Unfortunately, there are myths about what peak performance is. These myths can actually sabotage your efforts to improve. In order to raise the level of your own performance it is important to become aware of, understand and avoid these myths. Remember, peak performers have crystallized their discipline and have experienced the pitfalls, blind spots and temptations on their journey toward excellence. As a result, they have learned how to create models and methods to overcome them.
Learn to avoid these 6 common performance myths and you can experience an immediate change in attitude and performance:
PEAK PERFORMERS ARE JUST BORN THAT WAY
They only look like they are born that way. What you dont see is the tremendous effort and practice they put into honing their performance skills. They look smooth and polished because of this. They have learned to use their mind, body and emotions in a way that helps them get what they want.
Strategic Tip: Pay attention to what you are practicing. Are you developing how to be angry and frustrated or perfecting the skills that gain you entrance into consistently higher levels of performance?
TOP PERFORMERS HAVE SPECIAL MIND POWERS
Not true. It is easier for some than others but nobody has a corner of the market on the cause and effect human performance principles. YOU HAVE THE SAME MIND/BODY PRINCIPLES OPERATING IN YOU AS ANYONE ELSE DOES!
Strategic Tip: Youve been successful at some time in the past. Stop, look and listen. Identify what you were thinking, feeling and doing at the time. Also, find out what others in your field do to be successful. It might surprise you!
THEY ALWAYS GIVE 100% OR MORE AND GO FOR IT
Not necessarily true. Yes, they always put their best effort into what they are doing BUT they dont always put the pedal to the metal. Peak performers have learned that more is not always better. They have learned that each situation dictates the appropriate amount of effort and energy needed to perform the task.
Strategic Tip: Identify what your ideal performance state is. Become aware of where you over exert yourself and struggle. At these times you can remind yourself to return to that level of mental/physical and emotional intensity that works for you.
THEY ARE PERFECTIONISTS
Peak performers can be demanding and tough on themselves for sure. However, when it comes time to perform they do NOT get caught in the perfectionist syndrome. They understand the nature of the game and that there is an ebb and flow to performance. Errors are part of that picture.
Strategic Tip: Keep perfectionism in the practice arena if anywhere but leave it at the door when you perform. The zone is not achieved when you try to be perfect, judge and criticize yourself. You dont try to speak or hit a tennis or golf ball. You just do itbe perfect in your disciplined preparation but NOT in your performance. The zone is not accessed this way.
THEY NEVER SHOW THEIR EMOTIONS/VULNERABILITY
Is that so? Although many coaches have trained their students to not show weakness, the reality is that many top performers do. They know the importance of celebrating the positive and releasing negative toxic emotion as well. The difference is, they release it and have the mental tools to refocus where others do not. The ones who dont direct energy into more productive channels release an emotion and keep on releasing it, negatively affecting their performance.
Strategic Tip: Realize that you are much better off being real. Emotion is energy and when not released will build up in the body like pressure in a steam kettle and then.bam! Trust yourself to be vulnerable, get advice or help when you need it. Nobody every made it to the top by themselves.
THEY FOCUS ONLY ON WINNING
Peak performers want to win more than anyone but they do NOT focus on winning while competing. They understand the importance of staying focused on what matters most during play. Winning is not one of them!
Strategic Tip: Honor your desire to win. Its fine, but when you are performing keep your attention only on things you have 100% control over. Its always a battle of process vs. outcome. Stay with process, process and more process thinking. Anything that doesnt fit this category is a distraction and of no use to you.
By avoiding these traps, you can raise the level of your game! Good Luck!
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Copyright 2006 David Breslow is a Speaker/Author/Performance Coach who works with Athletes (PGA/LPGA) and businesses to help people perform at the top of their game. His approach is not business as usual and creates faster shifts in how people think, feel and perform every day. David has appeared on The Golf Channel, ESPN radio and has spoken to both large and small corporations across the country. To get more information or reach David call: 847.681.1698 or email: David@theflowzone.net or visit the web: www.theflowzone.net.