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Published on December 29, 2020

Top 7 Self-Management Skills For Peak Performance

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Top 7 Self-Management Skills For Peak Performance

If you want to operate at peak performance levels to achieve more in life, then it is important to develop critical self-management skills. These are the skills needed to manage personal abilities to be used in various areas of life. Whether you want to excel in business or your personal life, your success depends upon your ability to manage your own performance.

This article highlights 7 self-management skills you will need for peak performance. Each skill listed also includes an actionable item to help you get started. Master these skills for optimized performance and personal growth.

1. Hold Yourself Accountable

One of the most important self-management skills for peak performance is the ability and willingness to hold yourself accountable. If you say that you are going to do something, then make sure you do it. Take ownership of your goals and the work needed to achieve them. If you know that a task or activity requires a certain level of effort, then it is your responsibility to make it happen.

If you fail to act or the performance is not sufficient, then be honest with yourself and determine what changes or adjustments are needed to do better next time. Be true to your word.

Hold yourself accountable by writing your goal or commitment down on paper. You can carry this piece of paper in your pocket to serve as a reminder or dedicate a journal to these goals and personal promises. Writing it down makes it real and tangible. Reflect on what you have written a few times daily to reaffirm your commitment. Do this until you have completed the task.

2. Set Clear Goals

Have you ever set a New Year’s Resolution that quickly fell by the wayside within a few short weeks? While the media likes to give special attention to New Year’s Resolutions because it is a hot conversational piece, these goals are no more special than any other we might set throughout the year. Top performers know that sexy titles do not make goals any more attainable.

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Take action by setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals. Use the criteria below with your personal and professional goals.

  • Specific – Be specific with what you want and state your goal in simple terms. Boil it down to one clearly written sentence. Avoid ambiguity. Perhaps you want to lose weight or earn more money. Each of these ideas is a good starting point, but they lack clarity. Considering the examples noted above, an individual who lost only one pound or earned just one more dollar will have technically achieved the goal. But chances are that a goal setter would be disappointed with such insignificant results. That is why it is important to be specific by stating exactly what you want.
  • Measurable – Use numbers to help measure your results. This way you will know if you are on track to attaining your goal.
  • Achievable – This is your goal so make sure it is something that you have the ability to achieve. Assess personal strengths, skills, tools, and resources. Do you have everything necessary to achieve the goal or is something still needed?
  • Realistic – Determine whether the goal itself is realistic and can be achieved within the predetermined time frame.
  • Time-based – Put a deadline on the goal. When do you want to achieve it? This creates a sense of urgency and can be a motivator to get things done.

3. Develop Time Management

We live in a world filled with shiny objects and noisy distractions. Everywhere we turn, someone is trying to get and keep our precious attention. That’s why an important self-management skill you should develop is time management.

Have you ever logged onto social media to quickly respond to a message but an hour later realized you were still scrolling through your newsfeed or had fallen down the YouTube rabbit hole? If this becomes a habit, then those minutes and hours will add up and turn into days and weeks lost.

Here are two quick tips for better time management. To promote productivity, create time blocks, and schedule your most important activities for these time periods. To eliminate distractions, turn off notifications on social media apps. This is especially important while attending to activities within your scheduled time blocks.

Utilize the calendar on your smart device to schedule important events. There is also a wide range of apps to set reminders, track to-do lists and tasks, and keep yourself organized.

4. Be Self-Motivated

Some people are motivated by external drivers such as money, praise, or purchasing material items. Others are motivated by internal drivers such as feelings of satisfaction, fulfillment, or personal achievement. It is also possible to be motivated by both depending on the situation.

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When working towards a goal, here are three questions to ask that will help maintain motivation:

  • Why is achieving this goal important to me?
  • By achieving this, what will it do for me?
  • By achieving this, what will it get me or allow me to do?

If you find yourself losing motivation, then ask yourself these questions. You may need to go through these questions a few times to get to the deeper and more meaningful reasons that will serve as primary motivators.

Focus on your goal and continue to drive forward. You might not be successful on the first attempt, and that is okay. Get up and try it again. Keep going until you succeed.

Sir Winston Churchill said, “Success is the ability to go from one failure to the next with no loss of enthusiasm.”

5. Adapt to Change

One of the most important self-management skills is being adaptive to change. For millions of people around the world, 2020 provided a master class in learning to deal with change that nobody signed up for but were given front row seats to anyway. Change is a natural part of life, and we must be able and willing to adjust course when necessary.

Think about the last time you were driving somewhere and saw an orange sign that read “detour ahead.” Chances are you probably let out a short grumble and mentally prepared yourself for the coming inconvenience. While you had not planned for the detour, you navigated the situation and ultimately reached the destination.

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Develop flexibility by reframing the situation. In other words, learn to view the situation from a different perspective. The proverbial phrase, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade” is a perfect example. The situation might not be ideal, but you can still make the most of it. Learn to be flexible and adjust course as needed, while continuing to drive forward towards your goal.

6. Use Coping Skills to Deal with Stress

Playing at higher levels typically means having to deal with increased levels of stress. It naturally comes with the territory. Take a proactive approach to deal with stress by utilizing coping skills and having healthy outlets to channel negative energy. Effective coping skills could include activities like listening to music, going for a walk, reading for pleasure, or exercising.

How do your mood and behavior change when you are experiencing stress? Learn to recognize the signs and utilize the coping skills that work best for you. It might also be a good idea to incorporate activities like yoga or meditation into your weekly routine.

Readers who have never meditated before might like to wade in with an easy and relaxing walking meditation. Walking meditation is a form of moving meditation that is exactly as it sounds. Rather than sitting still to perform this meditation, the individual does it while walking. Moving meditations have the same benefits as their motionless counterparts.

Simply go for a 10-15 minute walk outside and focus on your breathing. Take deep calming breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth. Use this time to connect with your inner self and relax. This is your personal time, so leave your phone at home to avoid interruptions.

7. Institute the Habit of Daily Learning

Invest in your future by dedicating 30 minutes every day to learning something new. Advances in technology have allowed people to learn from world-class leaders and mentors at any time of the day in a manner that is most convenient to them.

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Download your favorite self-help books to read on the go or listen to the audio version in your car or while working out. Watch old TED Talks or attend webinars hosted by experts halfway around the world. Follow your favorite content creators on social media or subscribe to Lifehack and receive tips delivered directly to your inbox. Learning has never been easier.

Right now, the podcast industry is booming. There are currently more than 850,000 active podcasts amassing over 34 million episodes. Whether you want to get the winning edge in your market, advance in your career, or simply want to pick up a new hobby, there is a podcast that has exactly what you are looking for.

Final Thoughts

Practice these self-management skills every day. Make them a part of your daily routine to operate at peak performance levels and optimize personal growth. These self-management skills are transferable and can be easily applied and adapted in all areas of life.

Practice makes progress. Like anything in life, the more you do it the better you will become.

More Self-Management Tips

Featured photo credit: Paico Oficial via unsplash.com

More by this author

Rich Perry

Rich is a Communication Strategist who helps entrepreneurs craft their message and empower them to deliver it.

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Published on October 14, 2021

How to Silence the Impostor Syndrome

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How to Silence the Impostor Syndrome

Do you ever worry about being exposed as a “fraud?” You’re not alone. It’s actually quite common for people to feel like imposters. In fact, approximately 70 percent of people admit to having experienced impostor syndrome[1] at some point in their lives — a Twitter poll found that 87 percent of people have experienced this.[2] Even successful and famous people like Tom Hanks, Howard Schultz, and Natalie Portman suffer from imposter syndrome.

But, what exactly is imposter syndrome. And, more importantly, how can you silence it?

Originally coined in 1978 by psychologists Pauline Rose Clance, Ph.D., ABPP, and Suzanne Imes, Ph.D., the term “impostor syndrome” describes symptoms that include being unable to internalize accomplishments and being afraid of being exposed as a fraud.

The individual may also be plagued by chronic self-doubt and believe that they’re unqualified for success despite evidence to the contrary. Inadequacies, fears of failure, and disbelief that success is a matter of luck or timing are also common.

If you don’t address this phenomenon, feeling like an impostor can prevent you from achieving ambitious goals. Moreover, those experiencing these feelings tend to over-prepare or procrastinate — which obviously hinders productivity and reaching goals. And, as if that weren’t bad enough, imposter syndrome prevents you from pursuing new challenges and opportunities.

Do you feel like you’re suffering from impostor syndrome? If so, don’t beat yourself up. After all, there are effective ways to overcome these feelings in a healthy and proactive way.

1. Don’t Hide It.

“Firstly, acknowledge it,” advises Claudine Robson,[3] the Intentional Coach. “You give strength to imposter syndrome by letting it continue to peck away at your confidence unchecked.” It can only be banished if you acknowledge it as soon as possible and break the silence.

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“Then you need to separate your feelings from facts,” Robson adds. “One thing imposter syndrome does very effectively is to mix up your perceptions of reality.”

If you can, take a step back and look at the situation objectively. “Recognize when you should — and when you should not — feel fraudulent,” she says. Appreciate and acknowledge the task, intellect, and insight that have led to your success.

You might even be able to take action by recognizing that the reason you feel fraudulent is that you’re new to a task. “That gives you a path forward; learning is growth, don’t deny yourself that.”

2. Implement the STOP Technique

In her book Cognitive Enlightenment, Melinda Fouts, Ph.D., outlines a technique to overcome imposter syndrome using what she calls the STOP technique.

“STOP is an acronym for ‘silence the oppressive player,” Fouts explains in Forbes.[4] “You need to eradicate this tape that is playing 24/7, whether you are conscious of it or not. It plays loudest when we are tired, hungry, or feeling defeated.”

Steps to implementing the STOP technique and rewiring your brain are as follows:

To replace the tape of not good enough, you need a “launch sentence.” “I’m more than good enough” would is an example of a solid launch statement.

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Put your launch sentence in prominent locations, such as your car’s dashboard or computer. How come? The reason is that as the tape plays, you won’t be able to remember your launch statement.

Continue to say “stop” until you recall your launch sentence, says Fouts.

Put your launch sentence into your own words and pontificate.

While going about your daily tasks, like while driving or exercising, practice your launch sentence so you can recall it when you need it in the future.

“I am told this sounds simple and it does,” she adds. However, this technique is challenging when your negative tape is playing. You will not want to replace the tape every day while your brain is rewiring itself. “It is these moments you can’t give up.”

3. Distinguish Humility and Fear

When it comes to hard work and accomplishments, there’s humility, and then there’s fear. In other words, having a high level of competence can lead one to discount its value occasionally. However, as Carl Richards wrote in an article for the New York Times,[5] “After spending a lot of time fine-tuning our ability, isn’t it sort of the point for our skill to look and feel natural?”

The problem is that we feel unworthy from time to time. But, as Seth Godin explained in a blog post,[6] “When you feel unworthy, any kind response, positive feedback or reward feels like a trick, a scam, the luck of the draw.”

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Feeling worthy without feeling entitled is possible. And, finding the right balance between them is critical for overcoming impostor syndrome. “Humility and worthiness have nothing at all to do with defending our territory,” Godin continues. “We don’t have to feel like a fraud to also be gracious, open, or humble.”

4. Keep a “Brag Sheet”

When you were sending out college applications, did you build yourself a “brag sheet?” If not, here’s a clean description from Shawna Newman,[7] “A brag sheet is very similar to a student resume – it highlights your accomplishments, key experiences, leadership skills, and employment throughout your secondary education.” In short, “it’s a quick reference guide with all the details and achievements for someone trying to get to know you better.”

While it may be awkward at first, you can apply the same concept when coping with imposter syndrome. Just compose a list of your accomplishments, activities, skills. That’s it. Just remember Godin’s advice and also be humble and gracious.

As an added perk, besides being an effective way to talk myself up, I’ve also found that this has helped me stop comparing myself to others. Instead of harping about other people’s milestones, I’m honing in on what I’ve done.

5. Celebrate Wins, Period

Speaking of accomplishments, they shouldn’t be categorized as small or big. After all, you feel as if you don’t belong when you have imposter syndrome. So, the more you celebrate your wins, the more confident you’ll become.

Furthermore, accept compliments without qualifying them and practice listening to praise every day. Finally, become kinder to yourself by saying at least one kind thing to yourself daily. And, give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back.

6. Assemble a Legion of Superheroes

“You know how corporations have a board of directors to — in theory — make them stronger, maintain checks and balances, leverage resources, and help advance the organization’s vision?” asks inspirational speaker, speaking coach, and creative consultant Tania Katan.[8] “Why not assemble your own board of directors to leverage resources to help make your career stronger, keep you in check and balanced, and advance your vision?”

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“My friend Alison Wade, president of conferences, training, and consulting at Techwell, calls her personal board of directors her “front-row” — those are the people she invites to sit spitting distance from the stage, cheer her on, challenge her, and review her performance,” Katan writes.

As for Katan, she calls hers a “legion of superheroes.” The reason? “I dig the idea of joining forces to do good in the corporate galaxy.”

It’s important to have a diverse group of individuals who will defend you. Ideally, they should be varied in all dimensions, such as cultural background, way of thinking, and skills.

Katan recommends that you meet together frequently, whether if that’s once a week or every quarter. “Share your experiences, fears, creative ideas, aspirations,” she adds. “Celebrate each other’s accomplishments.” You also need to both support and challenge each other. “Discover what you are capable of doing when you combine your powers.”

7. Visualize Success

Follow the example of a professional athlete by imagining yourself crushing that presentation or project. You’ll enjoy the relief from performance-related stress. And, more importantly, it can help you avoid focusing on the worst-case scenario.

Final Words of Advice

While there’s no single formula to cure imposter syndrome, the tips listed above are a start. After all, your success depends on your ability to fight the negative effects of it. For example, feeling unworthy over time can lead to crippling anxiety and depression if left untreated.

If you’ve tried the above, then make sure that you speak to someone about what you’re experiencing, whether it’s a mentor, peer group, or licensed professional. And, above all else, there’s a place at the table for everyone — no matter what your inner voice is telling you.

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How to Silence the Impostor Syndrome was originally published on Calendar by John Rampton.

Featured photo credit: Laurenz Kleinheider via unsplash.com

Reference

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