You may not be getting ready to medal, but maybe you're about to go on a first date, give a speech, or interview for a job, and feel the need for a lucky charm yourself. There's nothing lucky about these charms, so I prefer the term power object. They work, but not in such mysterious ways. It's a three-step process.
Step one. When you use a power object, you first clarify your intention for your desired outcome. It's always easier to get what you want when your vision of it is clear. For example, you place mala beads (the power object) on your desk. Each time you notice the beads you will tell yourself, "be calm and breathe" (your intention), so you will be brilliant during your job interview (the outcome).
Step two. The second step is strengthening the links between the power object, intention, and outcome, through repetition. Every time you notice the power object you're reminded of your intention to stay calm and breathe. You take a few breaths each time. You're reinforcing the belief that you can control the situation and produce a positive outcome through your behavior. With each breath, that positive outcome starts to feel more likely. With each repetition, you start to feel more empowered.
Step three. The final step is using the object in the stressful situation. When you go into a stressful situation like a job interview, you may keep the beads in your pocket as a concrete reminder of your intention to stay calm and breathe. This intention has now become effortlessly attached to the power object. As a result, you feel calmer in the situation. Your desired outcome, a brilliant performance, is attainable.
Your power object can be a stone, a photo or any object that makes sense and feels right to you. You can have the object in a purse, have it pop up on your phone, or create another process that works for you. The repeated connection between the intention and the object gives you that extra sense of control over the outcome. You have created your own lucky charm that provides that Olympian power you need for a challenge.