Helpful Sh*t

Read This Before You Do Any More Professional Development

Professional Development

Typically in business, and indeed in life, we believe that if we want to enhance our performance in something then we must partake in some sort of professional development.

We must upskill ourselves and expand our capabilities in that particular field or activity (whether that’s through knowledge or physical abilities) and we relate our success to how well we “perform” those skills.

Professional development is only one piece of the puzzle

While this does of course help you to advance in your field, focusing solely on the physical skills often only allows you to reach a certain point on the scale of success. Sooner or later you hit a plateau, you start to feel stuck, or you realise that in your bid to be the best “performer” you forgot about the other aspects of success – your personal wellbeing, relationships and overall happiness.

I see this all the time in a large proportion of the people I meet. They’re highly qualified, intelligent and extremely competent, with many achievements under their belt, but behind the scenes they’re knackered, stressed and fundamentally unfulfilled.

This is typically the result of not giving enough attention to personal performance, which is the driving force behind everything you do and experience. When I say personal performance, I’m talking about three key areas:

  1. Knowing and serving what’s really important to you and what you really want
  2. Understanding and respecting the mind body connection
  3. Mastering the way you communicate with yourself

When you continually address these three elements, it allows you to take total control of the way you think, feel and behave, meaning you have the freedom to do and be what you really want and achieve success in all areas of your life.

More specifically, it typically gives you:

– Enhanced quality of life & health
– More energy & drive
– Greater clarity & focus
– Boosted confidence & motivation
– Improved time efficiency
– Increased professional & financial potential
– Better relationships

Can you see how much easier and more enjoyable business and life would be if you had even some of those things?

The key to ultimate performance

I’d like you to imagine the engine of a car for a moment. If you don’t continually ensure that it functions effectively, the car will gradually become inefficient and eventually break down. Sure you can probably keep it going by adding and upgrading different parts along the way, but essentially unless the engine is performing at its peak you will not get peak performance out of the car as a whole.

You are the same. Your brain is your engine – it controls everything that happens in and to you, from the thoughts you think to every physical process that goes on inside your body. So yes, you can keep yourself going by adding different forms of energy and upgrading your skillset, but ultimately real peak performance is only possible when you learn how to use your engine (brain) effectively.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t engage in professional development any less, but you’ll be able to apply what you learn a lot more effectively if it’s not surrounded by the likes of:

  • Perfectionism
  • Self-sabotage
  • Imposter syndrome
  • Fear of failure
  • Unrealistic expectations

When you can manage and overcome these elements of your mindset, the sky’s the bloody limit!

Over the years working as a performance coach, most of my clients were in this boat. They’d invested a great deal of time and money into professional development by attaining more qualifications and additional skillsets, which had indeed enabled them to progress a long way and achieve a good level of success, but this success was generally unbalanced and they felt like it could slip away at any moment.

It wasn’t until they started focusing on their personal performance that they were able to unlock their full potential and achieve all the good stuff mentioned above, which of course then allowed them to achieve a more balanced level of success and happiness across all areas of their lives.

So if you’ve reached a point where you’re constantly feeling frustrated because you’re not getting the results you think you deserve (despite putting in more hours and effort), you feel like you’re not being as effective as you can or used to be, or you’re wondering, “Why the hell am I doing this and is it all worth it?” – maybe it’s time to start focusing more on your personal performance…it’s easier than you might think.

 

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