Two Ways to Leverage your Performance

You can let your performance be affected in different ways, or you can choose.

Some people think moods happen to them, and there’s nothing they can do about it except wait until they feel better. Other people access outside sources to feel empowered (commonly drugs or food).

What if I could give you two methods by which you could change your mood consistently when you felt it was being negatively affected?

There are more than two, and you do not have to go out of your way to find them because you already have them. So I really encourage you to try at least one consistently.

Choose your words carefully

In his book The Hidden Dimension, Edward T. Hall makes it quite clear when he cites Benjamin Lee Whorf:

“Language is more than just a medium for expressing thought. It is, in fact, a major element in the formation of thought”.

Think about that for a moment. How powerful is it to be aware of that when you want to change your state?

If you change the way you express your feelings you will be able to change how you feel at the moment. We shall test that now:

Think of the last time you were feeling ‘annoyed’ about something rather simple, like being stuck in traffic, for example.

How would you express yourself at that point? What type of words would you use? What type of feelings do you associate with those words? See where we’re going with this?

Is there anything you want to become exceptional at and be so effective that you get astonishing results every time? Does that sound appealing? What if you changed the word ‘exceptional’ for ‘very good’. Would you still think of that situation in the same way? Feel free to change it back, keep it or pick another descriptor.

So here’s your homework for today. Fill in the blanks in the following sentence with different words, and be aware of how you represent those instances:

For example:

I want to be very good at getting what I want

I want to be exceptionally effective at reaching my goals

Now it’s your turn:

I want to be_____ at _____

Remember, this is only an example to illustrate my purpose, so, in real life, feel free to throw away the sentence structure and use the most empowering language you can find.

So next time you’re feeling ‘annoyed’ or ‘angry’ about something, try using different words to express your feelings. And pay attention to your body’s response.

Change your posture

Your physiology not only shows how you feel but also affects how you feel. By physiology, I mean your gestures, posture, breathing, and other elements that we won’t explore in detail right now.

Have you ever wondered what all the fuss was about disciplines like yoga, for example? You don’t need to be an expert in yoga to understand what I’m talking about. Just by seeing a photo of someone doing yoga, you can get an idea of how they would feel. Basic yoga teaches you to control your breathing and align your spine, two of the main elements of our physiology. The asanas are not necessarily relaxing; that comes later, but they can be quite invigorating. The first word that comes to mind when I see a yoga pose is “dynamic.”

“Your physiology not only shows how you feel, but also affects how you feel”.

Do this thought experiment: When was the last time you saw someone feeling sad? What did they look like? What was their posture like? How were they’re shoulders positioned? They probably looked something like this:

Imagine someone who looks and acts as if they were confident. What do they look like? Look at their posture and shoulders; how are they positioned?

See the difference? Don’t think for a second that this is a coincidence!

Now, try it for yourself! Try moving your body in ways you’ve never done before, and be aware of the changes. Want to feel different? Well,  use your body differently. It is that simple!

The next time you’re feeling ‘down’, get up and go for a walk or do anything active to change your physiology. Be aware of your response after half a minute or so. Take an inventory and pay attention to how you’re using your body and how you’re expressing yourself.

“If don’t like something change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude”
– Maya Angelou

It all starts with you.

That’s it for today. Now go out there and take your next step towards Exceptional Effectiveness, by trying this model the next time you’re in need for change. Start small at first and see it for yourself. It will change your life, just like it changed mine.

Remember, this is practical advice, not just another theory, so do go out and try it, and let me know how you went.

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