How to Be a High Performer and Achieve Excellence
Even if the idea of starting your day with a bout of exercise at 5:00 am doesn’t appeal to you, you can still achieve excellence and become a high performer in all aspects of your life. It does, however, require investing time in reviewing and regularly sharpening mental skills using different combinations of awareness exercises, growth exercises, and self-monitoring.
3. Self-Monitor and Live More Consciously
In order to become a high performer, you first need to know or set your benchmark as a starting reference point. Monitoring activities therefore must constitute part of your plans and goals. Determining and mapping starting points is essential. Simple as it seems, it must be done with caution, particularly in situations involving high pressure and mental strain.
A study examining the effectiveness of digital self-monitoring applications demonstrated numerous benefits, but also some very clear negative impacts. Across numerous studies assessing 1768 participants’ experiences with using digital applications that help to promote health and wellbeing, reported benefits included:
- Highlighting of problem behaviors
- Increasing individual accountability
- Fosters more reflection and attention to activities that bring about positive change
- Increase awareness and consciousness of the state of health and wellness
- Concrete information and feedback give greater control to participants to make helpful and informed decisions
Some noteworthy drawbacks included:
- Self-monitoring exercises being tedious and boring
- Monitoring activities provoking health disorders, unhealthy behavioral patterns and thinking (e.g. excessive calorie counting, focusing on weight and body mass, as opposed to recognizing positive mental health changes).
If you are also in the pre-contemplation stage of behavior change, then self-monitoring can have a negative effect. If you are not willing or open to change, self-monitoring and goal setting in themselves are completely pointless activities.
4. Master Habits and Behavior Change
To be a high performer means you need to engage in behaviors that align with excellence. Like the rest of us, you can probably come up with at least ten behaviors and choice patterns that are not high-performance-yielding behaviors!
Created by psychologist and researcher Dr. Albert Ellis, the A-B-C model of behavioral change can help you explore how your unique beliefs and values drive your reactionary responses.
With this stronger self-awareness and understanding, you can then test to see if you are open to challenging your belief system by considering other perspectives and interpretations of what happened. In doing so, you get to explore different responses as opposed to remaining vulnerable each time you are triggered by similar events or situations.
Applying this thought process—particularly toward situations and circumstances that trigger uncomfortable emotional reactions—will greatly help you to regain a sense of mental balance. You increase your ability to remain focused and still maintain momentum in activities that are a high priority for you.
5. Apply Growth and Learning in Regular, Small Doses
Research repeatedly shows that getting optimal sleep improves our memory retention. If you were looking to improve your muscle tone by committing to a weights routine, your personal trainer wouldn’t recommend you exercise the same muscle groups every day. Nor would they recommend you look to increase your reps nor amount of weights you lift, at every subsequent workout.
We are at our greatest point of power to change when we are present in the moment. Therefore, it helps to set goals to focus on experiencing growth and change in short spurts over shorter periods. Our brains are highly powerful at reverting us to what feels safe, comfortable, and easy. If you set goals that require long periods of discomfort and pain void of enough pleasure and emotional reward, you’re setting yourself up for a setback, if not failure and disappointment.
Set goals that entail shorter chunks of effort interspersed with reflective rest periods. Then, go again. This approach also allows for other unexpected life events and important relationships to be preserved and receive the devoted attention they deserve to remain strong and healthy for the long-term.