the average person has about 12.000 to 60.000 thoughts per day. Of those thousands of thoughts, 80% were negative, and 95% were exactly the same repeti­tive thoughts as the day before. So one of the tenden­cies of our mind is to focus on the negative and even repeat the negative stuff. There was another study of 2005 from Cornell Univer­stiy. Scien­tists had found out that 85% of what we worry about never happens. And from the 15% of the worries that did happen 79% could either be handled a lot better than expected, or the diffi­culty granted them a highly valuable learning. All in all, the conclu­sion is that 97% of our worries are baseless and result from an unfounded pessi­mi­stic perception.

As our fears often sneak in uncon­sciously, is there a way to control those unpro­duc­tive thoughts and emotions?

Become aware of your mental traps and inter­cept your saboteurs:

The first step is become aware when those saboteurs turn up causing negative thoughts and emotions. If you can label them, you can control them and get rid of them. That’s why it is highly relevant to become aware of the assump­tions and lies they tell you and of the negative impacts these saboteur attitudes, thoughts and emotions have on yourself and others. This helps unmask and dismiss them.

To only name a few: Do you know and recognize the hyper-achiever in you or others telling that you must be best to be worthy. Or maybe there is the stickler preaching perfec­tionism or a hyper-vigilant with chronic doubts who sees risks every­where and cannot rest. Or what do your saboteurs want you to believe?

Stay in self-command mode

What is a good way out once you named and inter­cepted your saboteurs?
By consciously focusing on sensa­tions you can actively shift from your saboteur brain where stress reactions reside to your sage brain where creati­vity and clear laser-focused actions prevail. By this, you run your brain rather than let your saboteurs run you.

Here is a little exercise to try out. It may seem silly and it is highly impactful, as personal experi­ence shows and research proves. You can use your sense of touch to activate your self-command:


If you can, it’s more effec­tive to close your eyes whilst doing the exercise.Take a few deep breaths. Now gently rub to finger tips against each other with such a tension that you can feel the finger tip ridges on both fingers. Do this for ca. 20 seconds. If thoughts come up gently let them go and focus on the sensa­tion again. Now touch the device on which you read this blog and feel all the sensa­tions on your finger tips – feel its texture, feel its tempe­ra­ture. Maybe gently move your finger tips so that you can sense more. Do this for ca 30 seconds. Now open your eyes.

What do you realize? Do you feel calmness or less mind-chatter? How was this little exercise for you?

If you want, repeat little sensa­tion-of-touch-exercises throug­hout the day. Whatever you do, just shortly notice the touch. Notice the texture and tempe­ra­ture of the coffee mug you are holding or the door handle you turn or the elevator button you push or the keyboard you type on.

This gives your brain a little valuable break and puts you back in the driver seat of your brain. So you are more in charge of your thoughts, actions and emotions than your saboteurs are. And you may experi­ence a diffe­rence in how you handle the challenges of your day.

Shift your perspective

Being more in self-command shifts yourself to more happi­ness using the sage perspec­tive of seeing chances, gifts and oppor­tu­ni­ties in all your challenges instead of judging them as bad and dreading the worst.

What does happy mean? Ask yourself: Have I felt mainly positive emotions in the past hours like peace, grati­tude, empathy, love, curio­sity, excite­ment of creati­vity, joy of clear-headed action and the like? If yes, you could say you were happy. If on the contrary you have felt manly negative emotions like stress, anxiety, anger, shame, guilt, blame, self-doubt and the like, then you could say you were unhappy.

Try out what you can achieve taking on the sage perspec­tive of positive emotions, being sure that every outcome and circum­s­tance can be turned into a gift and oppor­tu­nity. Look at the events of your day that causes you negative emotions and just unmask and label the negative mindchat as lie and let it go.

There is one psycho­lo­gical rule

Looking at a situa­tion, your saboteur perspec­tive is „this is bad“ and your sage perspec­tive is „this is a gift and opportunity“.


The answer to the question, „which perspec­tive is true?“ is: Whichever you believe becomes true! It’s worth trying.

I hope this article was helpful for you to try out new ways to deal with your challenges. For me mental fitness plays a big role as I experi­ences sustainable effects of practi­cing mental training on my results and on my well-being.

The Author:

Dr. Uta Barbara Nachbaur an execu­tive and career coach and trainer, is specia­lized in leader­ship, mental fitness, commu­ni­ca­tion, conflict and inter­cul­tural navigation.


I would love to read your comments

Dr. Uta B. Nachbaur

Upcoming PQ Events with Uta Nachbaur

There are no upcoming events at this time.

Mental Fitness

Mental Fitness Brain with Dumbbell

Mental Fitness (PQ)  

Spitzen­leis­tung und innere Ruhe in Krisen und Herausforderungen!

Mental Fitness heißt, all den verschie­denen Heraus­for­de­rungen des Lebens mit einem positiven Mindset zu begegnen und nicht mit Aufge­regt­heit und Stress!

Mit Mental Fitness gewinnen Sie an jeder Stelle Ihres Lebens Klarheit, Kreati­vität, Mut und Umset­zungs­stärke und gehen schwie­rige Situa­tionen fokus­siert, mit Festig­keit und Leich­tig­keit an.

Mental Fitness kann man trainieren!

Ähnlich wie physi­sche Fitness können wir auch unsere mentale Fitness trainieren.

bunte HantelnWie unsere physi­sche Fitness darüber entscheidet, ob wir nur kurze Anhöhen oder auch Berge bezwingen können, so entscheidet die Stärke unserer mentalen Fitness, welche Heraus­for­de­rungen wir gelassen, klar und kreativ meistern, bei welchen Krisen wir uns von Angst, Ärger und Unsicher­heit unter Druck setzen lassen und welche Stress­in­ten­sität uns total aus dem Konzept wirft. Wie wichtig Mental Fitness ist kennen wir auch aus der Welt der Spitzen­sportler, die immer sowohl physi­sche wie mentale Stärke trainieren.


Mental Fitness Coaching und Training:

20% Einsciht 80% Mentaler MuskelSie bekommen einen Coach und Begleiter und das Handwerks­zeug, um mit Ihrer Persön­lich­keit, mit Ihren Zielen, in Ihrem Kontext unabhängig von der Stress­in­ten­sität von negativen Emotionen, Kopfkino und reaktivem Verhalten zu Kreati­vität, Selbst­ver­trauen und selbst­be­stimmtem Handeln zu kommen.

Das Ergebnis

  • Spitzen­leis­tung
  • innerer Ruhe und Wohlbefinden
  • gesunde Bezie­hungen

“Prinzip Hoffnung” oder Wissenschaft?

Buch Cover - Positive Intelligence

Wissen­schaft­liche Basis für Mentale Fitness sind Forschungs­er­geb­nisse aus Positiver Psycho­logie, Neuro­wis­sen­schaften, Kogni­tive Psycho­logie und Leistungs­wis­sen­schaften. Der Psycho­loge Shirzad Chamine, Dozent für Positive Psycho­logy an der Stanford Univer­sity hat ein Modell entwi­ckelt und durch über 500.000 Teilnehmer in 50 Ländern, über 100 CEOs und Spitzen­sportler überprüft. Ergebnis ist ein app-basiertes 6‑wöchiges Trainings­pro­gramm mit PQ Reps, um 3 Muskeln für mentale Fitness zu trainieren, das physio­lo­gisch nachweis­lich Auswir­kung auf die relevanten Hirnpar­tien hat.

Erkennt­nisse dazu finden Sie auch im Buch von Shirzad Chamine:

Ihr Weg zu Mental Fitness:


In 6 Wochen mentale Stärke gewinnen!

Wie Sie Heraus­for­de­rungen, Krisen, schwie­rigen Bezie­hungen mit positivem Blick, Kreati­vität und Fokus begegnen und Höchst­leis­tung und Zufrie­den­heit gewinnen – in Business, Sport oder  Privatleben


3 Schritte, ein 3‑faches mentales Muskeltraining:

  • “Saboteur Inter­ceptor”: negative Emotionen und Selbst­sa­bo­tage unterbrechen
  • “Sage Perspec­tive”: Möglich­keits­blick, Empathie, Neugierde, Kreati­vität und klare fokus­sierte Aktion
  • “Self-Command”: bewusstes Umsteuern von negativen Denkmus­tern zu positivem Denken

Das Mental Fitness Basecamp – damit Sie negatives Kopfkino kontrol­lieren, die Chancen in Heraus­for­de­rungen erkennen und effektiv, klar und fokus­siert auf Heraus­for­de­rungen reagieren

Das Programm beruht auf Ergeb­nissen der Hirnfor­schung, die physio­lo­gisch nachge­wiesen werden können. 6 Wochen Inten­siv­trai­ning führen dazu, dass Nerven­bahnen verän­dert werden, unbewusste reaktive Stress­re­dak­tionen reduziert und kreatives präsentes Agieren hirnphy­sio­lo­gisch nachweisbar verstärkt wird.

Brain Saboteur Sage

Wie geht das?

Das Programm kombi­niert inten­sives Training, Input und Hinter­gründe aus der Hirnfor­schung mit indivi­du­ellem Coaching zur Errei­chung persön­li­cher Ziele

  • 90 Minuten 1:1‑Coaching zu Ihren persön­li­chen Zielen und Erwar­tungen, als indivi­du­elle “Reise­be­glei­tung” während des Basecamps und zur Errei­chung Ihrer persön­li­chen Ziele
  • Ihr PQ-(Positive Intelligence)Assessment und Ihr Saboteur-Assess­ment als indivi­du­elles Reflexionsinstrument
  • 6‑Wochen Programm für den gezielten Aufbau Ihrer mentalen Stärke
  • Wöchent­li­ches 1‑Stunden Video: Input von Shirzad Chamine, der PQ entwi­ckelt und evalu­iert hat, englisch
  • App-basiert prakti­sches Training: 5 Minuten täglich Kurzübungen von Shirzad Chamine, englisch
  • Input: Auszug aus dem Buch von Shirzad Chamine, Positive Intel­li­gence (pdf wird gestellt, englisch)
  • Refle­xion und Q&A: wöchent­li­ches Pod-Meeting mit anderen Teilneh­mern zur Vertie­fung, von mir geleitet

Und wie geht es jetzt weiter?  Schauen Sie hier auf dieser Seite nach den Terminen für mein nächstes 6 Wochen Basecamp
oder nehmen Sie mit mir Kontakt auf!


 Die nächsten Mental Fitness Termine

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Saboteur Assess­ment

9 Wege der Selbstsabotage

PI Saboteur Assessment

PQ Score

Ihr Positive Intel­li­gence® Quotient

Dr. Uta B. Nachbaur

Dr. Uta B. Nachbaur
Execu­tive Coach – CPCC, CPQC, PCC

Mental Fitness Coach und Facili­tator
optional in deutscher und engli­scher Sprache

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