Knowing what to do and doing it are two entirely different things. So often, we know exactly what we need to do to improve our lives or performance, but we just can’t seem to make ourselves do it. If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. This is one of the most common challenges people face. But there is a solution. And it starts with understanding the science behind why we sometimes don’t do what we know we should.
With this understanding, you’ll be better equipped to coach yourself to the highest levels of success you could imagine—a place where you’re performing at your best, day in and day out.
How to Coach Yourself for Peak Performance
Today, we’ll cover everything you need to know about how to coach yourself for peak performance, including powerful tools and strategies to keep in your arsenal. Let’s get started!
Understand the science of why we do what we do (or don’t do)
The first step to self-coaching is understanding the science behind our behavior. Why do we do the things we do? Why do we not do some things? And what can we do to encourage or motivate ourselves to do what we know we need to do?
There are two key concepts to understand here:
- The difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation
- The role of willpower in self-control
Intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation
Broadly speaking, there are two different types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation comes from within ourselves—it’s driven by personal interest or enjoyment in the task at hand. On the other hand, extrinsic motivation comes from external factors like rewards or punishments.
With peak performance in mind, we’re primarily interested in intrinsic motivation—the kind that comes from within ourselves and drives us to do our best work day in and day out. After all, peak performance is about sustaining peak levels of effort and interest over long periods. And this is only possible if we’re intrinsically motivated, to begin with.
Many different factors contribute to our intrinsic motivation, but one of the most important is a sense of autonomy—the feeling that we’re in control of our own lives and destiny. When we feel like we’re in charge of our own lives, we’re much more likely to be engaged and enthusiastic about what we’re doing.
Alternatively, when our sense of autonomy is low, we often feel helpless and hopeless. This can lead to a whole host of problems, including anxiety, depression, and even addiction. As such, maintaining a high level of intrinsic motivation is essential to peak performance.
The role of willpower in self-control
Willpower is another crucial concept to understand when it comes to peak performance. Simply put, willpower is “the ability to resist short-term temptations to achieve long-term goals.” It allows us to stick to our goals even when we’re tired, stressed, or tempted to give up.
Self-control is a vital part of peak performance because it’s what allows us to stay focused and disciplined even when the going gets tough. Without self-control, it would be impossible to maintain peak performance levels over time.
Several factors contribute to our self-control, but one of the most important is our sense of self-efficacy—the belief that we can achieve our goals. When we believe in ourselves and our ability to succeed, we’re much more likely to stick to our goals even when the going gets tough.
On the other hand, low self-efficacy might mean we give up easily or avoid challenging tasks altogether. This can lead to a host of problems, including procrastination, anxiety, and depression. It’s also evident that having a high degree of self-control is critical for optimal performance.
Use these Tools and Strategies to Self-Coach for Peak Performance
Now that you understand the science behind peak performance, it’s time to implement this knowledge.
Here are some powerful tools to coach yourself for peak performance:
Set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals
The first step to self-coaching is to set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals. This offers you a clear roadmap to follow and helps you stay focused and on track.
Break your goals down into small, manageable steps
Once you have your SMART goals in place, the next step is to break them down into small, manageable steps. This makes it much easier to achieve your goals and maintain peak performance over time.
Create a positive feedback loop
A positive feedback loop is a powerful tool that can help you maintain peak performance over time. Essentially, a positive feedback loop is created when you receive positive reinforcement for reaching your goals. This reinforcement can come in the form of rewards, compliments, or simply the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve accomplished something important.
The key to creating a successful positive feedback loop is ensuring that the rewards you give yourself are meaningful and motivating. For example, if your goal is to move more, you might give yourself a small reward each time you reach your step goal for the day. Over time, this positive reinforcement will help you maintain peak performance and reach your goals.
Get rid of distractions
Distractions are one of the biggest enemies of peak performance. When we’re trying to focus on a task, any kind of distraction can quickly derail our progress and lead to subpar results. Therefore, it’s essential to eliminate as many distractions as possible when you’re trying to self-coach for peak performance.
In addition, it’s also important to create a physical environment that is conducive to peak performance. This means eliminating clutter and creating a calm, comfortable, and distraction-free space.
Get rid of negative self-talk
Negative self-talk is another enemy of peak performance. When we’re trying to achieve something important, it’s essential to believe in ourselves and our ability to succeed. However, negative self-talk can quickly undermine our confidence and lead to discouragement and defeat.
To overcome negative self-talk, it’s important to become aware of the thoughts that are running through your head. Once you’re aware of the negative self-talk, you can start to challenge and reframe these thoughts. For example, if you’re thinking, “I can’t do this,” you can reframe this thought as, “I can do this.”
By reframing your negative self-talk, you’ll be able to increase your confidence and maintain peak performance over time.
Try vagus nerve stimulation
Finally, consider trying vagus nerve stimulation or VNS.
Vagus nerve stimulation involves sending electrical impulses to the vagus nerve—a nerve partially responsible for regulating the body’s stress response. These electrical impulses help modulate the body’s stress response, leading to improved self-control and peak performance.
There are several different ways to stimulate the vagus nerve, including using a handheld transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation device. tVNS devices are safe and easy to use, and they are effective in improving self-control and peak performance. Learn more at Neuvana today!
Self-coaching is a powerful tool that can help you achieve peak performance. You can increase your chances of success by setting SMART goals, breaking down your goals into small steps, creating a positive feedback loop, eliminating distractions, and getting rid of negative self-talk. In addition, try vagus nerve stimulation to help you maintain peak performance over time.