Take These Steps to Improve Your Performance

by Mike Lally on January 9, 2013

Beginning the day feeling tired and stressed makes it too challenging to set a positive frame for a successful day. It can take some time to shake off a negative feeling and before you know it the day can be almost over. Days like these are usually unproductive. Just getting through the day in this kind of mood can be a small feat in itself.
Some days it feels as if your body is controlling your mind. This scenario seems to occur too often for comfort. Wake up in the “wrong mood”, and it takes a supreme effort to untangle yourself from its effect.

Now to get any goal it is vital to give yourself the best available opportunity. I’m sure like the rest of us you have good days and days that are not so-good. However, if the bad days are more frequent than the good days it may be time to adjust your habits.

My proposal is that you ask yourself three simple questions at the beginning of the day: How do I feel right now? How do I want to feel instead? What strategies do I have to feel that way? Of course, only do this on a bad day!
By simply asking yourself these questions your mood will change. Once this becomes a habit you will find yourself feeling less stressed and more resourceful. Emotional intelligence teaches us to be mindful of our states. Some of the simple strategies outlined here can help a person to be more positive and a positive state of mind is not only critical to achieving your goals, but important to remain healthy.

Getting into a habit of questioning your emotional state allows you to focus your resources in the present moment and helps to reduce the stress of what the future may bring. Living in the moment is important. So, why not simply go ahead and get into the habit of asking yourself these questions? Make it part of your daily routine and then you will be able to assume the physiology of the state you would prefer to be in. You will quickly notice how your feelings will soon improve.

One issue that needs to be considered is the tendency we have to repeat our thoughts, feelings and actions. It is likely that the majority of your thoughts today will be pretty much the same as yesterday. Habits rule! Unfortunately, this habit also includes your emotions and behavior. So, by and large, we are held captive by our emotional selves. It can take a considerable effort or a lengthy amount of time to reject habitual thoughts and feelings. It’s worth contemplating how much better life could be if we could find a way to easily dissociate from the causes of negative feelings and the effects they produce. Emotional freedom would result and allow an individual to clear their mindset and focus on what they really want.

It’s worthwhile considering whether to offset the desire for a specific need to be met. If this is not undertaken it is likely that an unmet need will preoccupy your mind and dominate your ability to put things into perspective. When this happens results take a backseat. The way in which we internally communicate our needs will determine whether they will be met.

Given we can be obsessed with having our needs met, it appears that escaping from the trials of negative states is too challenging to overcome with ease. However, this is simply untrue. In addition to the three simple questions posed earlier, you can also add the following questions: Take the time to fully assess an experience that has caused you to feel less than resourceful. This event will have dictated your present mood. Next label your feelings using sensory specific words. Instead of saying “I feel inadequate”, begin to describe where in your body you feel some discomfort. For example, “I have an intense, sinking feeling in my lower abdomen”. It’s important to use neutral words and avoid negative descriptors; so avoid emotional statements such as “I am feeling lonely”. Keep it sensory based. Now, think about what you want, make a picture with you actually getting what it, and decide to stay in this focused state.
Most of us have an in-built “needy” detector. When somebody needs something we can find ourselves involuntarily stepping back.

By contrast, it is generally nice to be asked for advice through some form of request. Once it is acknowledged there is nothing needy involved, we find ourselves more than happy to oblige. If you make a demand it is likely to be resisted. So, determine what will give you the best chance of overcoming your negative state, put it into the form of a request, and find the best person to help you. Usually the answer is close to home!

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