Achieving True Peak Natural Performance
Our culture is inundated with messages about success and achievement—and all of them perpetuate the same myth: that we need the latest tip or find the latest shortcut to achieve success.
It’s the subtext in all the magazines, all the advertisements, all over social media and on TV: to reach your goals, you need the latest training technique, the latest diet fad, the latest pre-workout loaded with the most stimulants. This myth makes a lot of companies a lot of money.
All those folks selling “weight-loss” pills, “14-Day weight-loss” plans, “short cuts” to get lean and shredded fast”---they all profit handsomely from our feelings of insecurity.
These feelings aren’t based on reality —the idea that someone can get the massive results they want almost instantly without putting in the level of work it takes, the consistency it takes, the time it takes, is just setting themselves up for failure and disappointment.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for learning how to do things right and saving time to reach goals faster, but we also need to be realistic and be willing and able to put in the time and work it takes to reach out goals.
It’s one thing to notice these messages when we see them in the media, or even to recognize when someone says something to us like, “Wow! Have you tried this new pre-workout? ---you’ve got to get it. It’ll get you jacked!”
But it’s a lot trickier to notice when we start thinking this way and doing it ourselves. We’ve absorbed these messages from the media and advertisers for years—so we often don’t even notice how they’ve influenced the ways we think about ourselves or the actions we take every day.
But we can start. We can catch ourselves, in the moment, when we’re beginning to think this way ourselves—we can change the way we think and talk to ourselves.
And when we change the way we think and talk to ourselves; we change the way we feel and the actions we take.
"As we change the way we think---we change the way we act, the way we approach things, and even what we are able to accomplish."
As we change the way we think---we change the way we act, the way we approach things, and even what we are able to accomplish. We become more focused on our goals, more strategic, more realistic about what we need to do—which gives us more confidence to take action and push forward.
Here are some ways I’ve learned to unlock my peak natural performance---to hold myself to the standard that’s in alignment with my own philosophy, instead of the messages I’ve absorbed from outside.
As I’ve practiced these things, I’ve found myself achieving so much more of my goals—more fitness goals, more career goals, more relationship goals. I bet you will too.
Pay attention to your thoughts when something doesn’t happen the way you had hoped. Do you take 100% ownership of it? Or is it someone or something else’s fault? If you want to make a change in your life, you must take 100% ownership of what happens in your life. Otherwise, if you don’t own it, you won’t change it or move forward.
Here are a few examples.
Does your workout partner keep flaking on you? Start working out alone or at least until you find a new workout partner that’s dedicated too. You don’t want your workout partner’s flaking to be an excuse to not work out yourself.
You aren’t losing the weight you want? Research what foods and how much you should be eating. Then preplan and prepare your meals ahead of time. This way you have the correct meals ready to go when it’s time to eat. Don’t let not having the right foods be the reason you don’t eat right. Not losing the weight you want; just means you need to learn more and be more disciplined with your meals.
You didn’t perform as well as you hoped? If you don’t perform as well as you’d like during a workout or at a competition, learn from the experience. Work on and improve the areas you need to and if needed get expert advice/guidance. Give yourself time to improve. Then, when you feel ready, enter another competition go for that PR to test yourself again.
Part of taking 100% ownership of your goals and improving areas of your life is planning and preparing ahead of time to set yourself up to be successful. I’ve seen it many times when someone sets a goal for themselves with no real plan or preparation to achieve their goal. You need to plan and prepare ahead of time.
Here are a couple of examples.
Preplan and prepare your food ahead of time. From above, having your food ready before you leave for work, school or travel will do a few things for you. First, it will allow you to make sure you’re getting the proper nutrition you need to reach your health and fitness goals. It will also remove all thinking and decision making when it’s time to eat. This frees up your time during your day and increases your chance of eating right for your goals.
Preplan and prepare your workout. Knowing exactly what time you’re going to work out and what you’re going to do for your workout increases the chance of working out and makes your workout much more efficient and effective. For example, are you working out first thing in the morning or right after work? If you’re working out first thing in the morning, have your clothes laid out and ready to put on in the morning. If you’re working out after work, have your clothes packed and ready to take with you. Also, if you know exactly what you’re doing for your workout before you start, you can get right into your workout and get it done a lot faster.
Once you take ownership, plan, and prepare ahead of time, it’s time to take action right away and get after your goals. Lack of taking action is one of the biggest reasons people don’t reach their goals. So, you want to act as soon as you can.
Here are a few examples.
You don’t have time to work out? Get up 20 minutes earlier and workout before going to work. This way you don’t have to worry about missing your workout later. You can work out longer if you’d like and have time, but you can get a solid workout done in as little as 20 minutes if you’re pressed for time.
You don’t have time to cook that much food? On one day of the week, make your food list and buy everything you need for the week ahead. Then, cook twice during the week. Each time cook enough food to last you half the week. This way you’re only cooking two times during the week. You save time and money this way.
You don’t have what you need to get started? Get started with what you have now and get what you need as soon as you can. For example, if you don’t have a piece of workout equipment you need, get started working out without it, and get it when you can. Bodyweight workouts are a great way to start working out without equipment. Want a gym membership but don’t have one? Workout at home for now. Don’t have a fancy bag to take your food with you to work? Use a paper bag. Get started with what you have now and don’t let now having something keep you from doing anything.
Practice these three principles of taking 100% ownership of everything that happens in your life, planning and preparing ahead of time and taking action right away. We covered a few examples, but these three principles can be applied to most if not all areas of your life.
It can be tough to apply these three principles at first. None of us are going to just magically be able to apply a new mindset and habits perfectly without slipping every now and then. But, every time we repeat something to ourselves, we reinforce the mindset and habit.
So, if you keep repeating the mindset and habit, you’re going to reinforce the idea, the mindset, and the habit you want to build.
After a while, if you keep reinforcing that new message and habits, you’ll find you start to get things done and make a lot more progress faster and with less friction. You’ll also start to feel more confident and a lot better about yourself.