Friday, December 6, 2013

Success and Peak Performance

Peak performance is not a sole right of peak performers. Also other people than the top athletes and world famous performers need experiences of their own peak performances.
We all need our own, even small, peak performances to bring enjoyment, excitement and push to our life. Without these small or big moments of peak performance, we can easily feel that there is “something missing” from our life. Without our own moments of peak performance, our life can easily become boring, benumbing and dull, won’t it?
Success at almost anything requires at least some sort of peak performances. There are moments in our life when we all would like pull out our best performance. To some, it could be at any kind of competition at any level of sport, to someone else it could be at any kind of performance in front of an audience, yet to another, it could be simply managing to get promptly, efficiently and successfully through the daily tasks.
Peak performance is not an accident, either. It requires skills and practice, but in addition to that, you also need a right kind of challenge and an optimum mental state, in which you can seize all your know-how in the best possible way.
Whatever your needs, goals or circumstances are, all peak performances require two extremely essential elements:
  1. The right kind of goal, and
  2. The right kind of emotional state

The Right Kind of Goal

When aiming for a peak performance, a state of flow can almost without an exception guarantee at least an excellent execution – and by the state of flow, I mean the ideal state of performance, where performing feels extremely effortless and smooth.
Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, who is the former head of the department of psychology at the University of Chicago, is probably the most famous researcher of flow. Csíkszentmihályi has defined the factors that contribute to the flow, and as the most important of them he finds to be the right balance between the goals and available resources.
As I have already noted in several of my other articles, goals in general are a key factor in any kind of success, since they control our actions – either consciously or unconsciously. When our goal is challenging enough, but yet not overwhelming, it gives us just the right kind of value in reference to our performance and success.

The Right Kind of Emotional State

Our emotional state determines at large extent the kind of actions and behaviors we generate. Our emotional state, then, is affected mainly by two factors: our physiology and our thinking (thinking = internal representations).

The optimal state for a peak performance requires the right kind of physiology (for example the postures of the spine and head, eyes upwards, chest out etc.), since the right kind of physiology sends the right kind of message to our brain and nervous system – say, the message of self-confidence.
Our thoughts, on the other hand, are formed mainly from our internal pictures and internal sounds. What kind of internal dialogue and in what tone of voice we say them, greatly affects our feelings. And so do the internal pictures we look at: are we looking at pictures of success or perhaps pictures of failure?
So, only by having the right kind of goals and the right kind of state of mind, we can improve our performance tremendously. Of course there are also other factors that are present in any peak performance. However, all the factors mentioned above, as well as many other factors involved with peak performance and success, can be enhanced and practiced surprisingly fast with NLP techniques and exercises.
The above mentioned elements and exercises are also a substantial part of the NLP based Peak Performance Coaching, which is developed to help people to achieve the success they want at practically any area of their life.

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