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The Difference That Makes a Difference

NLP and Human Development: The Difference That Makes a Difference

Have you ever wondered what it is that allows some people to have a high-performance mindset, while other people seem to attract issues, problems, becoming stuck, while holding themselves back?

The difference that I have noticed in my work with global leaders and elite athletes, is that high-performers are able to reframe their anxiety. This is one of the consistent attributes that allows someone to express a high-class performance mindset.

The ability to unleash yourself from all of the negative thoughts that run through your mind allows you to simply be present here and in the moment. We call this presencing.

In his groundbreaking 1990 book – Flow: The psychology of optimal experience, Mihaly Csikszentmihaly refers to to being present and fully available as the state of Flow. This is the key to high performance – this is flow. To be in flow is emancipation from the mind.


Understanding Pressure

Elite athletes, CEOs, and anyone excelling in their field through high-performance certainly experiences pressure, but they have a different understanding of pressure. Pressure is an inside job, not an outside job – there really isn’t any true external pressure.

The only real pressure that exists is gravity which physically pushes you toward the ground causing you to age. However, there is no material pressure in reality. Pressure comes from within.

People who are high-performers in their chosen field may pressure themselves in order to perform better, however, paradoxically freeing themselves from that pressure is the key to their success. This is called emancipation, and it is fundamental to high-performance outcomes.

High performers in contrast to average performers, release themselves from all internal and external pressure. This gives them the freedom to do what they have trained for, in order to be able to perform.




Talent is Overrated, Practice is Underrated

This freedom presupposes experience. So often in today’s society, people want overnight success.  Talent has become overrated, and practice underrated. In reality, talent does not account for much; it is the practice that enables the emergence of self-actualised talent.

Look at the example of a child who is a prodigy on the piano.  That child still has to put in countless hours of practice to be able to perform at the highest levels.  This is the difference that makes the difference. Even if you have an aptitude for something, you still have to put in the time practicing to become exceptional.

Freedom and emancipation from the mind are what enables a person to express their practice in presence. The practice becomes part of the person, and that’s where high-performance comes from. It is this ability to get yourself out of the way, followed by intentional practice, which leads to greatness.


Practice Your Practices

The hardest thing for most people to do is to practice their practices. Most people really struggle with this because the mind gets in the way with excuses to avoid practicing. They excuse themselves from doing the work they need to do to become a high performer. Yet, all high performers diligently practice their practices.

For these high performers, there is no mind involved; judging the practice.


The process:

  • Become aware of when you are constructing the future in mind (making movies about the future in mind),
  • Identify how you are framing what’s possible and what’s probable in terms of your outcome.
  • Ask yourself; is this me at my best?
  • Become aware of the possibilities which you aren’t paying attention to – the bright side of you.
  • Create and reframe the big bright realistic vision of the future you (literally get a picture of yourself in the future for whom the future isn’t a problem).
  • Identify what this points to in terms of the potential of you.
  • Bring your attention to focussing on what you are doing right now!

It is not a matter of dis-association or association; high performers simply know how to use what serves them, to enable them to practice their practices, freeing them to the best they can be, right now.

To check out the next blog in this leadership series click here

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