When I’m helping clients build the proper habits to have a High Performance Mindset I’m constantly reminded that there is an on-going battle in place. There are the habits we are trying to develop to move us up the hill and then there are the boulders falling down the hill that are trying to slay us. One of these boulders is guilt.
Guilt is basically a feeling of failure for not reaching an intended outcome. The problem is that these intended outcomes can come from many different places (family, bosses, co-workers, religions, society, etc.). These outcomes are often unrealistic, unhealthy, not pertinent or meaningless.
So what is the key to getting rid of guilt? First, quit focusing on outcomes and instead focus on the performance based factors you can control. This means, focus on your self-talk, the stories you tell yourself, your mental preparation, your review process, your movement habits, your nutrition habits, and your recovery habits. Second, question the outcomes you keep chasing. Are they realistic? Are they within your control? Have you tied your self-worth to them? Where did they come from? What would happen if you didn’t achieve them (worse case scenario)? Are they necessary?
The interesting thing that I’ve found is the more my clients focus on these outcomes, the more guilty they feel, the more distracted they become, the more overwhelmed they feel and the greater the chance of them falling short. The more they focus on their habits, on the little things they can do everyday, and on the action items within their control the more often they not only meet their goals – they exceed them and become Sustainable High Performers.
By Scott Peltin
Founder & Chief Performance Officer