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Image / Editorial

High performance is more than a habit, it’s a mindset


by Rosie McMeel
28th Sep 2019

 Business and personal coach, James Sweetman will be hosting an IMAGE Masterclass on taking ownership of your career on October 17. Here, he discusses how high performance is more than a habit, it’s a mindset. 


“We are what we repeatedly do, excellence therefore is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle.

Generate Energy

High performers know the importance of managing their energy levels. How do you fuel yourself when it comes to nutrition, hydration, exercise and rest? I pay particular attention to two key distinctions when it comes to managing my own energy levels. The first is my breathing. Stress, anxiousness and feelings of being overwhelmed are synonymous with a fast shallow breath. Purposeful deep breaths oxygenate the blood, which paradoxically calms us down, but also keeps us alert. Monitor how you manage your transitions – the shift between different tasks throughout the day, as well as the transition from work mode to personal mode.

Book now: Taking Control of Your Career Masterclass, Oct 17

Results Focus

How will you know you are on the right track unless you know your destination? We might use the term goal, objective or commitment, but when it comes to high performance the focus is on results. In a match a goal may or may not be scored, but there will always be a result. What’s important? What’s my intention? What does success look like here?

Dig Deep – Resilience

A real sign of a champion’s mindset is that they pull out a performance when it matters most. Just as we build muscle through resistance training, the challenges we face present the greatest opportunities for learning and growth. High performers relish being pushed by a strong opponent, because it takes a challenge to bring out their best.

Productivity Focus

There is a marked difference between being busy and being productive. We also know that just because we do a task well, doesn’t mean that task is important. High performers are not busy people, they are productive people, applying their energy, attention and effort where it matters most.

Develop Influence

Social skills and the ability to establish positive working relationships are vital competencies when it comes to high performance. True high performers are humble, they recognise the skills and contributions of others. It’s not just what you achieve, but how you achieve it and who you are (the qualities and attitude you display) in the process of achievement that matters most.

Demonstrate Courage

It is never confidence that gets us to push outside our comfort zone, to try something new, to dig deep, it is always courage. When we think about people we admire a common factor will be the courage demonstrated in overcoming challenges. High performers acknowledge their struggles because they know that this is how you build character.

Performance no matter how it’s labelled is found at the intersection of motivation, capability and behaviour.

High performance follows when a positive mindset, ignites an expanding skillset and is translated into daily habits that are continuously refined.

IMAGE Masterclass with James Sweetman


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