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The Breakthrough Formula with David Nurse

David Nurse is an NBA life and optimization coach, future bestselling author, and worldwide motivational speaker. As a former professional basketball player (both international and domestic) and a coach for the Brooklyn Nets, David has personally helped over 150 NBA players with their personal and professional development both on and off the court. He has been invited to speak in over 50 different countries on the topics of overall personal development, confidence building, leadership, and motivational growth.

David’s new book, Pivot & Go is a compelling, hands-on blueprint to changing course and leading the life you want to live—today.

In this energizing, adventurous, and actionable guide, David Nurse, a renowned optimization and life coach of more than 150 NBA players and CEOs, outlines a clear 29-day plan; not to living the life, but to living your absolute best life.

His key is making mindset pivots, ones that allow you to shift your perspective by incremental, but profoundly powerful, degrees. Focusing on redefining success, failure, passion, joy, and confidence, Pivot & Go is here to help you find your genuine rhythm—one that will carry you through each chapter of life with energy and the ability to make the most of every day.

What is the formula to create breakthroughs in your life and learning?

Is there an area in your life where you’ve been searching for a breakthrough? Maybe you want to be a better parent, a better student, or a successful entrepreneur. What if there was a formula to help you unlock your next breakthrough?

Today, I’m excited to talk with NBA life and optimization coach David Nurse. He’s the best-selling author of Pivot and Go: The 29-Day Blueprint to Redefine and Achieve YOUR Success and he’s here to talk about his upcoming book Breakthrough: A Sure-Fire Guide to Realizing Your Potential, Pushing Through Limitations, and Achieving Things You Didn’t Know Were Possible. Using his formula, David has personally helped over 150 different NBA players, both on the court and off.

If you’re here, you know success is an inside-out process. Listen in as David reveals his blueprint to unlock your next breakthrough. Whether you’re an athlete on the court or are simply a player on the court of life, this episode is for you.

Show Notes

Finding Your Breakthrough

  • A breakthrough is an abstract idea, yet it’s something we’re all searching for.
  • But a breakthrough actually ends up being happy accidents that happen to us.
  • Those are difficult to recreate.
  • There’s a lot of focus on terms like self-help and self-development when it comes to breakthroughs.
  • But it’s not about the self.
  • You can’t find breakthroughs on your own.
  • David created a formula for breakthroughs that he’s used with NBA players and other high performers.
  • There are four points to the formula.
  • If you live these four points, you’ll unlock more breakthroughs.
  • This formula is seamless and easy to do. You won’t have to add 3 hours to your morning routine.

Discover Your Confidence

  • The first point in the breakthrough formula is confidence.
  • Most people think of their stats when they think about confidence.
  • This isn’t about your resume, or your social media likes—that’s not what confidence is about.
  • True confidence is about finding your true self-awareness.
  • What do you stand for? What about you is more than the identity people see on you?
  • Find out why you’re here on this earth.
  • David has actionable tools for each step because he wants you to succeed long-term.
  • The why’s are important, but he wants to give you actionable how’s.
  • For confidence, one important factor is to embrace imposter syndrome.
  • Everyone feels imposter syndrome, but it means you’re doing something great.
  • You’re actually on the verge of a breakthrough when you feel this.
  • If you don’t know what imposter syndrome is, it’s when you feel like you don’t belong.
  • Whether you feel like you don’t deserve to be in a room with certain people, or achieving things, imposter syndrome is a sign that you’re doing great things.
  • The action to overcome imposter syndrome is something David calls the “foggy mirror”.
  • At some point in your morning, you’re going to walk by a mirror.
  • Imagine the mirror is covered with fog.
  • The fog is self-doubt.
  • You have the choice to either walk by the mirror and live in that self-doubt, to stay in that ‘I’m not good enough’ mentality.
  • Or you can simply stand there, take your hand, and wipe away the fog.
  • It’s similar to a power stance, where you stand in a powerful stance and feel more confident.
  • Wiping away the fog is the same thing.
  • You’re telling yourself at the start of your day that you won’t live in self-doubt. You’re going to live in the self-aware confidence of who you are.
  • It doesn’t matter what the rest of the world says about you, or what your identity is. You know who you are.
  • Self-awareness is the foundation.

Assemble Your Team

  • Once you find that self-awareness, you have to accept that you can’t do it alone—you need a team.
  • And don’t choose the same type of people because everyone has different strengths.
  • Far too often, people are told you are your weaknesses and that you have to increase your weakness.
  • You hear things like, “This is a weakness to work on.”
  • But weaknesses are actually a compliment wish list.
  • Understand your weaknesses and find people who have them as their strengths.
  • The recipe for an amazing team is putting together individual, unique, strong ingredients.
  • Look at the 1998 Chicago Bulls: they had Jordan for the best score, Pippin for the best wingman, Steve Kerr as the best shooter, Rodman for the best rebounds.
  • You put together individual talents and strengths where you all cooperate at the highest level.
  • When you have your team, don’t forget your fundamentals.
  • The basics and the fundamentals are essential to success.
  • Even at the highest levels of performance, you have to always come back to the fundamentals.
  • Kobe Bryant worked on his footwork for hours and hours.
  • The great performers understand that even though fundamentals aren’t fun, they’re necessary to build and sustain your foundation.
  • You have to have a strong foundation in order to build a castle.
  • Fundamentals can be things like meditation or journaling, movement and exercise, reading every day, going to get groceries, loving your kids.
  • There’s an action for cooperation and teamwork.
  • One of David’s favorite stats that they keep in the NBA is high-fives given.
  • They have so many analytics, but they track how many high-fives each player gives per game.
  • The player that has always led the NBA in high-fives given is Steve Nash.
  • He averaged 239 high-fives per game.
  • This is important and made him the best teammate because he was encouraging, he was picking people up.
  • The best leaders support, but they also challenge.
  • Make sure your team supports and challenges every player.
  • You don’t gain anything by surrounding yourself with ‘yes men’.
  • When you want to perform at the highest level, you want to be taught. You want to be challenged and supported.
  • You can encourage this behavior by high-fiving—even if it’s a zoom high-five, just saying high-five verbally, or physically giving someone a high-five.
  • You want energy, excitement, encouragement. And you can create that daily through the action of giving high-fives.

Give Back

  • Now that you have your confidence and your team, you have to figure out why you’re working towards your breakthrough.
  • If you’re only doing it for the Instagram likes, the bank account, the fame—you’ll never be fulfilled, or find contentment or joy.
  • It’s never happened before, so why is it going to happen to you?
  • You can discover both your purpose and your sense of fulfilment through the third piece of the formula: service.
  • Until you understand that until you are fully selfless, you will always be selfish.
  • The action David uses to get into service mode is to look at your hands.
  • Before you enter a room or open a door, look at your hands and say the word serve.
  • This automatically kicks your mind into service mode.
  • When you say this before you enter a room, you know that you’re serving the people in that room and that it isn’t about you.
  • It’s not about what you can get out of it, but what you can give to the situation.
  • When you live in this service mode, that’s when everything starts coming back to you.
  • Back when David was coaching the Brooklyn Nets in Dallas, he would always try to be the first person on the court.
  • It’s how he gets into the mindset for the day, his time on the floor every day.
  • One day, he wasn’t the first one on the court.
  • There was an older man in raggedy jeans and old shoes, shooting shots and missing a lot of them.
  • As David walked by to go to the other side, this guy turned to him and said, “the older you get, the legs go.”
  • And David knows as a shooting coach, that wasn’t really true.
  • David’s gift is teaching people how to shoot a basketball. But he didn’t want to get into a 15-20 minute lesson.
  • He just wanted that time to himself.
  • But a few weeks earlier, a friend had challenged him to use his gift more, even if it interfered with or messed up his schedule.
  • He decided to show that guy a few things like how to get more range and consistency.
  • This guy starts making more shots and he’s getting really excited. But then the players came out to warm up, so they had to leave the court.
  • David offered to help the guy more, so he hands David his business card.
  • He had been helping Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, harness his inner power for something he was very passionate about.
  • By living in service mode, David now has a powerful contact.

Be Relentless

  • Before we go over the final piece of the breakthrough formula, it’s important to remember the action that goes with each one.
  • For confidence, you have the foggy mirror self-awareness action.
  • To encourage cooperation and support, you give high-fives.
  • Every time you open a door, you look at your hands and say, “serve”.
  • They all have a physicality to them and in each one, your hand is the trigger.
  • Whether you wipe away the fog, give a high-five, or look at your hands to serve, it’s using your hands.
  • And no matter what, the one thing you always have with you are your hands.
  • Actions are important because you can get a lot of good information but having an action to go with that information compels you to act.
  • You tie everything together through action.
  • Which brings us to our fourth piece in the breakthrough formula, which is relentless consistency.
  • It’s going beyond the why you are doing what you’re doing, but committing to do it day after day after day.
  • If you live in self-aware confidence for one day, that’s great for that day, but it isn’t going to do you any good.
  • It’s only going to matter if you live there every day.
  • Be obsessed with your passion.
  • You were given a gift, so become obsessed with it.
  • The greatest gratitude you can express for having that gift is to go all in with it.
  • Make it not just your job, not just your career, but your life’s mission.
  • Being obsessed doesn’t mean that’s all you do 24/7 is work, work, work.
  • You’re obsessed with your mission and the people you love, but you’re open and available for the opportunities that come your way.
  • The enemy of great is not bad. It’s good.
  • When you know what your why is—your purpose—and you do it with relentless consistency, not only will opportunities come, but you’ll be ready for them.
  • The action for this one is again looking at your hands, but this time look at your palms and see the calluses.
  • See how much work your hands have done, how much they’ve been through.
  • Everything they’ve been through, you’ve been through too.
  • You’ve gotten through so many challenges, and you’re going to get through the next one.
  • Remember: think like a person of action but act like a person of thought.
  • Be sure to check out the unedited, extended episode on YouTube, here.

Share With Us

  • Take a screenshot and tag us on social media (@DavidNurseNBA & @JimKwik) and do the foggy mirror self-aware confidence challenge.
  • Show us you doing the action of wiping away the foggy mirror.
  • I’ll repost my favorites and gift a copy of David’s new book, Breakthrough: A Sure-Fire Guide to Realizing Your Potential, Pushing Through Limitations, and Achieving Things You Didn’t Know Were Possible, to one lucky listener.
  • Get your copy, here.
  • Be sure to also check out David’s first book, Pivot and Go: The 29-Day Blueprint to Redefine and Achieve YOUR Success, here.
  • For more information, visit www.davidnurse.com, or listen to his podcast, here.
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