As an NLP Practitioner (Study of Human Excellence), I am always seeking ways to help people “perform above their self imposed limitations.” Whether it is sports, business or personal, the key to success is learning how to perform above your self imposed limitations. We have all seen what happens when people continue their same old behavior patterns and expect different results. You get the same old results. Yet why do people in all areas of life still operate from this very old, outdated and ineffective model of performance?
The answer is simple: People perform within their comfort zone. The comfort zone is defined as the place in people’s mind where fear, resistance, and obstacles create a false sense of security. A place where people rely and wait on outside influences to impact their life vs relying on inner strengths, improved skill sets and higher level qualities to influence outside circumstance. It is a place where growth, transformation, and skill upgrades don’t exist. It is accepting that nothing can be done and one is the victim of their circumstances. And finally, it is a limited set of behaviors attempting to accomplish goals.
The solution: Fixed goals and variable means.
Explanation: Most people will do the opposite of the solution. They will set variable goals with fixed means rather than fixed goals with variable means. When you set variable goals with fixed means, you will either set goals at a low level or once the goals are set, lower your goals to match your internal and unconsious perception of yourself based on the following factors
1. Limited beliefs. (What you think you are capable of; What you think is possible in the world; What you believe you deserve;, etc.
2. State of mind. (Are you performing in a depressed, anxious, or frustrated state of mind or are you performing with passion, excitement and enthusiasm.)
3. Skill sets. (Are you attempting to accomplish your goals based on the same skill sets you learned years ago, or are you constantly and continuously seeking, learning and applying higher and higher level skill sets.
4. Identity: Do you think of yourself in only one way or do you have many ways to think of your role that can expand your performance. A simple example would be a restaurant server. If you thought of yourself as someone who just served a meal to the customers, then your behavior would reflect your identity. Mechanically, delivering the food, cleaning the table and asking for payment. However, if you expanded your identity to not just a server but also a person who wants to inspire, motivate and deliver happiness to all your customers, in other words a “STATE CHANGER”, then you might develop a whole new set of skills, behaviors and qualities that would create a much different experience for your customers.
5. Environment: Do you work in an environment that keeps you in your current level of thinking, performing and circumstances. Or do you seek new environments (new friends, groups, circumstances) that can assist you to new levels of awareness and performance?
Fixed goals with variable means concept is where you keep your goals and time frames fixed and rather than change your goals to match your perceived capabilities and / or resources, you change your behaviors, mindset and capabilites to meet your goals. You move “yourself” up to meet the higher level goals rather than moving your goals down to meet your current self.
Steps to fixed goals with variable means:
1. Realize you have set your goals within your comfort zone.
2. Revisit your goals by asking how your goals would change if you set them above your self imposed limitations. And then ask yourself: What is the first thing you would notice about your life that would change as a result of these new and revised goals?
3. Set new goals based on #2 and set these goals as fixed goals with fixed time frames.
4. Imagine performing above your self imposed limitations and ask yourself what beliefs, states of mind, skill sets, identity, and environment would be needed to support these higher level goals.
5. Create a self improvement program and create more variable means (i.e. changing mindset – see 1 through 5 above). (Variable means is another word for behavioral flexibility and behavioral flexibility is when one has many options through different behaviors, empowering mindsets and expanded awareness to accomplish one’s fixed goals.
Note: All great athletes have coaches. Individuals and businesses would be served well to have a coach to teach, monitor, evaluate and help adjust ones variable means as well as assisting in setting high level goals.
Dave Isaac is a Certified NLP master practitioner and helps individuals, businesses and athletes perform above their self imposed limitations and achieve peak performance. For more information on NLP, please visit www.acceleratedmastery.com
Dave’s emails is: email@example.com