How often are we fully engaged with where we are and with what we need to do?
Not just some of the time – I’m talking about all of the time!
The barriers to being fully engaged are everywhere – electronic distractions, low energy, ‘multi-tasking’, lack of passion, pain, frustration, etc. The list can literally go on and on and these combinations of barriers are unique to all of us.
It’s these barriers that prevent us from being poised to perform and be our best at game time.
So what does it take to get our mind, body and spirit in alignment in order to play at our best when game time rolls around?
For a while now I’ve been feeling like ‘energy’ just isn’t on my side.
Sure, early in the day after a few cups of coffee I am dialed in. But is that real energy?
My reality is that after a few meetings, lots of sitting, and various conversations with colleagues and clients, I’m spent… and sometimes I haven’t even hit lunch time yet.
Unfortunately, I am not a person that someone would say has a poker face. My face tells it all…
So when I’m not firing on all cylinders, then I physically can show up as looking tired, annoyed and/or frustrated.
Not exactly the epitome of a leader.
There must be a better way… right?
… a better way to play my game to insure I have energy to last through my work day and (most importantly) still have plenty left in the take to spend with my family when I get home.
Fortunately, my coaching mentor, Ralph Plaskett, turned me onto a book, “The Power of Full Engagement” by Jim Lohr and Tony Schwartz that focuses on building routines and practices to keep your energy peaking when you need it most.
After finishing the book, I walked through the Full Engagement worksheets, and while my experiment is just getting off the ground (let’s call this ‘Day 1’), I wanted to share the approach with all of you in the event it can help you begin to reclaim and boost your energy as well.
I would highly recommend the book of course, so if any of the steps below resonate, definitely grab a copy so you can dig in deeper to the science, psychology and research behind it all.
So without further delay, let’s walk through the process together.
Your Steps to Full Engagement
This book is built upon the Corporate Athlete concept which I wrote about in the past. Much like the Inner Athlete, the Corporate Athlete focuses on optimizing our Mind, Body, and Spirit (plus our Emotional side) so that we have the energy, focus and motivation we need to perform optimally and be our best at all times in our life.
The book breaks the Full Engagement worksheets into 3 sections: Vision, Barriers and the Action & Development Plan.
Let’s step through each:
The Vision Worksheet
This is your opportunity to go deep with yourself.
- Write down your top 5 deepest values – what drive you in your life? What are the things you hold sacrosanct in your life and refuse to compromise?
- Write down your top 5 strengths – what skills or talents come naturally to you? What are those things that you are good at which fill you with energy and drive?
- Write down your top 3 lessons from life – fast forward to the end of your life and list the 3 things that you have learned that were critical to who you are as a person.
- Identify someone you respect – who do you look up to? Who inspires you to be better than you were yesterday?
- What are 3 qualities that you admire most in the person you identified? – Is it related to who they serve or their values? What makes this person resonate with you?
- When you are at your best, how would you describe yourself? – We all have off days, but when you are playing at your best, how do you show up?
- What is a one sentence inscription that you would want on your tombstone that captures your true essence as a person? – I know it sounds morbid, but this gives you a chance to think long and hard about the legacy you want to leave.
- Write your personal vision statement (in the present tense) which reflects your deepest values- be practical AND inspire
- Write your career vision statement which reflects your personal vision and values
The Barriers Worksheet
Now that you’ve written down who you are and the vision for what you want to create, let’s dig into what is preventing you from getting there.
Create a simple table (2 columns, 5 rows).
In the first column identify your top 5 work performance barriers (1 per row).
In the second column, write out how those barriers are impacting your energy and performance. Note: performance can be anywhere in your life, not just in your job.
Action & Development Plan
Now that you are clear on your barriers, take the time to create a plan to break through those things that are holding you back.
So, for each of your work performance barriers, define a ritual building strategy to mitigate this barrier and begin to reclaim your energy and elevate your performance.
To do this per the book, step through the following:
- First, identify the targeted muscles that you want to improve through the ritual. These can be physical or things like mindset, patience, friendship, etc.
- Next, write down the corresponding performance barrier from your list above.
- Then, write down which of your top values from above will help you drive this change.
- Next, write out what your expected performance consequence should be… Basically, define what success looks like for you.
- Finally, write down specific actions you can take to create your energy rituals to help you to overcome your identified barriers. Each action should also have a launch date attached to it. Make sure you note how often you are going to do something – get as specific as makes sense.
Repeat these steps for each of your performance barriers.
And last but certainly not least, track your progress.
Are you taking action when you said you would. If not, what is stopping you? Did you take on too much at once? How can you adjust to make your action steps better align with your schedule and starting point?
Ramp up as slowly as you need and be mindful of how these action are helping you turn around your energy and overcoming your performance barriers.
I really hope the guidance above resonates with you like it did for me. There is no magical formula to elevating one’s game, and sometimes we just need a framework or formula to get us started.
The authors of this book have used this framework to help professional athletes and business leaders to make massive shifts in their energy, performance, and impact levels within their sport, organizations, and industries, so I figured why not see if it works for me too!
As I mentioned above, my experiment is just beginning and I look forward to sharing what I find on my journey towards reclaiming my energy and elevating my game.
Take that first step, get after it, and Unleash Your Inner Athlete!
Discussion Question: What is the single biggest performance barrier that is preventing you from playing at your highest level? What is one practice you can begin this week to overcome that barrier?
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”