Are You Operating at Your Personal Best … for Today?
Which feels better?
- When you know at the end of a day that you’ve been the kind of parent you hope to be? Or when you know this was not so true today?
- When you can tell that your prospective client really took well to your business presentation? Or when you couldn’t really tell how you did in the client’s eyes and then remember you didn’t sleep well and showed up later than you wanted to for the meeting?
- When you kept your patience with your …. employee, aging parent, new puppy, business partner, spouse, teenager …. or when you felt as if couldn’t stop yourself and snapped, once too often?
Two “letting go” questions to ask yourself
- How can you more consistently operate at your personal best?
- And how can you let it go when truly uncontrollable circumstances mean you can’t be at your personal best for today?
I’ll focus here on the question #2. If you are on my newsletter list, it’s there that I focused on #1 for the edition due out this week, July 2015.
Letting Go – 3 Ways to Start
Some days it seems as if everything conspires against me to have a “personal best” sort of day. But if you truly have no control over these things, these people, these circumstances, then you’re beating yourself up for something that nobody could have done better. The key, of course, is whether you had control or not; you really need to be honest with yourself about whether you could have done anything else. Here are three strategies to experiment with.
#1 What was controllable (by you) and what could nobody have controlled?
If most of the conspiring circumstances were not under your control, then realistically, how could you – or anyone – possibly have a personal best sort of day?
5 minute exercise: Make a list of what happened. Honestly and in your heart, which were not under your control? Be careful here; it is easy to blame, when it might have been a choice you’d made earlier in the day. Have someone else vet your list. Or make the list when you have some emotional space (time away from) to give you perspective.
What would your mentor do?
It’s hard to step outside and look at your life like a bird on a perch, to see what could have made the day go differently. But it works very well.
5 minute question: Take yourself out of the picture. Think of someone you admire. What would that person have done differently, if anything? Could you have done that instead? Or not?
And what did you learn?
If you learned something which you can do differently next time, then you have done your personal best.
If you learned, then you didn’t know it before. So you did your best based on what you knew at the time.
The best is what you believe you can do. And not what others think about you can do. Think about one that for a minute.
We all contribute in some way, to make a difference, so my personal best is different from yours.
And my personal best is even going to be different today from a day in the future, because of all I’ll learn about myself. (Read Carol Dweck’s masterpiece about fixed and growth mindsets. Or here’s a TED talk, too.)
Remember that personal best is not the same as perfect, far from it. It’s about finding what works for you.
Obvious? Perhaps, to some. But how often do we remember this when we’re having that not so good day?
What’s your personal best? Are you there?
How consistently so? What’s missing?
When do you feel at your personal best? And why or how is this important to you?
Have a great day, the best you can have, for today …
p.s. Don’t know what your personal best is? Or you kind of know what it might be, but you can’t reach it? Maybe you’ve had so much change in your life or work that your confidence is temporarily shaken. Consider short term coaching. We start with a 1/2 hour, no charge call. You’ll walk away with at least one new strategy to start you on your way. If you choose to, continue with a few months of coaching, typically 2 meetings per month. Longer if it makes sense for what you want to get done. [More here at my web sites services pages.]
Check in with me via email Sue@CoachSueWest.com or call 603.554.1948.