Peak Performance in 3 Steps: Believe to Achieve
To achieve success, we must achieve peak performance. The most predictable enabler of peak performance is the power of belief. You can read entire volumes of research on the neuroscience of belief, and I hope that you will, but here are the essential steps for you to take every day to accelerate your journey.
Only a tiny proportion of the world’s people achieve extraordinary success. Throughout history, the single common feature characterizing the performance of each of these rare human beings is a profound belief in their mission.
If you’d like to understand belief better, including the neuroscience of this far-reaching power, you should read this series of blogs that explore the biology of belief. If you’d like to understand the role that belief plays on your journey to health, happiness and prosperity, you should read this book, BodyWHealth: Journey to Abundance.
It might be that very few people are born with the innate ability to use their powers of belief. Most of us have to learn how to do this. The beauty of this natural power is that we can all learn to master it, with diligence and perseverance. We can earn the right to peak performance. This is the beauty of BodyWHealth – by doing simple things consistently and purposefully, we have the ability to attain WHealth. It’s in our own hands!
I define belief as “the deep faith in a current or future state that compels appropriate action and makes success inevitable”. You raise your eyes at the final word? Yes, I truly believe that this power makes success inevitable. In my book, and on my website, you’ll read numerous quotes of successful people who agree.
I challenged myself to distill belief down to its simplest components – a list of actions that you can take that will help you to master the power of belief. Here it is, in 3 words:
- Be Grateful. Start every day with 3 simple gratitudes – thoughts about things for which you are thankful. This is the positive foundation on which you’ll build the massive engine of success. Be thankful for your desire, for your dream, for the arms and legs you have to build it with, the people in your life that will help you. Be thankful for big things and small things. Start every day by listing your three daily gratitudes. They can be different every day, although you will find that over a year you will revisit your favorites regularly. Hold them in your mind throughout the day. Revisit them at breaks and during meals, and again before you go to sleep. A mindset of gratitude generates the hormonal food for a positive disposition, which is a fertile breeding ground for belief.
- See It. Describe your dream. Use detailed, precise words to draw a picture of your desired future. Capture it in writing, or in a drawing. Use photographs of other similar outcomes if that helps you, but make sure that you have defined a very precise image of success. Speak it our loud. The day I said I was an author, I became an author. Do NOT spend any mental energy on what you do NOT want. If you allow your cognitive brain to be pre-occupied with talk about failure, or doubts, or fears, these will become your reality. Your vision must be pure and positive. Work to control the conversation in your mind, so this picture predominates.
- Be it. Be the success you want to become. Once you have the clear image of the person you want to be, in the words of the famous athletic marketing slogan, “just do it”. I wish my advice were more intellectually elegant, but the road to success is that simple. Wear the clothes that the future you wears. Speak the way she speaks. Do what he does. In the beginning, this may be hard. It may even feel ridiculous. “How can I act like a successful fashion designer, before I make it onto the runways of Paris?” Here is the truth; when you fake it, you make it. And I don’t use the word “fake” in a superficial or devious sense. You’re simply adopting the mantle of the future you. In a penetrating and enduring fashion, embracing the future in this way modifies your prevailing mindset. Belief ensues, followed by success.
If you’ve tried all this, but haven’t succeeded, you can delve deeper into the complexities of this natural power.
You may have limiting beliefs that are hard to dislodge and keep you from believing. There are specific strategies for handling these. Once you identify and understand them, you can ignore them, challenge them, distract your brain from focusing on them, or even overwhelm them.
You should consult with a performance coach to help you. But honestly, even successful coaches wrestle with doubts and fears. And when they step back to find a path forward, most of them will remember the fundamental skills of thanking, thinking and acting. These are the same simple steps to belief and success for all of us.
One tiny recommendation with far-reaching impact: stand tall. Practice your success posture. Seriously, stand in front of the mirror for two minutes every day. Raise your arms in the V for victory. Your brain reads these somatic messages. They become imprinted in your thoughts and actions. You can posture your way to peak performance.
With every ounce of matter in my body, I believe the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson:
“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”
It’s in your hands!
Dr. Roddy Carter, MD, has over 30 years of experience working across a range of medical disciplines and corporate settings.
At the height of his successful career, Roddy experienced his own health and happiness crisis. During this profoundly transformative time, he began applying his deep knowledge of performance neuroscience to his everyday life. He discovered that, in moments of trauma, the brain develops intricate psycho-protective adaptations to ensure our short-term survival; however, these adaptations often impose substantial residual limitations, create distress, and prevent us from reaching our full innate potential.