By Jim Rees
To be successful and reach peak performance requires much more than just your intelligence and talent.
There are basic needs which must be met to function at your peak and for many these are often neglected, impairing your capacity to rise to those elusive higher levels of success, peak performance, and happiness in life.
There are some simple things you can do to encourage peak performance, these include:
1- GOAL DIRECTEDNESS
Goal setting is vital to ensure you reach and maintain peak performance. Setting a variety of short (weekly, monthly), medium (quarterly/yearly), or longer-term (five years +) goals can help you to navigate your way through the year and beyond with a sense of purpose and specific goals in mind.
Effective goal setting focusses your brain and activates the Reticular Activating System (RAS), a network of neurons located in the brain stem that mediate behavior and program new patterns which can set you up for the year ahead in a positive manner.
2- POSITIVE SELF-TALK
Your self-talk or your internal dialogue is a massive part of what is either helping or hindering you in everything you are looking to achieve. Having a positive attitude or mindset versus a negative view of yourself can greatly impact your view of yourself and consequently the self-talk which unconsciously takes place in your mind.
We all have greatness inside of us, but life events and relationships can condition us to believe otherwise which can breed negativity and be the catalyst for diseases and conditions which limit our life span. To combat this, make sure you engage in positive self-talk daily, focus on the good instead of the bad and remind yourself why you’re worth it. Mindfulness techniques can be especially helpful giving you time to focus on the positives and a chance to reset. It’s also a good idea to take time for yourself each day to practice positive self-talk. Similarly, simple things like keeping a gratitude journal and writing down a list of things that have made us happy ends up reinforcing the positive chemicals flowing through our bodies.
World-class athletes use visualization to mentally rehearse a favorable outcome, but for us mere mortals we tend not to use this powerful strategy to help us achieve our goals. There are a few ways you can incorporate visualization into healthy, daily habits which can elongate your lifespan. For example, when you wake up, instead of hitting the snooze button, take a few minutes to visualize your day ahead and what you want to get out of it. Make a plan and imagine yourself sticking to it. This positivity first thing in the morning can change the path of your day and put you in a good mood from the offset, making you feel more able to deal with the challenges or stress that the day could bring. Any downtime you have throughout your day can be used for visualization. So, if it’s a few short minutes during your commute, or on a lunchtime walk, make time to visualize what you want to achieve, and you’ll be half way there.
4- SLOW DOWN
So many of us live life in the fast lane, juggling work, family and a social life which can take its toll on your health and wellbeing. Being fully present is a daily habit which can pay dividends when it comes to enjoying and elongating your life, as well as harnessing peak performance. Huge insights have become available via research that has been conducted in the Neuroscience world. For example, we know that exercise helps us manage our stress levels along with the cardio protective aspects of being fitter. Creating a daily ritual of going out for a walk and enjoying nature will have a positive impact on your state of mind and trigger more serotonin and oxytocin, the happy chemicals flowing through your body.
It’s not often that we think very deeply about where our beliefs come from, we have a view of the world and what is possible for us in life and most of us just get on with it, almost living out the life that we have been conditioned to live. Our beliefs have been shaped and sculpted by a whole host of things including parents, teachers, friends, peers, media, life experiences, trial and error, even our imagination plays a role in our beliefs.
It’s no coincidence the word “lie” sits in the middle of the word belief and most of the time our belief about what is possible is a lie, yet we hold on to these beliefs that have stuck to us throughout of lives. I’m not suggesting that you get rid of all your beliefs – just the ones that are holding you back from being able to do more, have more and be more in your life.
By all means please do keep hold of the beliefs that have served you well and have helped you achieve great results. Ultimately, it is your thinking that drives your beliefs. The big challenge for all of us is to be able to slow down enough to spend some time to pick through the beliefs that are still useful and then have a clear out of the ones that are useless, a decluttering to make room for you to bring some new thinking into your life.
To make it easy, beliefs come in two sizes, you either have limiting beliefs or empowering beliefs! Your beliefs will drive every decision you make in your life so it’s probably worth checking them out every now and then.
Offering a thought-provoking examination of our patterns of behavior, The Vicious Cycle, Jim Rees’ new book explores how recurring habits can shape our entire lives. It seeks to unravel the nature of our psychology through relatable stories of hardship, determination, and a relentless drive to succeed and grow.
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