What does peak performance look like or mean to you? Does it mean performing better on the theatre stage? Or maybe being as fast as possible on the football field? Or perhaps it means waking up feeling your best each day, ready to take on work and family responsibilities with energy and vibrancy.
No matter what it means to you, in today's post we'll talk about strategies for achieving it.
One of the common themes in peak performance is fulfilling your potential. Depending on what you do and what's required of you, your potential will look different. Regardless, we all have a "highest potential" we want to achieve, and the way to do this is by performing at your peak.
We have a general idea of what peak performance means, but now, let's dig deeper into this term.
What is Peak Performance?
We love this explanation from Brain Forest:
"Peak Performance is a state in which the person performs to the maximum of their ability, characterized by subjective feelings of confidence, effortlessness and total concentration on the task.
When it comes to peak performance — whether it be entrepreneurship, athletics, or something more — there is a “method to the madness,” so to speak. Greatness, and ultimately the legacy you leave behind, is a process that takes work, determination, but also courage. It’s a mindset, and leaders in every industry, of every craft, know the power of harnessing a strong mental game."
As for harnessing a strong mental game and the tools you need to perform to your maximum ability? There are several different strategies for doing so. Depending on what your goals are, these strategies can vary. That being said, there are common themes and strategies that the world's most successful people list as "secrets" to their success.
Next, let's talk more about these strategies, tips, and methods for helping you reach your peak performance and access your highest potential.
Peak Performance in Sports
Often, when we hear "peak performance," sports come to mind. Of course, it isn't only athletes you are concerned with accessing their highest potential. But it is an important part of the conversation.
So, today we're going to begin by discussing some common strategies athletes use for achieving peak performance.
- Visual priming: For athletes, this can mean looking at trophies and metals you've previously earned and envisioning yourself receiving new ones. Looking at these objects while you train or compete can also have a positive effect on your performance.
- Utilize reappraisal: A lot of accessing your highest potential comes down to your mindset. In many cases, that means reframing or "reappraising" negative thoughts or beliefs. For example, rather than telling themselves they're nervous before a big fight, an athlete can reappraise this thought to telling themselves they're excited.
- Superstitions: Whether it's a special pair of socks or a ritual on the morning of a game, many athletes are known for their superstitions. And as it turns out, these superstitions can play an important role in accessing their highest potential! Consider these findings reported by the Association for Psychological Science:
"Psychological scientists at the University of Cologne found that participants who had a lucky charm demonstrated improved performance in golfing, motor dexterity, memory, and anagram games. The authors proposed that being in the presence, versus the absence, of a personal lucky charm, leads to improved performance by boosting people’s belief in their ability to master a task, or self-efficacy. The boost in self-efficacy from a lucky charm in turn leads to higher self-set goals and increased persistence, which both further improve performance."
Peak Performance at Work
We've covered athletes. But what about the rest of us who don't necessarily rely on physical skill to get our job done? There are a number of strategies the "average joe" can use to achieve peak performance. Whether it's working a 12-hour shift at a factory or a long day at the law office, here are some other strategies for peak performance the most successful people utilize.
- Building confidence: Confidence is the key to success for many people. In many cases, just believing you can do something provides you with enough energy and motivation to do it! One of the best ways to build your confidence involves recalling your past success. For example, visualizing when you were praised or did well on a project. Focusing on these moments, rather than failures or embarrassment, helps retrain your brain to think more confidently.
- Visions and goals: You can't access your highest potential until you have an idea of what that potential is. And that's where goal setting and having a vision come in. When you set very clear goals to work toward, you're better able to take active steps toward reaching them.
- Positive mindset: Another common characteristic of peak performers is their attitude. More specifically, their positive attitude. That can-do attitude serves all of us well, no matter what we're trying to achieve. In action, a positive mindset looks like believing in yourself and knowing you will achieve those goals you've set for yourself. It also means reframing failures into lessons.
Other Strategies for Accessing Your Highest Potential
So, whether you're an athlete, a doctor, a stay-at-home parent, or your life looks completely different each day, we've covered several strategies for achieving peak performance.
Next, let's talk more about another strategy for accessing your highest potential you might not have considered until now. Namely, vagus nerve stimulation. Among the different ways to stimulate the vagus nerve (including surgical implantation of vagus nerve stimulating devices, cold exposure, and meditation) tVNS with Xen by Neuvana headphones is not only the most fool-proof, but also the most accessible and convenient.
Here, you'll find a whole post on what makes the vagus nerve the #1 secret to brain hacking.
It includes this explanation of how it works:
"This nerve just so happens to be the longest nerve in the human body and a major part of the parasympathetic system. It’s responsible for connecting the brain to the major organs in our bodies such as the stomach, lungs, heart, and more.
Since the vagus nerve is such an integral connector in the body, it’s responsible for a lot. This includes stimulating many of our activities whenever we’re at rest. That means helping us to do things like breath, digest our food, and keep a steady heart rate.
Since this nerve is so intricately connected to each of these systems, it can play a major part in our mental health. It’s responsible for regulating the body’s stress response.
One of the most interesting things about the vagus nerve is that we’re able to tune it, which means we are able to change it as we please. This is often done through vagus nerve stimulation."
There are all kinds of different vagus nerve stimulation strategies. They range from the invasive (surgical implantation of vagus nerve stimulation devices) to non-invasive (wearing vagus nerve stimulating headphones). Let's focus on one of those minimally invasive strategies, wearing vagus nerve stimulating headphones, and how it can help you achieve peak performance.
How Can tVNS Help?
tVNS can be as simple as wearing your Xen by Neuvana headphones and plugging them into a handheld device. Then, the device pairs wirelessly with an app on your phone and starts delivering gentle micropulses through headphones directly to the vagus nerve located in your ear. As you listen to your favorite songs, sounds, or no sound at all, you can begin to reap the rewards of tVNS.
And how exactly does this all relate to achieving peak performance and accessing your highest potential? This can happen in a few ways.
Namely, tVNS has be shown to be useful for:
- Promoting recovery after athletic endeavours
- Improving sleep quality
- Promoting a brighter mood and overall well-being
- Less stress
- Enhanced focus
- More tranquility
Now, can you just imagine the difference those effects could make in your life and achieve peak performance? It's no wonder the world's top performers and most successful people are turning to tVNS more and more. If you're ready to try it for yourself, click here to find out more about Xen by Neuvana.