“Performance Thinking – Mental Skills for the Competitive World…and for Life!”, by Dr. Jacques Dallaire of Performance Prime, addresses two basic but profoundly important questions that are relevant to every human being on the planet: ‘How do I mentally sabotage my own performance?’ and ‘How can I control my thinking in order to optimize my performance?’ This interactive book provides a simple, powerful framework of mental “Rules” that the reader can use to understand clearly how the way that they think – directly and indirectly – influences how they perform.
The disruptive influence of distractions is one of the most common complaints that people identify when it comes to the self-sabotage of their own performance. Distractions (both internal, in their own mind and external, from the environment around them), cause individuals to struggle and have difficulty remaining correctly focused on the task in front of them. These distractions negatively impact performance because focus of attention is diverted away from the task to the source of their worry. Dr. Dallaire makes the case that, at its most basic level, the secret to the mental game ultimately is the ability to control focus of attention so that it is directed to the correct thing at the correct time. “Performance Thinking” clearly outlines the nature of this problem and presents practical and effective solutions to address this thorny issue.
Fear of failure is also often cited by individuals as an overriding, emotional response that consumes their thinking and drives their behavior. This is especially true in challenging or difficult situations. In environments where results are seen as critical and where the task being targeted is challenging, fear of not being successful or concern over what others might think of them if they do fail, often influences performance in a negative way. Internal negative thoughts increase anxiety and heightened anxiety levels ultimately lead to a fundamentally incorrect focus that corrupts performance and negatively influences mental and physical health. “Performance Thinking” sheds light on why? and how? this decay in thinking occurs and exactly how self-doubt leads to inferior performance. It also establishes a practical framework of thinking that can reshape your dominant thought and positively influence your ability to perform. The book discusses the dangers associated with an overriding focus on results, explains how we mentally process information at a fundamental level, describes the direct impact that imagery has on performance, and explores in detail what the ‘skill’ of focus or concentration is...and how to control it.
The A.C.T. Model© process that Dr. Dallaire shares in the final section of the book is a methodology that has been proven over decades to help thousands of top performers from many different walks of life achieve – and even exceed – their performance goals. The process, while simple in both design and execution, is a powerful performance modeling tool that can help readers control their thoughts in challenging situations and as a result, optimize their performance. It describes a systematic process of self-analysis and self-correction that engages the unconscious mind in a way that fosters the development of the mental “Zone” that is associated with optimal performance. The mindset that appears to be characteristic of champions can be modeled and learned, and “Performance Thinking” provides a road map to the development of this kind of thinking. It is truely a mental skills ‘toolkit’ to optimize personal performance.