Engagement & Performance from a Musician’s Point of View

Posted Posted in Own Your A-Game, Peak Performance

#engagement #performance #humanresources #disrupthr




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Forbes List of Top 10 Most Stressful Jobs

Posted Posted in Own Your A-Game, Peak Performance

Here’s a slide that I created for an Oregon & Washington Meeting Planners conference.

I think it’s interesting to see a list like this but there are so many variables. For example, a Firefighter may be fully in their element in their work. But they may have troubles thinking clearly in the heat of the moment. Using some of the techniques to get blood flowing in their brain may make a big difference.

A Newspaper Reporter may feel off their game and have lack of interest because they are covering home and garden topics when they are passionate about sports. Knowing what fuels their passion for sports may be something like how teams create outcomes that are far greater than individuals and the concept of unity. So as they cover home and garden topics, they could look for ways to incorporate team topics. How One Community Came Together for a Weekend Garden Makeover! Contractor Builds Office Buildings in Half the Time but with Twice the Quality by Applying Team Sports Techniques. This way the reporter can stay engaged and in their A-Game until they find the best job match for their interests.

How can you bring your A-Game to every aspect of your work?

#talentperformance #performanceimprovement #howto #ownyouragame #humanresources #personaldevelopment #femalemotivationalspeaker




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Own Your A-Game Outside of Your Comfort Zone: Inchworm or Frog?

Posted Posted in Own Your A-Game, Peak Performance, Personal & Leadership Development

Navigating yourself outside of your comfort zone does not have to be a game of chance. You can masterfully navigate being your best self even when you are stretching yourself.

What is Your A-Game?

Owning your A-Game is the ability to consistently be your best self. The first step is to define what your A-Game is. Examine places where you are in your comfort zone already being your best self. This is you in your element, doing the thing you love, losing all track of time, and being fully immersed. What is the activity you are doing? When you define this, you can then choose to purposefully get into this state anytime, anywhere, and most importantly, use it outside of your comfort zone. (For a more in depth look into this process, go here.)

Assess Your Relationship with Risk

Once you have defined your A-Game and you are ready to take it for a drive outside of your comfort zone, take a look at the different scenarios you have avoided by playing it safe. Where would you like to stretch? On a scale of 1 – 10 (10 being highly risky) rate how risky each scenario is for you. Next, give each scenario a “swimming in the cold pool” test. Are you better off diving right in or by slowly acclimating?

Inchworm or Frog?

zhangyuangeng / 123RF Stock Photo

Inchworm – If you need to dip your toe in the pool and slowly acclimate, then you’ll want to be an inchworm as you step into being your best self outside of your comfort zone. Be systematic and break down the mini milestones you’ll need to take. Make sure to celebrate achieving each one!

sergeydv / 123RF Stock Photo

Frog – If you need to dive right into the pool, go for it! Enjoy the thrill! Celebrate any lessons learned along the way.

And of course you may find yourself being creative. Maybe you want to use a bigger inchworm or smaller frog!

Define your A-Game and use it to stand tall in your confidence as you purposefully stretch yourself inchworm or frog style. Make what used to be out of your comfort zone, in your comfort zone and never stop stretching!

#talentperformance #performanceimprovement #howto #ownyouragame #humanresources #personaldevelopment #femalemotivationalspeaker




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Unleash Your A-Game: New Year’s Resolution Mastery

Posted Posted in Own Your A-Game, Peak Performance, Personal & Leadership Development

8% of the population achieves their resolutions. To help you achieve yours, use the Unleash Your A-Game chart. When it’s time to act on your resolutions assess where you are on the chart.  Then do what it takes to move the needle towards absence of fear and being fully present.

Paralysis – Use Your Body

I don’t have fear of heights, except one time when I was on the Hunt Spur near the top of climbing Mt. Katahdin in Maine. I was paralyzed! My friends were cheering me on but I was so stuck, their words were of no help.

The reason why my friends couldn’t talk me through my paralysis is because when you are this stuck, mind over body doesn’t work. This is a body over mind solution. Paralysis means that you are in a full on freeze response. When our stress response is triggered the hormones released into our bloodstream remain in the bloodstream! That means they will perpetuate your paralysis as well as accumulate in your bloodstream.

The only way to release the hormones and any unwanted physical symptoms such as paralysis, brain freeze, sweat, or butterflies, is to replicate some sort of fight, flight, or thawing out. That may look like a vigorous set of jumping jacks, leaving a situation and collecting yourself, or relaxing.

If it’s time to act on your resolutions and you’ve been paralyzed before, then get ahead of the game and  prepare with body movement. If you get stuck or frozen along the way, don’t mentally beat yourself up and certainly don’t give up. Have compassion, use your body and move through it.

On Mt. Katahdin I turned to my breath. Shallow at first, I tried sipping in a little more air with each breath. Once I got to deep abdominal breathing I easily finished the climb.

Courage – Feel the Fear and Do It Anyways – Navigate the Aftermath – Increase Preparation

Our culture applauds courage but nobody talks about the aftermath of courage. Mastery in the aftermath is the critical step. Aftermath can be broken down into 3 scenarios:

1. That went better than I thought! In this scenario confidence is gained and you’re encouraged.
2. I did okay. In this scenario, confidence may or may not be gained. You may or may not be inspired to continue.
3. That was horrible! In this scenario confidence is lost and decisions to stop trying are made.

If you’ve used courage to achieve one of your resolutions and your aftermath leaves you scratching your head, increase everything! Increase using your body to relieve the stress hormones and increase your preparation that relates directly with the resolution. Have compassion, feel the fear and do it anyways and assess the aftermath all over again.

As a highly trained violinist taking auditions, I used courage over and over again expecting a different result. The more I used courage, the worse I did at my auditions and retreated to Plan B. It wasn’t until I mastered my preparation and I massaged my Achilles Tendon 4 times per day that I was able to move beyond courage and get into a state of boldness! (The Achilles tightens automatically as a result of a triggered stress response. Keeping it relaxed had made it possible for me to keep my cool during high stress.)

Successfully navigating through the 3 aftermath scenarios can make or break your ability to achieve your New Year’s resolution.

Boldness – In the Face of Risk, Fearless Action – Assess Presence of Mind – Worst Case Scenarios List

My son, a rafting guide, was sucked under an 8 foot waterfall that delivers 2000 lbs. of water per second. After 30 or so seconds he popped up in the pocket of air trapped underneath the overturned raft. He had enough time for a giant gulp of air before he got sucked down again where he bumped into a rock, felt intense vibrations all around him in the water and then popped up safely downstream.

I asked if he knew what went wrong. He was articulate. He didn’t optimally balance the placement of people in the boat and he wasn’t far enough over to the right during the approach. While he was in the water, he could describe exactly what was occurring which is why I could write about it myself. Once in the water, he was in reaction mode. When it was all said and done, thanks to the safety strap, he surfaced with his sunglasses on.

If you look at the Unleash Your A-Game chart you’ll see the arrow that goes from sensory shutdown to being fully present. The reason why I asked my son if he knew what went wrong was because I was assessing how present he was in the moment of high risk. While many of us would go into emotional amnesia in this situation, it was clear that in the face of risk, because of his presence of mind he was able to be in fearless action. He took one day to physically rest and happily finished out the season as a river raft guide.

While my son was clearly in a risky situation, most of us perceive risk. How can you remove risk so that you can increase your presence of mind and be fully functional? Write down in exquisite detail all of the worst case scenarios that you can think of while achieving your resolution. Once you bring them to light, you’ll know how to work through them or be able to dismiss them immediately. Remove the risk and gain presence of mind.

Absence of Fear – Turn your Nervous Energy into Excitement – Personal Best

“Turn your nervous energy into excitement” is one of those statements we hear all the time but we seldom hear how to do it.

Moving through paralysis, courage and into a state of boldness is a journey of removing the unwanted effects of our fight or flight response which poses as trying to keep us safe. But no matter what, adrenaline happens. In a state of absence of fear, an adrenaline response can now support you.

Kathy had the opportunity to pitch her startup at an Angel Conference. You could say that her goal was to get her startup funded. But the purpose of her startup is to bring creativity and joy into people’s lives. When she purposefully focused on bringing creativity and joy during her pitch in front of a large audience, she was able to use that to fuel her nervous energy and turn it into excitement. Afterwards, people complimented her specifically by saying “hearing you speak was a joy”! For Kathy, this was the first time she had a personal best speaking in front of an audience and now she’s hungry for more!

Mastery over your New Year’s Resolutions isn’t just that you’ve checked them off your list, but that you achieved a personal best doing it. Paralysis doesn’t have to stop you dead in your tracks when you know how to use your body over your mind. Navigating courage broken down by how to deal with the aftermath is critical to keep you moving through the Unleash Your A-Game chart. By the time you are able to employ fearless action, even when you perceive things as risky, you can do what it takes to change your perceptions and step into complete absence of fear. And for that personal best moment, direct your adrenaline into turning your nervous energy into excitement by focusing on the purpose that inspires you the most!


#talentperformance #performanceimprovement #howto #ownyouragame #faceyourfears #personaldevelopment #femalemotivationalspeaker




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How the peak performance lessons I learned as the concertmaster of an orchestra – increases employee engagement, results, and influence!

Posted Posted in Own Your A-Game, Peak Performance, Personal & Leadership Development

As a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music in 1987 I felt invincible! I had not only learned how to live in NYC unscathed, but I had just received top notch, world class violin training.

My next step was to audition for orchestras, a violinist’s version of job interviews. I would show up feeling invincible but in the moment it took to lift the violin bow to the strings… invincible would melt into vulnerable.

Showing my high skill level under pressure was the missing success skill.

Determined, I studied everything I could find about the fight or flight response. I read about the inner game of sports and I put those lucky A-Game moments under a microscope. After 10 years of trial and error I went from non-functional during auditions to becoming the lead violinist of an orchestra where I was expected to be in my A-Game 500% of the time.

As I honed my own peak performance skills, I developed a system for others to discover their own personalized path for consistent excellence so that they could enjoy daily peak performance. Here are some of the results!

Increased Employee Engagement – Getting into your A-Game is a personal matter. Nobody can force you. Circumstances can’t dictate. Defining your A-Game is a personal inquiry into what gets you into your A-Game and it’s always something that is important and meaningful for you. Once defined, people can purposefully choose to either go through the motions of their day – or – engage in something that is important and meaningful. If you had a choice between being a drone or feeling personally connected, what would you pick?

Increased Results – Self-actualization is top of the list of Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs. When people overcome their personal barriers to success, and they can see their performance gap close before their very eyes, like the moth to the streetlight, they can’t help themselves! Peak performance breeds more peak performance.

Increased Influence – You know how awe inspiring it is to watch an Olympian perform a personal best? How about a rock n’ roll guitarist ripping it up? Don’t you agree that watching other people in their A-Game brings something out within you? Here’s the good news. When you are completely immersed in your A-Game, whether you are trying to or not, people will perceive you as passionate and acting in confidence. Here’s the exact words that Stanford researchers use to describe how to be influential. They say that

“Passion is persuasive and confidence is contagious.”

Therefore, when people witness you in your A-Game, like the Olympian or guitarist, you will be persuasive, contagious and influential.

My journey into gaining mastery in peak performance started out by being in survival mode and has since become a way of life. I invite you to discover your personalized path to fulfilling on your potential so you can not only increase your engagement, your results, and your influence but experience a path that is deeply rewarding.

#talentperformance #performanceimprovement #howto #ownyouragame #humanresources #personaldevelopment #femalemotivationalspeaker




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When your body keeps your ideas from being heard, what choice do you make?

Posted Posted in Own Your A-Game, Peak Performance, Personal & Leadership Development

Sitting in the audience at the #BendTECHunConference2017Pitchfest, listening to 18 pitches, one gentleman had a debilitating case of nerves, and he never rallied. He couldn’t remember anything he had planned to say. His innovative idea that solves a huge problem stayed inside of him.

Isn’t that sad?

What triggered his paralysis? Was it that he never used a microphone before? Was it because over 100 people were looking at him? Was it because he knew that people would be voting for the prize winner which in essence meant they would be judging his idea?

While this gentleman had an extreme reaction, we all react to some degree because we are wired to.

Are you a storehouse of unshared ideas as a result?

Do you think it’s easier to keep your ideas to yourself?

Think about the times you didn’t share your thoughts. Were you in a meeting? Were you at school? Were you with family? Do you see any patterns of avoidance?

If you thought it was sad that the gentleman at the pitchfest left without sharing his idea, can you see that for yourself?

Your ideas matter.

I want you to honor yourself and share your ideas. I want you to stand tall in confidence because you choose to have mastery over your stress response. I want you strive for peak performance in your daily life as a path to fulfill on your potential.

The first step is simply to become aware. Are you staying in your comfort zone? Is everything you want on the other side of your comfort zone? Are you ready to expand your comfort zone and learn how to masterfully navigate outside of your comfort zone?

What choices will you make?

#faceyourfears #talentperformance #performanceimprovement #howto #ownyouragame #personaldevelopment #femalemotivationalspeaker




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