Welcome to “The Positive Punch” eBook
The Positive Punch eBook is a collection of short essays designed to be easy readers with clear practical application. The topics are based on stories, experiences and frustrations from multiple performance practitioners around the world.
What’s with the name?
“The Positive Punch” signifies short, to the point, punchy articles which may smack you in the face a little! A lot like getting punched in the face, I hope you learn something from it!
You can expect an easy reading style which is based on 2-3 minutes per read with clearly defined outline of….
The goal is to be able to take the learnings and apply them instantly in your environment. I hope you enjoy the articles.
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The BIG Switch off
Even when you are off work you are still switched on, connected and contactable.
These days it is very difficult to unwind and get some space to clear your head and focus in on something which is important to you. Tech is at our fingertips, unfortunately (when trying to get away from it all) so is social media, emails, text and calls.
There comes a point where you will slowly be drifting into relax mode, switching off from work and focussing in on being present for your family, friends, projects, or activities and then BOOM. A single DM, message or email pulls your right back to it and you need to start the process all over again.
I think we have all been there, and personally I find it really hard to disconnect which has created issues for me relating to being present and enjoying moments. Make no mistake, this IS a problem both draining your battery and productivity. The good news is, that it is entirely fixable and in your control. Here is how………
Build a plan to reduce it.
Become aware. Being conscious of something is a great first step to solving it. Take a look at your screen time and then break down what you see into percentages based on:
This screen time is moving me towards completing today’s tasks/goals This screen time is not moving me towards completing today’s tasks/goals
Next, use easy tools like aeroplane mode, switching off WIFI or go big and get a phone lock box! The most important thing is to become conscious, make a plan, execute, review your results.
|Switch phone/screen off||Black out windows of focus|
|Silent mode-place in another room||Off grid-mute/delete all apps|
|Give your phone to partner/friend||Announce not contactable status|
|Social-1st person to use phone pays!||Leave phone at home|
Being present is the new IN. Bloody hard to do, but also very rewarding for relationships, your
wellbeing and productivity when you can conquer it.
Left of Bang
There may be a crash coming which will impact you and those around you.
‘Left of bang’ is a common term used by the military which describes the process of understanding and knowing what happened before an incident, explosion, fire fight or similar in order to adjust standard operating procedures in future.
When we transfer this concept to the performance practitioner or working world full stop, we can start to identify what the bangs might be and how to mitigate and even prevent them. In this article we are talking about issues such as losing your job, breakdown of relationships, loss of motivation and/or physical, mental, or emotional burnout.
But there are solutions.
There doesn’t always have to be an explosion in your life in order to learn difficult lessons.
Plenty of other people in the industry have these explosions and the smart person learns how to take the lessons learned by other people and apply them to their own lives/situations.
Needless to say, the easiest way to clear up the aftermath of an explosion is to prevent it happening in the first place. In order to do that you need to have a great deal of self and situational awareness.
This is absolutely key to building strong relationships and sustainability in a difficult and unforgiving industry.
- Spend time investing in yourself, specifically who you are, what you like to do and where you are heading
- Critically reflect on your actions and behaviours, are they inline with your values?
- Ask yourself what is everyone’s agenda in this situation?
- What is the overall goal/preferred outcome for everyone in this situation?
- What are the influencing variables in this situation? Can they be changed?
Your development isn’t optimal because you don’t keep daily weekly or monthly tabs on your progress.
Micro, meso and macro reflective practice is an absolute must for keeping a development plan on track. Without pausing to reflect it is easy to get off track or go down all sorts of weird and windy rabbit holes.
Even more damaging is when you think you are actually on the right path, and you keep pushing on at the same rate, this can derail the project you are working on and also set back your longer-term development, reputation and confidence.
The solution is reflective practice.
Self-awareness is the understanding of who you are, where you are right now as a person in a particular environment/situation and where you want to be. Critical reflection a steadfast method of developing high level self-awareness.
One of the major issues of self-awareness is how to develop it. It is pretty common to hear people say ‘this person lacks self-awareness’ or ‘this person could do with becoming more self-aware’. If you have ever heard this said or said it about someone else, the key question is how?
The method below is hand stolen from the Special Forces debriefing strategy.
3 up 3 down -three thigs that went well (to reinforce) and three things to work on
How were the last 30 days?
What do you want to focus on for the next 30 days?
Getting the Reps in.
It takes time to build a skill and often we don’t identify enough as trainable skills.
Feel free to swap skill for habit in this article. When you begin to train a complex movement like a clean and jerk for example, it doesn’t look or probably feel good at all. In fact, it’s not unusual for it to look horrible. But once you have put considerable time, effort and REPS into the movement it will look and feel a hell of a lot smoother.
Most importantly it will likely lead to favourable physiological adaptations if programmed effectively.
The issue is that we don’t apply this same ‘skill development’ logic to other areas of life and we get frustrated and fail, get disillusioned, moan, quit or all.
Get comfortable getting it wrong. To re-phrase this, get comfortable with the ‘skill’ you are trying to develop not being where you want it to be overnight.
Take it a step further and actively seek out some support and feedback for whatever it is from an expert. It could be an element of your professional practice, your photography hobby, cooking, or like me, writing.
It doesn’t matter what the ‘skill’ is, just start getting the reps in, then refine the reps, observe others who do it well, seek feedback and refine.
Then repeat all over again until the reps are smooth, high quality and getting you the desired outcome.
- Accept you won’t get it right straight away, so start where you are
- Observe the journey and be present and conscious of how the skill is evolving
- Critically analyse the reps, but do so with the big picture in mind and a steely determination in your heart
- Use your available resources, apps, video, consultations, social media to expand your knowledge of the skill and awareness for where you are right now
- Seek help professional advice and feedback from the people you feel are executing your skill to a high level
- Enjoy the ride and feeling of being not awesome at something YET
Who are you?
You probably won’t achieve what you want personally and professionally if you don’t know who you are as a person.
This basically means self-awareness. It is about knowing what you like, don’t like, how you react in certain situations and how much control you have over your life.
Continually saying YES to things which you don’t actually want to do or have the capacity to do, putting everyone else’s interests before you own and generally being a passenger in your thinking, decision making and behaviour.
The solution is to press pause and create some guiding principles.
Establish some guiding principles.
It is going to be a bumpy ride continually making decisions which aren’t completely inline with who you are as a person and where you want to go.
In fact, the likelihood of you getting there is slim, and an even lower chance of you enjoying the ride. Which is a real shame as the journey is the most important part.
But you can take some control, it just might be a little uncomfortable to step back and have a really god look in the mirror about who you are going.
But let’s not over complicate things.
List 3 of each
X3 What do you like to do?-find a way to do more of this
X3 What do you not like to do?-find a way to avoid this/reduce negative impact
X3 Who do you like to interact with?-find a way to spend more time with them
X3 Who do you not like to interact with?-find a way to spend less time with them/limit their negative impact
X3 I am happiest when…..-find a way to get more exposure to these
X3 I am down when…….-find a way to get less exposure to these
X3 I really want to achieve this…..-build a strategy and start exactly where you are
Start Where You Are.
You don’t know where to start and you are procrastinating, wasting time and energy. Possibly leads to giving up.
Getting going on a big task or project can sometimes be daunting and a bit overwhelming. Often what ends up happening is that you don’t have a defined start point and you fluff around doing unimportant parts of the work without actually doing anything impactful.
People often end up kicking the can down the road when trying to make a start, but that doesn’t actually help you to move forward in the project and puts off the inevitable.
There is a really straight forward answer though.
Acknowledge where you are on your journey. Then make a positive step, just one.
After you have said to yourself (out loud works very as it stimulates positive brain chemistry which can lead to greater feelings of self-worth and wellness) that you are at the beginning but want to make a positive step forward today, you can choose some low hanging fruit and get after that.
Acknowledging the situation you are in often leads to reducing the stress and pressure associated with it because it calms your emotional brain, allowing your logical brain to start building the plan to get started.
Put some time aside to get some head space. Quiet with no distractions.
‘Ok. This is where I want to be…… I am not there yet, I am currently here on the journey…..’
‘No I know where I am, I’m ready to get started’
‘I am where I am, so here is my first, second and thirds step which I am committing too’
‘I am going to measure this by……’
You Aren’t Fulfilled
Your professional environment is not fulfilling, and this impacts your energy, mood and mental well-being.
Fulfilment is a generic term to encompass feelings related to being accomplished, respected, satisfied, content and happy. When it is lacking professionally it starts to creep into life outside of work having a detrimental impact on your relationships and general well-being.
Often this is manifested as irritability, struggling to be present, poor sleep, lack of energy, being pre-occupied, low mood, inability to switch off, sense of urgency around unimportant work tasks.
The bad news is that it only gets worse, the good news is there are solutions.
Change the environment and/or the way you approach the environment.
This can mean making alterations in the environment you work in, or it can mean that you need to leave that environment.
Whilst you may not always be able to completely fix the issue, you can alter the impact that the situation has on you.
The ability to make some positive change is in your hands.
What impact is this current environment having on my health and happiness? How negative is the impact? Can I accept this?
Yes, I can accept this, but make these alterations to improve my approach.
No, I cannot accept this and I don’t think I can change it.
Track back from where you want to be and work through the steps to get there. Make it happen.
Thank you for reading.
I hope you enjoyed the content.
What’s coming soon?
The back of 2021 is going to be very busy with Career Blueprint campaigning relentlessly for your happiness, health and wealth.
What does this mean?
I will be launching the flagship Performance Practitioner Wellness product which will be the start of your next steps towards a better work:life balance and life full of enjoyment, opportunity and fulfilment
You doing this alone?
No. I have teamed up with some of the most respected and experienced practitioners in the UK and internationally to share and engage in the message that
“You are more than just a performance practitioner.”
“Your personal well-being can no longer be an afterthought.”
What can I expect?
Expect imminent announcements of product launches and the announcement of some really exciting collaborations. In the meantime, expect more great free content delivered via the blog and newsletter.