Do you think it is important to be able to perform at your best? Absolutely. We need to be able to tap into our best.
In today’s competitive marketplace, being average will not win you new customers, guarantee you a pay rise or bring the person you dream of into your life.
This isn’t about becoming someone that isn’t you, this is about being the best version of you.
I love the phrase “Perform At Your Best” because it reminds me to keep going when I feel like quitting, to keep up with my new routines, and it evokes an aura of resilience and confidence that I want not only for myself but for all of you too.
What are the components to Perform At Your Best?
This is an overview of a model I developed based on my own experiences and the research I’ve reviewed.
This pathway will help you to manage stress, find balance, and build your resilience.
#1. Get Out And Stay Out Of The Weeds
The more you have going on then, the busier you are, and the more time you can spend in the weeds.
To see something better and more significant for yourself, the critical step is to get out and stay out of the weeds.
Sometimes, it may seem as though there is no way out of the weeds.
And sometimes getting in there is unavoidable.
Yes, you may be choosing this, maybe not consciously, perhaps not intentionally but you are choosing this.
A life of purpose beckons to us each day.
And when we answer that call, we feel invigorated, energised, and deeply gratified. However, when we procrastinate and resist, we are overwhelmed, tired and frustrated.
We don’t always realise when we stray off course until we find ourselves stuck in the weeds, becoming stagnant and increasingly irritated with our lives and ourselves.
This can happen in our professional or personal life when a project or endeavour takes us past our comfort zone and into procrastination.
It can happen in critical conversations when we skirt around the real issues and stay mired in trying to save face or placing blame.
Or it can happen in relationships when we resist taking things to a deeper level and play it safe instead.
And it can happen in our lives when we trade our dreams and visions for doing what gets us by.
And then we go through the motions of staying busy instead of doing what we are really meant to do.
Resistance intends to have us play it safe. Planning, controlling, preparing, and orchestrating.
Resistance urges us to cling to the familiar, even if the familiar is unpleasant.
It leads us to control our emotions rather than merely feeling and experiencing them.
#2. Know Your Sentence
Know your sentence is a simple way of identifying your life purpose.
The idea originated with Clare Boothe Luce, who was a businesswoman and one of the first women to serve in the US Congress.
Luce expressed her concern to President John F. Kennedy that he might be in danger of trying to do too much.
And as a result, would lose focus.
What she meant is that a leader with a clear and definite purpose could be summed up in a single line.
This concept is useful to everyone, not just presidents.
Have you thought about your sentence? If you have, that is amazing!
And if you have not, then now is the time to do just that.
A mighty challenge.
It takes time and effort to distil down the essence of what you’re trying to achieve in a short and memorable sentence.
Reducing life to a handful of words is a mighty challenge.
Why is it so bloody difficult to sum up your life in one sentence?
After all, articles have headlines, brands have tag lines, and even Twitter limits you to a few characters.
Does it feel too cheesy, morbid, or limiting?
Is it reminiscent of a dating profile or a tombstone?
It might be a little bit of all of them.
We consider ourselves multi-dimensional beings with professional and personal lives, not to mention family, friends, hobbies, and interests.
How is it possible to capture all that in just one sentence?
So what is your sentence?
There is ONE thing that probably defines you more than anything else.
One Sentence for one defining moment.
This simple yet complex exercise works well as a form of aspiration, that is, how do you want to be remembered?
This is powerful at any point in your career. Still, the sooner you do this, the more time you have to make changes so that you can become the person you are capable of becoming.
The reason for doing this now and delaying is that once you decide how you want to be remembered, the entire focus of your life changes.
You then concentrate on the essential things that will help you achieve what you have always dreamt of.
#3. Build Meaningful Connections With Others
Whether you’re talking about developing resilience, managing stress, or finding greater life satisfaction, building meaningful connections are a must.
You and I and all humans have a basic necessity to connect with others.
These interactions lend meaning and happiness to our lives.
Too many people succumb to the misconception that the ability to connect with others is an unteachable trait that belongs to only a blessed few.
The reality is that the ability to build meaningful connections is under your control.
And it comes down to a matter of emotional intelligence.
Matthew Lieberman at UCLA conducted some research that shows being social and connecting with others is a fundamental human need similar to food, shelter, and water.
Impossible And Exhausting.
It would be impossible and exhausting to make a meaningful connection at every encounter, yet enhancing our awareness and ability to improve relationships leads to many benefits.
Meaningful connections support our well-being in a holistic sense. People in positive, supportive relationships gain a greater sense of self-worth.
And the better quality relationships at work, then the higher your work satisfaction.
The research conclusively shows we experience overall health benefits such as reduced symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress.
It is also demonstrated that caring behaviours, which are evident in meaningful connections, release stress-reducing hormones.
No wonder that a phone call with a friend helps us feel more relaxed, confident, and content.
It is easy to make meaningful connections because they can occur in any interaction and are not limited to your most profound relationships.
Whether it is working on a project with a coworker, supporting your partner through a difficult time in their career, or coordinating snacks with another rugby parent, qualities such as compassion, honesty, respect, support, and positivity enhance every interaction.
Interactions create meaning when something personal happens.
These enriched interactions with others not only increase your health and happiness but provide a deeper meaning to our lives.
#4. Find Your Smile
A lot of people out there need to find their smile.
Because while going through life, they lose the ability to laugh, to laugh without worry. The change is gradual and subtle.
You might brush it off because you don’t even notice yourself changing.
Consider that a decision is taken at the moment the choice is made.
Decision making, precedes the decision being taken.
What often happens is that we rush the decision-making. And some may still be undecided, unclear, or even unsure.
The likelihood is that they might be unclear what the consequences of the decision are or vague what actions are required following the decision.
You need to be crystal clear what decisions are required and how you will make them.
Whenever you are faced with a significant decision, making it is an enormous emotional leveller.
Make a decision to find your smile.
When you do, it will clear the old clutter and restart happiness.
You will feel invigorated, even if it is hard work.
#5. Be A Flexible And Accurate Thinker
Resilience requires flexible and accurate thinking and the ability to see differing perspectives.
Flexible and accurate thinking allows you to find multiple solutions to a problem.
We know how life is full of unexpected detours and roadblocks, so being able to develop alternative plans is a vital aspect of resilience.
This is backed up by research from Albert Ellis, Karen Reivich, Martin Seligman and others that show it’s your thoughts that drive your emotions and reactions to a specific event.
Our ability to assess a situation accurately is influenced by our thinking traps, our core values and deeply held beliefs, and our downward spiral thinking.
When we know how to identify these factors that interfere with our accuracy, we will build self-awareness and a more realistic thinking style.
Much of this is dictated by mindset.
Someone with a more positive mindset will concentrate on specific aspects of a situation that someone with a more negative mindset will not.
But neither of them is necessarily in the wrong.
Wanting to adopt a more positive mindset doesn’t mean you have to lie to yourself or get brainwashed.
What it does mean is that you have to focus on different aspects of the situation selectively.
Your state of mind determines how you predict future events and also, how you evaluate events as they are happening.
These two factors work symbiotically to reinforce each other.
Our predictions about the future are derived from the information we have stored about past experiences.
When compared to pessimists, optimists tend to evaluate their daily events from a more positive perspective.
This means they are continuously creating positive memories and beliefs to influence their predictions.
You can see how this cycle works.
The more optimistic the outlook, the more positive evaluation of daily events, the more positive the memories, and the more positive the expectations about the future.
And it continues to perpetuate itself.
And good predictions are priceless, the act of expecting an event to happen makes it much more likely that it will happen.
In other words, if choosing between an optimistic belief and a pessimistic belief, know that the optimistic one will usually lead to measurably better outcomes.
Because optimists make more positive predictions, they are more likely to be successful than pessimists.
Which means they have the opportunity to store even more positive memories and reinforce better beliefs.
There is an easy way to become more positive.
Start now to evaluate events as they happen from a better and more positive perspective. That way, you slowly build up more positive memories and beliefs.
This is where the self-fulfilling prophecy comes in. If you generalise positive experiences, they will influence your beliefs more and improve your future predictions.
All it takes is to choose to evaluate positive experiences as more meaningful and exemplary.
When you do that your generalisations will eventually become reality. I am not telling you that this will be easy.
Thinking is hard work.
Let’s take a moment to realise how amazing you are. What you’re doing right now is quite extraordinary.
You’re taking a series of squiggly black lines and extracting meaning from them.
No other creature can do that as you can.
And you can probably achieve it with relative ease.
You see the words in front of you and process them in an instant, never thinking of the words themselves, only what they represent.
Remember that time when it wasn’t always easy to read?
It might be ages ago, but when you were first learning to read, you would have had to put a lot of effort into it.
Unusual words would have been obstacles.
You would have stumbled, concentrating on the individual letters and how they are pronounced.
It’s impressive just how far you’ve come.
Most learning follows this trajectory.
You learn, and that learning requires effort.
But the knowledge you form afterwards becomes more natural to use.
We have all been a student of life for many few years now.
We have picked up many skills along the way.
Think about it, we can read, talk, walk, use cutlery, brush our teeth, and all with little effort.
Most of our daily activities can be done while we are entirely detached from the activity itself.
This is pretty darn incredible.
What’s more, you probably have unique skills and knowledge that most people don’t have.
Maybe you have an interest in math or physics or math, cooking, or psychology.
Your thoughts make you YOU.
Your mind is like your fingerprint, it’s yours and only yours. You are a unique mixture of abilities, concepts, facts and memories.
Your thoughts make you YOU.
But you had to work to get here. You had to work to become you. And, you’ll have to work to become your future self, too. And you will only undertake that work if you see the benefits of doing it.
Learning is refining the mind, making it more accurate, efficient, and versatile.
As beneficial as it may be, learning isn’t always a pleasant experience. To become our future self requires some discomfort.
I trust this was enough to yank you out of your autopilot and make you think about the five points we covered here. But, if you would like more actionable steps to live an outstanding life, then enrol in the free webinar,
And remember dare to dream.
Follow your passion.
Be outstanding each and every day.