Slingshot Method

The Power of Thinking Inside the Box

In high-stress situations, the technique that Navy Seals use is a form of “inside the box” thinking. It’s called “Box Breathing.”

This technique has been easily learned by my high-performing coaching clients and I want to share it with you so that just like Navy Seals and my clients, you can maintain balance and control in all situations.

Recently, I had a Leader share with me his mounting frustration over his team’s lack of production.  After a year of quarantine, his team’s production is at an all-time low. About 15% of his 200 Account Execs were actually bringing in the numbers they were more than capable of producing. And worse, a whopping 85% were performing at an average and below level production capacity.  This leader was pressured to produce more than ever as he carries a low-earning team.


When I asked this super experienced Leader what he thought was the production obstacle he didn\’t hesitate to reply.

The obstacle was, “Mindset.”

He went on to explain. “The team spent the last year quarantined and they have lost their momentum. They need to get their head back in the game and that’s really hard. They’ve lost some belief in themselves and they are disconnected from the culture of support in the office.”

As a coach, I hear a version of this story a lot.

The remedy for this and other Limiting Mindset Consequences is cultivating the habits of positivity and pursuing infinite possibility.

Before you shrug this off as a complete waste of time, consider that studies have shown that optimistic Sales Professionals outperform their negative ZOOM mates by 57%, even in the face of higher sales skills.

Nonetheless, the process of acquiring positivity and unstoppable belief habits can feel uncomfortable, at least until we get into the habit of empowering an indomitable \”Can-Do\” spirit with strategic habit-building systems.  A positive mindset and belief habits are attraction magnets that cultivate joy.  That goodwill spirit is extremely contagious! The more we practice going from a Limited Mindset to Limitless Growth Mindset, the more we influence better results for ourselves and others.

This is an empowerment engine fueled by a consistent system I call “thinking inside the box.

Just like the method the Seals use!

They “think inside the box” with a technique named aptly, Box Breathing.

It’s a simple exercise that I use for both calm-inducing breathing and empowering uninhibited thinking.

The goal is to gain calm through the breath. I call this, “Calm”fidence.

Step 1: Release all the air from your lungs. Count 4 seconds of emptiness.

Step 2: Breath in for the count of 4 seconds.

Step 3: Hold the breath in for 4 seconds.

Step 4: Breath out all the air completely within 4 seconds.

Repeat this “box” until a sense of center, “Calm”fidence replaces the fear and “stinkin limited thinkin”.

Once we are in a state of “Calm”fidence, we can use this method to take control of our thoughts.

These are the steps for “empowered thinking inside the box”.

Step 1, Breath out and empty yourself of all those negative words, excuses, blame, regrets, and angry destructive, disempowering feelings.

Step 2, Breath in a new perspective, possibility, affirmations, hope, and courage.

Step 3 Hold tight to these good thoughts and the commitment to repeating this process of box thinking throughout the day.

Step 4 Breath out the action, fueled by a restored sense of “Calm” fidence, and the power of thinking inside the box.

Like Seals, we need to commit to doing what is uncomfortable and often feels scary.

We can rise above our Limiting Mindset when we use information as the catalyst for transformation.

Start right now by thinking “inside the box”.  Yes, you can do this!

Cathleen Mancino is a Peak Performance Sales and Leadership Coach specializing in helping clients make impactful presentations that get clients motivated to make decisions! For more information or to schedule a private session with Cathleen, visit or schedule an introduction by clicking here