How to be at your best to beat your best
Recently I posted a brief quote about operating at your best. Things that you could strive to BE. To be yourself, be intentional, be patient, be at your best. I used the #beatyourbest to tag the post and I was quite delighted to see the varied interpretation of that. Someone said they understood it as “Be At Your Best”, while someone quipped that they thought it stood for “Beat Your Best”.
Granted, the latter discussion took place directly after a Parkrun, drenched in sweat and heaving from the after-effects of an indulgent holiday season.
My own Parkrun results tell a tale of a very slow first run, which was more a walk with the kids, to progressing and beating my personal best in each of my subsequent runs.
While there are some good articles and tips in beating your best Parkrun result, we started talking about how you could beat your best in your daily personal and professional life
This generally starts with truly knowing yourself, identifying what your best looks like and acknowledging what you look like when you are not.
But how do you know if you are operating at your best? One way to identify this is to look at how you respond to events.
This formula stands for Event plus Response equals Outcome. The basic premise is that your response to a given event could determine its outcome.
While you cannot control events and you cannot directly control outcomes, you are 100% responsible for your response to those events. A more positive response could lead to a more positive and happier outcome.
We know that events are unpredictable. Instead of reacting to an event, which can often be quite emotionally driven, the idea is to first take stock and evaluate how your response aligns with your values. Could you stop and think of a more positive response that could lead to a better outcome?
Let’s look at this example. Your boss comes into your office, requesting updates to the new sales presentation for a meeting in the next 30 minutes. You both know this report takes at least 2 hours to complete. What is your response?
“No, I can’t do it. There’s not enough time.” On hearing this response from you, what kind of response do you expect to get in return from your boss? Too often this is met with either party eventually jumping up and down, blood boiling, stern words and an overall negative outcome and experience.
Whereas, what if your response was something more positive? “I understand you need updates urgently. As you know, this report normally takes us 2 hours to complete. I’ll get the most critical changes done, but it won’t be completely perfect. It should hold you over for the meeting, while I get the rest updated and ready for the meetings thereafter.”
While this may seem like a tedious answer, it provides valuable information for your boss and provides a remedy for this particular event.
You’re acknowledging that this request is a big ask and that it will take longer to complete, but offering a workable compromise on quality and a solution for the overall completion to the standard that you both expect.
Hopefully, your response leads to a happier experience and a better outcome overall.
Too often we respond from a position of fear, dread or anger, expecting negatives. Corporate emails, calls to the boss’s office, or at home a “honey, we need to talk” message all conjure up a multitude of emotions based on your expectation (often negative). Past such experiences have certainly implanted this fear in us.
But what if you choose to think differently about that email, that meeting with the boss, the conversation with your significant other? What if you chose to be more open-minded, curious, excited? What if you actively listened to understand the problem or identify the opportunity, rather than just reacting to the information presented?
Once you shift your perspective and take responsibility for how you respond to events, you have the opportunity to start changing your behaviour and realising what is within your area of control.
Your energy, mental health and happiness is much better spent on positive goals and outcomes than having to constantly deal with negativity, fear and anxiety about things that you have no control over.
This is not going to be easy.
Just like the results of my Parkruns vary, so too will your response to events. Some will be more positive than others. You will need to make a concerted, conscious effort to evaluate your responses against your values and your ultimate goals.
If you want to beat your best time at the Parkrun, you firstly have to get your mind and your attitude right, followed by training, perhaps some additional coaching, studying the course and learning to set your own pace.
My biggest gains in beating my best time came 100% from getting my head straight. Not trying to compete with the others and running my own race, for my own goals. And then to rinse, repeat, adapt, repeat this week after week.
Most importantly, don’t beat yourself up if you fail. Re-evaluate. Adapt. Try again. Repeat. This way you will continue to evolve, grow and improve to #beatyourbest.
How can Oscar Mike help?
We believe that this is one of the most fundamental areas of self-development for people, applicable to both their personal and professional life.
We take teams and individuals through a journey of self discovery in a facilitated training session. Delegates will learn what operating at their best means for them personally. We will then provide them with tools to extend this to how they can work closer together and inspire their colleagues, clients and the wider communities in which they operate.
Give us a call to discuss how we can help you operate at your best.