Posts Tagged ‘Peak Performance’
Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012
by Bob Simpson, Synchronicity Performance Consulting
Timothy Gallwey’s 1974 book The Inner Game of Tennis – The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance is credited as introducing concepts used by many of the pioneers of personal development and life coaching.
Gallway discusses the existence of two personalities that influence your inner game – Self 1: The Teller and Self 2: The Doer. “Within each player (person) the kind of relationship that exists between Self 1 and Self 2 is the prime factor in determining one’s ability to translate his knowledge of technique into effective action.”
Another way to look at this is to refer to Self 1 as The Critic and Self 2 as The Performer.
Our brains are fine-tuned machines that allow us to do amazing things. Give The Performer a problem and ask it for a solution. Without the obstacles thrown in its way by The Critic, solutions will appear before your eyes.
For those of us who are parents, we are all familiar with the two grumpy old guys (Statler and Waldorf) on Sesame Street, who sit in the balcony and make critical comments. As you attempt to make a decision or perform a task, the Statler and Waldorf characters are constantly chattering:
- “You can’t do that.”
- “Where did you ever get the idea that you could hit a golf ball in the fairway.”?
- ”You can’t maintain this pace at which you are running. You are going to die.”
- “You aren’t ready to manage this person’s money. You don’t have the knowledge or experience.”
- “You are a bum. A loser.”
The Critic does not trust The Performer and is constantly offering advice, but rather than improving performance, the negative input erodes our confidence. Confidence is our trust in our ability to achieve a goal or perform a task and without this trust, we constantly fail to perform up to our potential.
The Critic’s inner voices gain strength from your external critics: spouses and other family members, co-workers, managers and clients. We all have people in our lives who are constantly on our case and who erode our confidence.
To perform at your best, you need to silence your internal and external critics. You need to work and play with a quiet, confident mind and achieve a Performance Mindset.
Have you ever watched one of your children, who is so intent and focused while playing with Lego, that he doesn’t notice anything that is happening around him? This is a great example of a quiet mind performing at its best and without the internal critics. He may play with Lego for hours but if you asked him, he’d say it was only minutes.
Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes this as a Flow Experience. “Flow is the mental state of operation, in which a person in an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity.” (Wikipedia) It occurs when the ability of the individual and the difficulty of the task are equal and an individual is acting with a high degree of confidence and focus.
A first step in quieting The Critic is to change the way you interpret things that happen around you. The Critic is judgmental. It constantly assigns positive or negative values to events and then by dwelling on negative events, you send a signal to your brain to bring the negative images to life.
“I hate hitting golf balls over water hazards. I can’t seem to hit a good shot over water. I’d better use an old ball because it is just going to go straight into the middle of that pond.”
Negative self-talk, initiated by The Critic, shifts your focus from a quiet and confident mindset to the pond and all its negative implications. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy that your ball will fly or bounce into the pond.
Timothy Gallwey writes: “Getting it together mentally.. involves the learning of several mental skills: 1) learning how to get the clearest possible picture of your desired outcomes; 2) learning how to trust Self 2 (The Performer) to perform at its best and learn from both successes and failures; and learning to see ‘non-judgmentally” – that is, to see what is happening rather than merely noticing how well or badly it is happening.”
Bob Simpson is President of Synchronicity Performance Consultants. Bob can be reached on his direct line at 905−502−0100, toll free at 866−646−6002 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Bob Simpson
Synchronicity Performance Consulting has been coaching financial advisors since 1998.
Bob Simpson, president and founder of Synchronicity has been involved, directly or indirectly in the financial services industry since 1981. He has been a very successful financial advisor with Nesbitt Thomson Inc., a major Canadian financial institution. Between 1981 and 1989, he built a business with more than $120 million in assets under management, was branch manager and SVP National Sales for Midland Walwyn and has been coaching financial advisors since 1998.
Tags: Amazing Things, Critical Comments, Doer, Effective Action, Gain Strength, Gallway, Golf Ball, Improving Performance, Inner Game Of Tennis, Inner Voices, Life Coaching, Negative Input, Offering Advice, Peak Performance, Prime Factor, Sesame Street, Statler And Waldorf, Statler And Waldorf Characters, Statler Waldorf, Timothy Gallwey
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Monday, February 6th, 2012
A few years ago, I read two books entitled Golf is Not A Game of Perfect and Golf is a Game of Confidence by Dr. Bob Rotella, one of the world’s leading mental game coaches. These books inspired me to do additional research to find out what it took to become a Mental Game Coach, as it seemed like a natural match for me as my non-family time is mostly spent working with advisors, who have similar mental game issues as professional and amateur athletes or playing sports. In 2011, I took a sports psychology course to become a Certified Mental Game Coaching Professional.If you click on either of the titles above, you will be directed to Audible.com. If you are unfamiliar with Audible, it is a website that sells audiobooks. I have a gold membership that allows me to download one book each month for $14.95 per month. This is a great solution if you are working out or driving. Both books are one-and-a-half hours in length and are probably best purchased for under $10 each if you want to try before you buy a membership.
When I first listened to Golf is Not a Game of Confidence, my reaction was that everything Rotella discusses in these books can be applied to financial advisors. In this series of articles, I will discuss how professional athlete’s preparation for peak performance can be used to help you perform better when running your business.
I found a great article in Golf Digest entitled 10 Rules For How To Win Your Major by Dr. Rotella. Below are his 10 rules and my comments about how each relates to your business. You can read the full article by clicking on the article title:
1. Believe you can win.
Confidence is the number one driver of success for advisors. The past decade has been very difficult for advisor confidence. Markets have been difficult, technological change is sweeping your industry and you are dealing with a whole new brand of much more demanding clients – Baby Boomers. On the other hand, to build a great business, you need to build strong relationships with a handful (100 – 150) of high net worth families who need the services your provide and are willing to pay the fees you charge. With the right focus, building a successful wealth management business can be a fairly simple game to win.
2. Don’t be seduced by results.
If you want to play great golf, you need to focus on the process and not the result. In business, you need to do the right things everyday and the score will take care of itself. Especially in a fee-based style business, revenue is dependent on attracting the right clients to your practice and achieving consistently high levels of client satisfaction.
3. Sulking won’t get you anything.
Is it easy to get down on yourself over the past decade? In 2008, with client losses mounting, advisors who maintained their business development discipline were flat in AUM, revenue and profitability. Those who sulked and stopped trying to attract new clients suffered 20 – 30% drops in AUM and revenue and devastating hits to their profitability.
4. Beat them with patience.
Building a great business and achieving great results for your clients is a marathon and not a sprint. Set achievable and realistic goals and be patient and you will avoid traps that prevent you from being successful or get you in trouble.
5. Ignore unsolicited swing advice.
When you have a plan in place for your business, don’t let distractions get in the way of achieving your goals. During a typical business year, you will be presented with advice from colleagues, wholesalers and managers. Create a Word document and store those ideas for review when you build your next one or three-year plan.
6. Embrace your golf personality.
If your business is not fun, you will have trouble being really successful. Your style of business and the types of clients you work with will determine your success. Do what you enjoy and delegate the rest.
7. Have a routine to lean on.
Most people resist routine because they feel that it robs them of flexibility and creativity. In fact, routine helps you to improve focus and get more done in less time. That gives you time to really focus on being creative and having fun without daily distractions getting in the way.
8. Find peace on the course.
Your ability to achieve a quiet mind will allow you to minimize stress and perform at your best. Conflicts, frustrations and distractions detract from performance. A great formula is Performance = Potential – (conflicts, frustrations and distractions).
9. Test yourself in stroke play.
Stroke play in your business is client interaction. Just like you want to perform well on every hole in a round of golf, you want to do the same every time you interact with a client. Client meetings are your stage for your great performances.
10. Find someone who believes in you.
It is easy to find people who are interested in your performance but do they really believe in you? Your firms, branch managers, wholesalers and sometimes even your family members have financial interests in their relationships with you. We love to find people who have an aggressive vision because this is what is going to motivate them to build a great business.
This is the first in a series of articles about improving your business and your golf game by Bob Simpson, President of Synchronicity Performance Consultants and Certified Mental Game Coaching Professional. He can be contacted at 905−502−0100 or email@example.com.
About Bob Simpson
Synchronicity Performance Consulting has been coaching financial advisors since 1998.
Bob Simpson, president and founder of Synchronicity has been involved, directly or indirectly in the financial services industry since 1981. He has been a very successful financial advisor with Nesbitt Thomson Inc., a major Canadian financial institution. Between 1981 and 1989, he built a business with more than $120 million in assets under management and was one of the first Canadian advisors to build a team.
Tags: Additional Research, Amateur Athletes, Article Title, Baby Boomers, Dr Bob Rotella, Dr Rotella, Family Time, Game Issues, Gold Membership, Golf Digest, Golf Game, Golf Is A Game Of Confidence, Great Solution, Mental Game Coach, Peak Performance, Playing Sports, Professional Athlete, Psychology Course, Sports Psychology, Two Books
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Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011
By Norm Trainor
Many financial advisors tell me that they suffer from sleep disorders. I have experienced disruptive sleep patterns since my childhood. Often, I will wake up at 3 or 4 AM and have difficulty getting back to sleep. My mind kicks in and will not rest. I think about my business and the challenges we face. Like many high achievers, I am driven to achieve business goals and my focus is on what we need to do to accomplish our objectives. At times, my desire to achieve those goals gets in the way of my performance.
My wife, Wendy, is a Marital and Sex Therapist. One of the things she has taught me is that anxiety is blocked excitement. Whenever we experience anxiety, it is a result of losing touch with our excitement. Many successful financial advisors have difficulty in differentiating between goals and working to the best of their abilities. They don’t wake up in the morning and say “I’m going to work to the highest level of my capability today.” They start out with a goal. It is the goal that motivates them. The profound point of difference is in the pursuit of doing your best versus needing to achieve an outcome. You learn to give up your attachments to results. If you are true to your purpose, what will happen is meant to be. If you do your best and do not achieve your goal, it is the right outcome. This is a powerful insight and, yet, we are often left with the question, what do we do about it?
For many financial advisors, the drive is to reach a desired revenue goal e.g. $150,000, $500,000, $1,000,000, etc., not to be the best they can be. You change the inner game when you pursue your goals as a means of fulfilling your capability. The paradox is that pursuing a goal often gets in the way of peak performance, especially when anxiety comes into play. We begin to obsess and worry about the achievement of the goal. As a result, we lose touch with our excitement about what we are doing and why we are doing it.
One of the best ways to achieve better output is to let go of your attachment to results. If you are doing your best, then being attached to outcomes can only reduce your output, let alone quality of life. Goals are useful in that they give us a target to pursue. When we convert those goals into objectives i.e. specific measurable results within a stated timeframe, we can track our progress.
What is important is to keep the end game in perspective. Our work is not about reaching a goal. At its best, work makes us whole. It is a means of expressing what is important to us and gives us meaning. We spend more time at work than in any other area of our lives. If we are not enjoying our work, it takes a toll on the rest of our lives. So, next time you wake up at 4 AM and find yourself obsessing about work, take a minute to re-connect with your excitement about what you are doing and why you are doing it. This will allow you to fall back into a pleasant and restful sleep.
Norm Trainor is the founder of The Covenant Group, a company specializing in practice development for advisors. For further information, visit his Web site at www.covenantgroup.com.
Tags: Anxiety, Attachments, Back To Sleep, Business Goals, Capability, Desire, Excitement, Financial Advisors, High Achievers, Inner Game, Insight, Losing Touch, Norm Trainor, Paradox, Peak Performance, Performance Anxiety, Sex Therapist, Sleep, Sleep Disorders, Sleep Patterns, Wife Wendy
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