Achieving the Vision: The Psychology of Peak Performance
By Steve Wells
Step 1 to Peak Performance: Decide!
The journey to become a true peak performer starts with a decision. Decide to be a peak performer. Realise that you do have the power.
Commit yourself to the achievement of some high goal or ideal. Only high goals will inspire you to reach for your true potential. Barry Cable (one of my early heroes on the football field) said at age 15 he "decided to be a football champion". He didn't decide to do as well as he could, he decided to be a champion."
What would you decide to do, be, and become if you knew it was possible for you? What's holding you back?
Now here's the challenge... The minute you decide to make a change in your life, up will rise your unconscious blocks. This is actually a good thing! Although they are threatening to hold you back, your challenge is to overcome them. That's why you set the goal in the first place! Which leads us to...
Step 2 to Peak Performance: Break through the BS Barriers
BS is your belief systems!
Ultimately, to become a peak performer, you must overcome your limiting ways of thinking (and feeling) about what is possible for you or your business.
The general peak performance techniques are to take control of your mental focus, self-talk and internal imagery. Focus on what you want and concentrate your power in that direction. Design positive self-talk and statements which keep you focused on your ultimate outcome, and repeat these statements to yourself on a regular basis. Visualise yourself having actually achieved your goals, and feel the feelings of success.
Now here's the challenge. These techniques will work up to a point. But sometimes it seems like you are working against too much resistance, sometimes the inner belief barriers seem too strong, or sometimes the fear seems too real. That's where tapping comes in!
Learn EFT - Emotional Freedom Techniques, and our SET - Simple Energy Techniques - and use them to overcome the emotional barriers to your success. SET and EFT are powerful new psychological acupressure techniques that can propel you towards success by eliminating tensions and stress related to high performance, and getting you over emotional barriers such as nervousness, lack of confidence, and much more. But they can also take you further, to being able to overcome your blocking beliefs, as well as major challenges such as fear of failure and fear of success.
Can you envisage yourself successful and feel totally comfortable with those success images? If not, you need to check your values for conflicts, and your beliefs for barriers and work on eliminating them using SET.
Identity is the Key
Your identity beliefs are your beliefs about who you are and what you are capable of. In essence, identity is how you see yourself and how you define yourself. These beliefs are very powerful in deciding your performance level and they are the first place to start if you want a radical change in your performance. As long as you see yourself at a certain level, your performance will fall within that level.
"You will never perform consistently in a manner which is inconsistent with how you see yourself"
--- (Zig Ziglar)
And there is another type of belief that is crucial to your success; your beliefs about value.
Step 3 to Peak Performance: Clarify and Align Your Values
Your values are what you define as most important. At their core, values are your strongest emotional drivers. They are behind every decision you make, hot-wired into your nervous system to draw you towards some things and away from other things.
It is impossible to be successful when you unconsciously associate that success with pain! Working on values means firstly finding out what emotions are driving your current decisions, what is most important to you now. Taking this further, many people discover that that are being pulled in several different directions at once, so ironing out these inner conflicts becomes paramount. And ultimately, getting into alignment with your true values is the goal. Only when you have done this does goal-setting become meaningful.
There is no point setting goals without first clarifying your most important values.
When you are clear on your values, then goal setting becomes easy. The key is to then ensure that your goals will help you to achieve your most important values. Many people set goals that they think will bring what they want and spend their whole life climbing the ladder of success only to find its been leaning against the wrong wall (original source of this analogy unknown!).
As Mark Victor Hansen writes, failure to achieve your values is not a setback, it is a real failure. Don't let it happen to you. Work out what is most important to you and spend most of your time, money, and energy on those things.
Step 4 to Peak Performance: Set big, inspiring goals
High achievers are almost always goal setters. Set goals that will inspire you to reach for the best.
Focus on your ultimate goals. Where do you ultimately want to go?
Set BIG goals - Make no small plans.
SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-based) are really clever for short term but really dumb for longer term goal setting! Only really big goals will inspire you to move beyond your limits.
Step 5 to Peak Performance: Plan and prepare
Be prepared to prepare. Training and preparation is what separates those who are committed from those who are only interested.
Develop an initial plan or blueprint. Map out the way ahead even if it's a little unclear at first. As you go you can modify your plans.
Identify Role Models and Mentors and model their success. By modelling their success strategies you can accelerate your own success.
Surround yourself with successful people. Apart from valuable information that will save you many years of stress, they have an energy that "rubs off".
Step 6 to Peak Performance: Commitment
Only those who are truly committed will achieve real peak performance. That's why you need to be sure that your goal aligns with your strongest values, giving you powerful reasons why you are doing this. Still, if your goal is to be a true peak performer, you'll need to work on building your commitment, and renewing your commitment on a regular basis.
Your goals must progress through several levels of commitment:
I want to.
I plan to.
Until you can state your goal congruently as an "I will... by ..." then you need to work on building your commitment. EFT and SET can help here too, by helping you to connect with success and overcome the stress of making that commitment (which nearly always evokes fear, which the tapping techniques calms down).
All achievement starts with a dream, a wish. You must decide that you want this enough to take the next step and plan for it to happen. Real commitment though comes from the decision that you will do whatever it takes to make it happen.
Step 7 to Peak Performance: Consistent, Persistent Action!
The biggest difference between those who are successful and those who are not is the actions they take. EM Gray in his essay "The common denominator of success" wrote that successful people "do the things that failures do not do". And here's the key: "they don't like doing them either necessarily, but their disliking is subordinated to the strength of their purpose." In other words, their vision is so strong, their reasons for doing this (ie values) are so powerful that they are willing to put up with moving outside their comfort zone to get there.
Now here's the great thing: SET and EFT can help to make taking the action and moving outside our comfort zones less uncomfortable. They can be used to release our attachment to false beliefs. And they can help us to overcome our fear of failure and fear of success.
So apply them as you go. Don't wait until all is perfect: Get started - Do the first thing first. Take action towards your goals - don't let another minute go by before you take a step, no matter how small. Then persist - This is the quality of true champions.
© Steve Wells
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"When you reach for the stars, you may not quite get one, but you won't come up with a handful of mud either."
--- Leo Burnett
"One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar."
--- Helen Keller
"You see things as they are and you ask "Why?" But I dream things that never were and I ask "Why not?""
--- George Bernard Shaw
"Two roads diverged in the wood, and I - I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference."
--- Robert Frost
"Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now."