We all remember days when we did a poor job / failed / got feedback about something we needed to fix. These sorts of moments typically get stuck in our heads – they have a visceral quality.
While these can be helpful in preventing mistakes from time to time, a better approach to shifting our performance up is to take note of what good looks like. What were days when we thought we did well? What did we sound like in those presentations and meetings? How did we feel post-facto?
Once we know what these look like for us, we can both use it to understand how we’re doing at the present moment while also using it to understand what we need to do to level up and set a new bar for ourselves.
Self talk that says – “Don’t do that – remember the last time you failed miserably?” – is limiting. We get more traction when we replace it with – “You were off your best game yesterday. What were a couple of things that didn’t work? How can we do better today?”
While the former inspires fear, the latter inspires forward motion.