The Focused Intensity -Rest Cycle of Peak Performance

Do you think that in order to succeed and be productive that you have to keep pushing and plugging away?

Do you think that if you just work harder, try harder, and force yourself to focus that you’ll figure it all out?

If you do, you are likely falling trap to the myth of pushing through challenges with the hope that the answer you seek is on the other side.

I used to feel like I had to go at it like a person possessed.  Whether it was working in my business, riding my bike, or back in the days that I studied guitar, I always had to do things 110% all the time.  After all, we want to give our best effort and do what it takes, right?

The problem with this approach is it only leaves you injured/ill, burned out, and frustrated (even if you reach some external goal you were shooting for). Lucky for me I got to be injured, burned out, frustrated, and end up hating the very things I wanted to love.

What is truly needed to perform at your very best is a cycle of intensity and focused work followed by intentional rest.

Rest for Peak PerformanceLet’s take my kittens for example, a living example of peak performance. They can play, leap, chase, and practically fly through the air with intensity and focus that I could only dream of.  They run until their mouths hang open panting for air with a thoroughly satisfied look on their face.  Then they rest.  Full-on, unabashed, and absolute slumber.  Their limbs are Gumby-like and they are out cold.

The contrast between effort and rest is what enables them to get up and do it all over again in an effortless display of feline prowess.

The same cycle of focused intensity combined with rest can be found in elite performers of all kind: athletes, musicians, dancers, and business leaders.  It is what makes someone a peak performer.

So if you are looking to be that peak performer in your own life, you need to consciously create this yin and yang for yourself.  You simply can’t just “suck it up” for “as long as it takes”.

Here’s how you can cultivate this for yourself.

First, the inner awareness:

The mindset shift is perhaps the biggest obstacle in all of this.  High achievers feel like they need to be “doing something” at all times which can lead to over-efforting as well as being spread too thin attempting to do and focus on too many things at once.  Remember: even my kittens are only successful when they focus on one thing at a time.  The minute they try to watch both the bird and the toy, they capture neither.

Give yourself permission to see rest, play, and stillness as honoring your commitment to being your best and reaching your goal.

Next, some practical action:

  • Intentionally limit your focus to only a few main goals (3-5 max) and only ONE thing at any given moment.
  • Focus fully on one task at a time for specific increments (ex: 60 or 90 minutes at a time) and turn off all other distractions for this period (turn phone ringer off, email off, smartphone off, etc.).
  • Plan open, unscheduled time for rest, play, fun, and creative exploration.  This is a daily/weekly blend of plenty of sleep, time to just “BE”, play, and be fully engaged in pursuits outside of your business.  I recommend doubling or tripling the time you think you can spare for this part of the equation.

I can guarantee you that you’ll feel awkward and uncomfortable with the space you create.  You may feel guilty like you should be doing something instead of resting or playing.  You may seek to fill any and all space created with something else – busywork, distractions, laundry, etc.  I invite you to notice how you’re feeling and accept it.  Allow it to be there, be uncomfortable if you must.  You will find if you can sit with these feelings and self-talk for a bit, you will arrive on the other side here there is peace and intentional rest.   This is your point of power within the focused intensity/rest cycle required for anyone who wants to be at their best.

Ready to gain the clarity and focus you need to create the yin and yang balance necessary to succeed on your own terms? Contact me today for an exploratory Intuitive Intelligence® Activation Session and capitalize on the power of peak performance for your life and business.

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