The #1 Thing That Improves Performance – Guidance From Brendon Burchard’s New Book on High Performance Habits.

Ever now and then I read a book that makes me want to jump up and down with excitement. That’s how I’m feeling as I’m reading Brendon Burchard’s new book High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way, which summarizes the research he has conducted with high performers over the past 3 years.

There are so many beneficial ideas in this book. I highly recommend it as one to add to your collection if you’re serious about increasing your performance and the quality of your life, as well as the difference you make in other people’s lives.

In this post I’ll share with you a few key ideas to help you move forward with growing your business.

First things first. Guess what the number one factor is that correlates with high performance? The final chapter in Brendon’s book is called The #1 Thing – the one thing that correlates the most highly with high performance.

Yes, it’s confidence.

Confident people are more likely to be happy, feel more fulfilled, enjoy taking on new challenges and feel like they’re making a difference in the world.

On the other hand, they’re also less likely to burnout which is something that you’re at high risk of if you work for yourself. In fact, that’s one of the main reasons that many clients contact me, they feel they’ve lost their edge and struggle to find the energy and motivation that they used to have.

In this chapter on confidence, Brendon describes how there are three C’s of confidence, which are competence, congruence and connection. I’m going to share some of his ideas related to competence (and again, I highly recommend that you buy the book to read more about the other aspects).

How to Increase Your Competence.

The kind of confidence that is linked to performance comes from your belief in your abilities related to a specific task (self-efficacy). He describes the confidence-competence loop which Dr Russ Harris writes about in his book The Confidence Gap: A Guide to Overcoming Fear and Self-Doubt.

As you get more competent in a specific area, the more confident you are to try more often and stretch yourself. The repetition leads to more learning which leads to more competence, which in turn increases your confidence.

An idea than Brendon has recognized is that high performers have confidence in their ability to learn what they need in order to be successful in accomplishing their goals (growth mindset style), in other words, they believe in their ability to figure things out.

So often you hold back taking action waiting until you feel more confident when the way to feel more confident is through mastering skills related to the action you need to take.

There is something incredibly empowering when you start to adopt the belief that everything can be learned.

Brendon gives some performance prompts for self-reflection work to journal about to build you sense of competence.

The prompts include:

  1. The competences – knowledge, skills, talents, abilities- that I have worked hard in my life to cultivate include………
  2. If I gave myself credit for learning all those things I would start to feel more…..
  3. A practice I’ll start doing every week to help me start feeling more confident is…..

These prompts are particularly relevant for people who struggle with Imposter Syndrome which many of my clients do (I myself am one in recovery ;).

If you struggle with the chronic self-doubt that goes with Imposter Syndrome you will struggle to internalize your successes and take credit for your competence.

Learning to develop a more realistic perspective around competence is part of overcoming Imposter Syndrome. One practice that I recommend for clients is a daily review answering the questions: “What went right today? and“What did I learn?”.

This serves to counter the default confidence-undermining tendency of focusing on what went wrong and what you didn’t accomplish.

What skills do you need to develop? 

In the productivity section Brendon writes about figuring out what outputs matter to you and your career/business success.

Figuring out what you’re supposed to produce, and learning the priorities in the creation, quality and frequency of that output, is one of the greatest breakthroughs you can have in your career.

Once you know that, you can decide which key skills you need to develop.

One of these areas that so many of my clients struggle with is marketing their services. They struggle to speak or write about their work in a way that brings them clients, which means that their business struggles to be consistently profitable.

And while they love the work they do, the stress of running their businesses makes them wonder whether it’s worth it and if they have what it takes to make it work.

So for many of them, their key skills involve learning to be more effective and productive with their writing, and being able to speak both informally and formally through talks, interviews and podcasts.

If you’d like to have more confidence, spend some time reflecting on the prompts that Brendon suggests to identify the key skills you can work on to develop your own confidence and competence so you can grow your business.

  1. Three skills I could develop that would help me feel more capable and confident are…………
  2. The simple steps I could take to improve these skills include……
  3. The coaches or mentors I could seek out concerning those skills are……


Let me know in the comments below what key skills you’ll be working on to build your competence and confidence.


2017-10-09T15:39:58+00:00 October 9th, 2017|Blog|