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The Success SHIFT

May 17, 2023

In this episode, Dr. Irene Cop welcomes Michael Ostrolenk, the Director of Human Relationships and Resilience at the Institute. Dr. Irene and Michael continue their discussion from the previous episode, which was entitled “Three Tools to Shift from Poor Performer to Elite Performer”. In this episode, they explore what it means to their clients to uplevel their performance. 


Michael introduces the concept of “Negative 20x”, which is the opposite of the popular concept of 10x-ing your performance. Michael explains that many of his clients operate under the mindset of not feeling good enough and judge themselves harshly, which leads them to try to prove themselves to others. 


Michael gives an example of a client who was always training for the next Spartan Race or Tough Mudder, not because he enjoyed them but because he was trying to prove something to his father and to himself. Michael suggests that instead of doing more of what they are already doing or even 10x-ing their performance, they should try negative 20x, which means slowing down and sitting quietly with themselves to notice what arises. Michael explains that this was the hardest race for his client, who found it uncomfortable to be with himself and not have a goal to train for. However, by doing so, he had breakthroughs and realized that his sense of not being good enough and the shame of being alive were driving him. He then stopped looking outward for validation and started looking inward to fulfill himself.


Dr. Irene and Michael discuss how many of their clients feel like they are not enough, and they explore the reasons behind this feeling, which usually stem from their family of origin. Michael explains that by examining these underlying issues, clients can have breakthroughs and start to shift from poor performers to elite performers. 


They also discuss how being an elite performer does not mean being perfect or achieving all their goals but rather having resilience and the ability to bounce back from setbacks. Dr. Irene emphasizes the importance of being kind to oneself and not judging oneself harshly, as this can lead to burnout and other mental health issues. 


Michael suggests that clients should focus on progress, not perfection, and celebrate small wins along the way.


In conclusion, this episode explores the concept of shifting from poor performer to elite performer, which is not about achieving perfection but rather having resilience and the ability to bounce back from setbacks. Michael introduces the concept of negative 20x, which means slowing down and sitting quietly with oneself to notice what arises. By doing so, clients can examine their underlying issues and have breakthroughs that can help them shift from poor performers to elite performers. They also discuss the importance of being kind to oneself and celebrating small wins along the way.


If you're interested in learning more about achieving success through mindfulness and slowing down, this episode is a must-listen.



Topics Discussed:

  • Negative 20x approach

  • Co-Regulation

  • Importance of having a progress partner for accountability and support.

  • The concept of "negative 20x," which is an alternative to the popular concept of "10x your performance." Negative 20x is about slowing down and sitting quietly within yourself instead of constantly trying to prove yourself to others. By doing this, clients can discover what's driving them and start looking inward to fulfill themselves, rather than looking outward for validation. This concept can help people who feel like they're not enough or are constantly judging themselves.

  • The importance of having a progress partner for accountability and support, and the benefits of initiating a state change to open up the heart and mind for better communication and conflict resolution, both in personal and professional relationships. The practice of assuming the best in others and reframing situations to let go of stress and appreciate cultural differences.

  • Having a progress partner for accountability and support can help you overcome the valley of despair when starting something new.



  • “Initiate a state change to open up the heart, mind, and body for coherence and deal with conflicts more easily.” - Michael D. Ostrolenk

  • “Assume the best in people as you don't know where they're coming from.”

  • “Reframe your thoughts and let go of negative emotions to alleviate stress.”

  • Doing a brief practice to realign before meetings can improve your performance and creativity.



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