No matter what type of lifestyle you find yourself living, you can be a high performer. It does not matter if you are an athlete, or a business professional, you want to perform at a high level. Like my grandfather always used to say, “if you are going to do something in this life, make sure it is something that is useful and that you are damn good at it.” Lets face it, we all want to be recognized for being a “high performer” at something; somewhere deep down human beings crave recognition for being one of, if not the, best in our craft. It might be playing a sport, being a parent, or running a company; we all want to do something that we can say we perform well at.
In this post I want to share some of my experiences from working with some of the best of the best and explain what a true high performer is and the traits which define them. To be completely honest, I think that this is one of the most misunderstood terms in the performance world; it is too superficial and too general. It is more than just simply “getting a lot of points,” or “making a lot of sales”; anyone can do that, but it does not mean that they performed extremely well in an overall manner. They may have played well offensively, but lacked defensively. They may have made a high amount of sales, but lacked in regards to being a team player. So, before diving into anything we need to understand what both a high performer and high performance are.
To start with the basics, a high performance is a performance that benefits the needs of the individual (personal) and/or group/team (environmental) which leads to either directly achieving, or contributing to, the overall goal and desired amount of success. A high performer is someone who can consistently achieve, or contribute to, the desired amount of success of the group or individual. High performances differ across various situations; the performance objective changes whether the performance is an individual one, or a group/team one. In both scenarios though, a high performance starts individually.
The mistake we often make is that we think performances are a “straight line”, and that if we “plan for a good performance”, then we will have one. Reality check: this could not be further from the truth. I have worked with over 5, 000 performers across various different sports and businesses, one thing I can say for sure is that every single performance takes some sort of a turn that you do not expect. There is always some scenario that you cannot, and will not, plan for. There is always something that will happen which makes you stop dead in your tracks and rethink everything that you are doing. This is the point in time where you truly define whether or not you are a high performer; this is where you have to be able to adapt if you want to succeed. This is where you must be resilient.
Think of every high performer that you know; it does not matter if it is an athlete, a family member, or business icon - they are all able to figure it out. It is not that they are perfect performers, but instead that they can make performances look perfect based off the fact that they can bounce back. It is the trait of being able to rebound quicker than the rest, earning the respect and glory from their peers, and achieving the results that they desire. They truly are the fan favourite, and the reason they are is because they are resilient.
Being resilient is simply having the ability to recover, or bounce back, quickly from undesirable conditions. From my experience, it is just having the ability to adapt. It is just being able to keep moving forward regardless of what happens. It is being able to control the “controllables”, in turn allowing you to control the “uncontrollables”. It is the trait that the best of the best possess, and one that you need to start investing in NOW if you want to be a high performer.
There are 4 major traits to invest in when building your resiliency: self-esteem, self-reflection, competence, and building a laser focus. All of these are completely inexpensive traits to work on, and ones that you can start immediately. There is literally no excuse NOT to start; either you want it or you do not. I am going to give you the tools, you just have to apply them.
Trait 1 - Self-Esteem
Self-esteem is having a positive outlook on yourself based on the skills that you possess. Lesson one: invest in yourself to build true skills. Do you know what you are truly good at? Do you know what skills you possess that can boost you to the next level? Do you know what skills to work on in order to become better? If you answered poorly to any of these questions, there is work be done. It is simple: find out what you are good at and go all in on it. Then, on the side, work on the skills you are not so good at. As a result of learning new skills, your self-esteem increases. When it comes to being resilient, the best of the best are able to adapt because they know what they can or cannot do. They do not try to do too much when things do not go their way and instead revert back to their basic strengths that they are good at. Then they execute.
Trait 2 - Self-Reflection
Self-reflection is simply reflecting on yourself, or your performances. When working with my clients I keep it simple; there is a pre-performance and post-performance section, each with a short set of questions. Pre-performance: What is my purpose? What skill am I focusing on? How am I going to execute it today? Post-performance: Did I accomplish what I want? What did I do well? What do I need to get better at, and how will I act on it tomorrow? Remember: simplicity is the key to success. I see a lot of people go wrong when they think they need to get extremely complex, in turn causing too many distractions. Keep it simple, do not over analyze. In regards to resiliency: the more you understand about yourself and the skills you posses, the more self-esteem you build. The more self-esteem you build, the more confident you become in the skills you possess (see how this is truing out to be a big cycle?).
Trait 3 - Competence
“Competence is confidence.” Simply put: the more you know about a situation, or the environment you need to perform in, the more confident you become. Again, keep it simple: understand your role, understand what you need to do in the environment to help your team win, and understand who you are performing against. In regards to resiliency, this will help you understand how to apply your strengths in the given situation. Sometimes we make things too complicated for ourselves and try to pick apart every detail of performance. Instead, understand who you are going up against and how you can perform at your best to give your team the best chance to win.
Trait 4 - Laser Focus
I know the phrase sounds cliche, but the thing is this: we all do not focus well. We think we do, but we truly do not. Think of how many times you had to finish a project, but became side tracked by social media or some other external factor. Or during your last match when you lost focus on the task at hand because you started paying too much attention to what your opponent was doing. Laser focus is easy to develop, we just do not do it. Keep it simple; understand what you have to do specifically in that performance, then go do it. Throughout the entire performance just keep reverting back to the 1-2 tasks that you pick to focus on. Do not go and try to be someone else when things go sideways; revert back to what your focus is. Do not let it break. In regards to being resilient, the more you are able to do your role, the more you let your team recover. If you make a mistake, do not try to make up for it - this just causes more distractions to occur. Instead, get back to your main focuses; get back to the basics.
There you have it. Resiliency is by far one of the best traits that you can invest in if you want to become a high performer. Stick to what you know and continue to invest in your own skills. If you want to develop this skill with the help of Mind-Body Fusion, please click here.
Keep pushing for your results, you will get there.