What high performance should look like

When you hear the words “high performance” or “success”, what picture/vision comes to mind for you? Is it something you aspire to, or something totally unattainable? What does it actually mean to be high performing and successful? Can you see yourself in this vision, or is it someone else achieving your goal?

I recently spoke to a group of professionals on this very subject and at the end of the session embarked on a discussion with one of the attendees who, quite rightly, pointed out everyone’s vision of high performance is different.

Living the dream?

Generally, when I ask others what it means to them, often I get told one of two different views; the first being a vision of an athlete, across many different sports (depending on the person’s general interests) looking fit, focused, determined to win etc. The second conjures up visions more aligned to being wealthy, having a certain lifestyle, “living the dream”, having certain physical and tangible items to “prove” your success etc. But what is the dream? A lot of the time this thought drives people to chase after things that don’t really fill them with purpose inside, and hence, leaves them settling for a life that is not particularly fulfilling. And why should high performance only be for athletes?

Everyone has their own definition of success and high performance. This is exactly why, when coaching, we focus in on the individual and their specific needs – what success looks and feels like for one person will be totally different for the next one. Creating a sustainable lifestyle to support this is the only way to achieve your goals.

High performance to me is…

So, what should it look like for you? My friend mentioned above made a very interesting realisation at my session, noting that until that day she had envisaged high performance as something unattainable for her. Her vision had included pictures of a high-flying, corporate woman, earning big dollars, a lavish lifestyle, achieving the impossible by delivering on numerous tasks in unrealistic timeframes etc. It sounds fabulous, and all totally unrealistic for this particular person. However, after my presentation she now has a totally different view. She realised the vision she had created in her mind was that of other people’s thoughts and beliefs. She didn’t actually want to be someone who worked long hours, making loads of money and spending every waking hour creating the perception life was wonderful. She actually just wanted to use her energy more wisely to create impactful outcomes for those she served and wanted to serve within her professional and personal communities.

This was a huge win in my view. Being able to support someone to gain clarity on their vision of high performance and success and start to create a strategy for achieving it is definitely part of my personal vision. Not only that but seeing her realise what her success reality actually is and that is attainable is definitely personally satisfying. High performance isn’t just for athletes or the uber rich business people. High performance is what you make it, and you can definitely be 100% successful at it.

Ask yourself:

  • What am I trying to achieve?
  • Why is that important to me?
  • How would it feel if this was my reality?
  • What type of person do I want to be?
  • What are the small steps I can take today to create this reality?

Getting clearer on your vision of success is the first step in creating a strategy for delivering high performance. Ultimately, it’s up to you to create your own definition of success, and then start taking the steps to achieve it. If you need support to do this, we would love to help you – get in contact with us today!


If you’d like to find out more, join the conversation in our next open workshop.