We're all familiar with the concept of sports coaching and personal trainers to help people achieve peak fitness, but what about the idea of a mind coach to help you reach your mental potential?

Some people are now turning to mind training to achieve their goals and see doing "inner work" as one important factor of success.

Sydney performance coach Jacob Galea has been working with clients for 10 years to strengthen their mental capacity and believes having a good life coach or mentor can help.

"If you look at an athlete who has trained to get to the Olympics, they are working with a coach every single day," Galea told news.com.au.

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While focus is often placed on an athlete's physical training, Galea said scientific evidence showed it may take just as much psychological strength to be successful.

"If you are a CEO you've got to have that belief and get past that barrier that you can't make more money, or that you're worthy of the next stage," he said.

Galea describes himself a "super coach" and just like a personal trainer can motivate you to do extra sit-ups, Galea said a mind coach could help you to stay focused on your goals.

He will schedule meditation sessions with clients, help them recognise what's holding them back and what their goals are.

In order to get achieve their best, Galea advises people to take time out through activities such as meditation or tai chi to work on themselves, write down their dreams and to be careful about spending time with negative people.

"Be careful who you spend time with, you become a product of your environment," he said. "Be selective about what you listen to and read - surround yourself with inspiration.

"Another important tip is to just have fun, you've got to have fun in your life ... it's important to bring out your inner child."

During a training session, Galea uses techniques such as meditation, visualisation and even hypnotherapy.

While some may still see these techniques as a bit "too fluffy or hippie", Galea said he was surprised how open corporates had become to them, especially in the past three years.

"People love it, it's not that different to jumping out of a plane," he said.

Jacob Galea acts as a mental coach. Photo / news.com.au Supplied
Jacob Galea acts as a mental coach. Photo / news.com.au Supplied

"The only resistance comes from fear about what it may bring up, and one of my jobs is to help them work through that fear."

A black belt in karate, Galea first started training people practising martial arts, before attracting international celebrities and sportspeople as clients including American NFL player Dale Moss and Sydney Swans players Brandon O'Neill.

Other clients include Los Angeles real estate agent and star of Million Dollar Listing, Josh Altman, Big Brother host and actor Mike Goldman, Gold Coast radio host Bianca Dye and former CEO of RamCity, Rod Bland.

Galea said his techniques helped people to break through their "limiting beliefs" and to analyse their mindset.

"It makes people happier, it helps them take time out and work on their lives," Galea said.

The effectiveness of meditation, and in particular mindfulness is something that Associate Professor Craig Hassed has been tracking through his work as the mindfulness co-ordinator at Monash University, which is based in its medical faculty.

"People have known about these techniques for a very long time ... and in the modern day we are rediscovering these techniques on the back of massive amounts of research coming out," he told news.com.au.

He said mindfulness had been shown to help anxiety and stress, helped people deal with addictions and pain, prevent relapse into depression, improved immunity and even slowed ageing.

At Monash, mindfulness has become part of the core curriculum in a number of courses including medicine, law, IT dietetics and psychology.

"In professional life people see the importance of having the technical skills without recognising the soft skills, like how to manage demand and doing tasks under pressure," he said.

"It's important for being able to perform in a work environment, not just in an efficient way but also a sustainable way."

Far from being a fringe practice, Professor Hassed said he was now consulting with schools, law firms, mediators, government and cancer support groups on how to integrate mindfulness techniques.

"Two things drop our performance, the first is antipathy when we are not engaged or attentive and the second is stress and anxiety," he said.

Professor Hassed said focusing on winning could actually create stress and impair someone's performance so mindfulness helped people to focus on the task.

"It's about being in the moment with the process and the result takes care of itself," he said.

He said mindfulness techniques have been embraced by elite athletes for some time, including tennis player Novak Djokovic, basketballers Michael Jordan and LeBron James, Sydney Swans footballer Adam Goodes and Olympic sprinter Cathy Freeman.

Paradoxically, while mindfulness can help us achieve our goals, it can also help people to deal with their limitations.

"It can help a person become more comfortable and enjoy winning and success - if it comes - but it also help them become more comfortable with failure," he said.

While Professor Hassed sees mindfulness as an important life skill, he warned that it was not always going to help everyone, and was not recommended if someone had mental health issues.

"The skill requires long term effort and application," he said.

"If you don't ever get over your internal barriers, you won't benefit."

Mindfulness makes people more aware of how distracted they are as well as their reactive behaviour, mental chatter and stress levels. It's not always a comfortable experience and Professor Hassed said it finding a good teacher through organisations such as Meditation Australia was important. But he believes the benefits are worth it.

"If you can't train the mind, so that you focus attention on tasks then we can't really achieve anything we set out to achieve."