If you read the last blog post, we discussed our ‘why’ and the impact of exploring our values and putting them into action. While we briefly touched on living in alignment with our values, I want to further dive into how we put that into action.
With clarity around what our values are, we can create committed actions to those values. Committed actions are behaviors that we act upon on of which are driven from our core values. It can be drawn down to an “If, Then” statement. For example, “If I get overwhelmed in ‘x’ situation, then I will rub my fingers together to remind myself of my goal and bring myself back to the present”, or “If I notice that my teammates are down, then I’ll make an effort to support them.” It takes out the step of weighing our decisions and causing ourselves distress by thinking about the possible ways we could respond or take action. With commitment, we show up regardless of the circumstances because that is what you do at this time. When the situation presents itself, you don’t think about it. You do it.
In every performance domain, there are pieces that (let’s be honest) are not the best. Whether that’s waking up at 5 AM for sprints or workouts, or getting out on the hill in a freezing cold winter storm, or today is just not your day, there’s something out there in every domain that is not that awesome. Sure, sometimes the motivation is there to do it and to give it your all, but not always as motivation can go up, down, left, right, and sideways. That’s just a piece of being a human. But, when we look at committed action and commitment, we do it. We step into our discomfort zones and use our skills (both mental and physical) to guide us through them. We reshape our relationship with motivation. We show up for our teammates and support our peers. We do it because we are committed to our values, our team, and our improvement. We give the most out of whatever we have in that day. We give 100% of the 75% we have.
Through commitment and determining how we want to bring ourselves and our values into our performance, the swaying thoughts and feelings behind motivation become sidebars. We become driven by what we value and who we want to be. There becomes a sense of purpose within our performance realm and further enjoyment in meeting the challenges at hand rather than seeing them as threats to our identities and skill levels.
Our thought processes develop into “with my values and who I am, what am I going to do in this situation”, and we act based on who we are and what our committed actions are. We do things because we have awareness that this is the type of person I am. Our actions become driven more so by our self-discovery and our internal experience than they are driven by external factors.
At the same time, let’s take a step back and recognize the importance of rest and recovery. In alignment with our values, committed action, and personal philosophy, rest and recovery should reside. It is a vital part of the committed action equation as we need to restore the emotional, physical, and spiritual energy we expend. With lack in our recovery, we feel diminished and lack the drive, or connection, to our values and committed actions. While it may feel like staying on the constant grind is beneficial and productive, it’s more about how we expend and recover. Recovery is a vital portion of productivity and authentic committed action through our values.
- Gervais. (2018). Living in alignment with your personal philosophy. Retrieved from https://findingmastery.net/living-in-alignment-with-your-personal-philosophy/
- Aoygai. (2019). Entrepreneurship, University of Denver SPP.
- Jenny Simmons
Mental Performance Coach
Universtiy of Denver Sports Psychology ‘18