...article alle the way through and learn why positive thoughts are just as disturbing as negative!
In the next 2 minutes I will describe as short and as good as I possibly can WHY it does NOT matter whether you think either positively or negatively. I will tell you why you never again have to be afraid of the negative “self talk” during or before any Performance. This new understanding will release you from a lot of unnecessary stress and feelings of “Not Mastering The Game of Thought”.
You are probably, like the rest of us used to hearing and reading about the importance of positive affirmations and being in a good/high state/mood before a Presentation or any other Performance situation. The usual idea is also that you should program yourself to MASTER your thoughts.
So I ask you:
- Have you ever succeeded with a Performance (of any kind) after initially having negative thoughts in your head?
- Have you ever been unhappy with a Performance after initially having positive thoughts in your head?
If you answer is yes to any of these two questions, you are starting to get where I am pointing towards.
There is no correlation between WHAT we think and the results we get in our Performance. The secret lies in the simple truth THAT we think.
When we have a clutter, a cacophony of thoughts in our minds (positive or negative), they take away our focus from our present moment and we end up underperforming and not catching important signals from around us since our mind is to busy with our own personal [read limited] thoughts.
Two days ago I played Richard Strauss´ Symphonic Poem after F. Niezsches work “Also Sprach Zarathustra”, you know the one from the “2001- A Space Odyssey” with the amazing Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra.
While I was playing in concert and had passages of high, intense moments on my violin (you should hear the whole piece at one point, pretty crazy awesome), I had this amazing insight about thoughts. You know one of these moments when you see things super clear and it changes you forever. Well, I was in a really grounded and alert state of mind at the time and I saw and felt, that it really does not matter WHAT we think when we perform, it is ALL about noticing that your thoughts are only thoughts in the moment and they are not “true”. THEY ARE JUST THOUGHTS!
Another example: I remember one of my High Performing clients told me in a session that it had happened quite a few times in her performances that she had started to think “YES-this is going well, so cool, fun, fab...” etc. and then 10 seconds later she made a mistake. As a consequence this had made her afraid of thinking positively in a performance situation, since she then had linked the POSITIVE thought to mistakes.
Are you starting to follow me?
It was NOT her positive thoughts that made her do mistakes. It was merely that she started listening to her personal thinking instead of “being in the flow of her Performance” -in the place where we “forget” our thinking and are 100% involved.
Fortunately, to Perform Excellent is much easier than the old positive/negative focus we are so used to reading and learning about. We can stop being afraid for either positive or negative thoughts right now once and for all. This is at least one BIG burden to take off our shoulders.
There are no good or bad thoughts, there are thoughts in the moment and they change. When we understand they are just thoughts we can STOP taking them so f… seriously. I mean it. We take our [non visible] thoughts FAR to serious. That again can cause much stress and pain. This understanding will release us from so much unnecessary pain, energy and pressure. Energy that we need on important matters in our work.
Imagine you no longer have to worry about how or what you think anymore when it comes to Performing. Imagine how much free space you will get inside your brain for more important things than that grey mass of constant self talk! You can now allow yourself to be in the moment and TRUST that your skills and expertise will show up at the right time.
Our DEFAULT state is a state of well being. Look at kids and you will understand. As long as they have slept enough, eaten and are feeling warm and well, they are naturally in a good state withought the in-learned clutter of positive or negative self talk.
When we stop taking our thoughts too seriously, they will no longer OWN us or have the POWER to control our Performance negatively.
As another example is that very often in Business [or life] we will take criticism personally. We will be offended by critical comments and our own defence mechanism system will activate and as a consequence we loose our intelligence and start making bad decisions. When we feel stress or under attack our intelligent part of our brain physically will shut down. This can have a hugely negative effect in your Business.
The good thing is, that when we stop taking our own AND other peoples [negative] thoughts in the moment as “truths”, we free ourselves from the stressful feeling and we enable ourselves to communicate on a much higher level of intelligence.
What to do:
Stop trying to force yourself thinking in a special way.
Notice when your thoughts are speeding up.
Do not take your high speed thoughts too seriously, you are not at your smartest at high speed. Like driving fast, you will miss important details and your communication skills are not at peak level.
Know that you have access to New Fresh Thought ANY second of the day when your mind is out of the fear response. The more you trust this fact, the faster the process goes. When you get more and more into this understanding about thought, you can switch from a negative to a positive feeling in seconds [all by itself].
When you are in a good feeling, when you feel grounded and relaxed or when you “forget” yourself, you are Performing at your Best.
You might not even remember your Best Performances, since you were so much in the moment of it and it wasn't about YOU anymore, but something bigger than you. As a High Performing Person, you will know what I mean.
In my next article I will talk more about this mysterious Peak Performance Place in us! Because maybe it isn't that mysterious after all. So hang on there and see you soon again!
Curious to learn more about levelling up your Performance faster? Please message me on me on firstname.lastname@example.org and lets have a chat about it!