Don MacNaughton Coaching

Keep Your Performance in Perspective

“What we see depends mainly on what we look for.” – John Lubbock

How you define success and failure is a personal choice. In a competitive event, the officials keeping score declare the winners and the losers, but how you define the success or failure of your performance is not so cut and dry.

If you’re competing in an event and it’s your goal to win, you might view anything other than a win as a total failure, right? But, if it’s your goal to achieve a personal best and you do, are you a success or a failure if your PB then places you second from bottom on the final scoreboard? You see, not so cut and dry. And here’s another thought to ponder over: you might consider your performance on the day of an event to be your worst ever, but what if it represents an aspirational dream performance to someone else?

Everything is relative to something else, including success and failure.

If you’re comparing yourself to others, you might consider yourself a failure in comparison to the competition winner, but here’s the thing, the winner might also consider themselves to be a failure because they’re comparing themselves to someone who achieved a better winning score than theirs in a previous event.

How you define yourself or your circumstances is purely down to perspective.

From your perspective, the winner is successful, but from the winner’s perspective, they’re unsuccessful. When you take a moment to think about it, success and failure don’t exist. Only our perceptions of success and failure exist, and those perceptions are relative to our beliefs.

As an athlete, if you fail to make the team, or fail to achieve a podium position, or fail to achieve any goal in competition or in training, you may well define yourself as a failure. Your comparison of yourself to others is negative, so your thoughts are negative, and your attitude is negative. Negative thinking  if you buy into it can only ever hold you back and prevent you from realising your true potential.

To move on from disappointment, you need to maintain a positive mental attitude.

Learning how to keep things in perspective is essential in terms of improving your performance and achieving your full potential. If it’s your belief that your disappointing performance was your absolute best effort and you’ll never be able to get any better, then you won’t get any better. To get better, you need to believe that it’s possible for you to improve, and this means learning from your disappointment and moving on. When you get things into perspective, you accept that today’s performance does not define tomorrow’s performance, or the performance after that… and by maintaining a positive mental attitude, you’re able to shift your focus from what you didn’t achieve to what you did achieve and what you still can achieve if you keep putting your best effort into training and preparation for the next event.

To change your circumstances, all you need to do is change your perspective.

Don MacNaughton is a High-Performance Coach and has worked tirelessly to help clients achieve success in the world of sport and business over the past 15 years.   The next, highly popular, NLP Diploma and Life Coaching Certificate course starts in April 2019.  Click here for more information or to sign up.

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