I’m reading a wonderful book titled Endure. The author puts forth theories from the greatest scientific minds studying the outer limits of human performance. The experts, not surprisingly, do not agree on much. The only place they seem to all agree is that the greatest limiter to elite performances comes down to the perception of effort. In other words, how hard it feels dictates with greater accuracy than any physiological measurement we’ve developed to date, how long you can sustain it.
Our problem is we have not accustomed ourselves to how it feels to sustain something difficult. We are soft. So, friend, the best way to immunize yourself from the plague of playing in your comfort zone is to begin doing some of the hard things you’ve been avoiding, well, like the plague. If you grow bored making the mundane follow up calls to key prospects, make yourself make five in a row. The perceived effort will dissipate with repetitive effort. If you struggle finishing off runs, and you’re a runner, make yourself sprint 15 feet beyond the finish line 4 times in a row. If you’re a leader and you struggle making decisions that you stick to, make yourself decide a PA (productive action) on 3 initiatives you’ve been holding in your head for many a moon.
The biggest limiter to elite performances comes down to your perception of effort. You, most likely, can do more than you think. The problem is you believe you’re at the redline and have nothing left to give. Think about this, friend. How many Olympic silver and bronze medalists completely collapse at the finish line? How many Grapplers can’t get to their feet once seven minutes of suffering has come and gone? Your problem, just like mine, is your pace. You’re leaving way too much in the tank and all because you think it feels worse than it is. Your best is being buried by your self limiting beliefs. Not good.
“If it’s endurable, then endure it.” Marcus Aurelius