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NLP and Peak Performance

by Frances Coombes(more info)

listed in nlp, originally published in issue 190 - January 2012

The only Goals you can get Control of are the Little Ones you can get on the 'To-Do' List
Motivation and peal performance come from knowing what you want to achieve in life. Many of us move through life with a few goals and objectives, but without a real sense of purpose. Our goals are often more about what we don't want, rather than moving towards the things we do want. We might say we want a better job, partner, or home, but will wait to act until our current situation becomes so difficult that there is really no other option.

Assumptions to Adopt for Peak Performance

Positive Assumption Reason
If what you are doing is not working, do something else. If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always got.
There is no failure, only feedback. What really matters is that you learn from the results. Whatever occurs, you can use the feedback to change your future behaviour and improve your results.
People have all the resources they need to make changes that will make a difference to their performance. You already know the answer. There is always something you can do to make a difference and the answer is usually an inner resource.
We all have different versions and viewpoints about how we view reality. To build rapport with someone, join them in their world. We filter information about the world through our senses and each person focuses on different aspects and creates different models of reality.
You cannot change another person, you can only change yourself. Changing your behaviour will change other people's responses to you.
Visualizing and thinking about the changes you want to make is the first step to making improvements in your life. Changes start off as thoughts. You have to see yourself in your 'mind's eye' doing things - and then take the next step and turn them into ACTIONS!

Mental Rehearsal Trains the Mind
Mental rehearsal prepares you for events and trains your unconscious mind to perform tasks in a pre-determined way. Most physical tasks, such as breathing, walking, driving a car, are carried out unconsciously, once the initial preparation work of learning has been done. By mentally rehearsing future successful outcomes, you are communicating with your mind through pictures, inner dialogue, feelings, tastes and smells, and building up patterns of what a successful outcome will look like.

Take Responsibility for Making Things Happen
With peak performance comes taking responsibility for making things happen. A lot of people do what is called 'shelf-development' - they learn new skills and park them at home out of way on a shelf somewhere. Peak performance involves living your life by creating the circumstances and making things happen, rather than drifting through life and reacting to situations that happen to you. When you develop high levels of personal mastery you will continually expand your ability to create the results in life you want to achieve.

Take a Course in Personal Mastery
Reflect upon how much of what you do is based on randomness? How much of what you do is done on purpose? How often do you hear yourself say "the opportunity came up and I took it", rather than "I had the opportunity and now it's gone"?

  • Don't set your objectives in isolation; make sure they are connected to your other goals. That way you are going in the right direction and your 'ducks are lined up in a row'.
  • Set goals that are designed to let you live your life's purpose, the things that make you feel alive, and purposeful.

Clarify your Purpose
These questions will help you to clarify your definition of purpose. Write two or three sentences in answer to each question.

  • What are the things you are good at, things that give you energy?  Always move towards what gives you energy. Move away from what saps your energy.
  • What type of life do you want to lead?
  • What type of work creates positive energy in you?
  • How will you feel when you are using your skills to do the things you are most passionate about in your work?

Does What You are Doing Fit?
Many people are capable of doing much more than they will ever achieve in life, but some stagnate where they are because they are afraid to challenge themselves to live their life more purposefully.

  • What risks are you prepared to take to achieve the things you want?
  • How will what you do affect the people around you? The people you love and are important to you. If you are doing something different then it is best to get them on board in the beginning.
  • Do you have action-packed goals, and do they relate to your purpose and passion in life.

You have the Power to Change your Thinking
You have the power to change your thinking at will. You can change your thoughts now in order to achieve the feelings you want to have when you have already achieved your goal. The idea is to bring those feelings from the future forward and harness them so you are feeling them right now, before the event - so you can experience and taste the feeling of success right now.


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About Frances Coombes

Frances Coombes Advanced Dip CBT/REBT Dip CBT offers one-to-one therapeutic coaching in North West London and on Zoom.  She is a is a CBT/REBT psychotherapist in North West London, a NLP Master Practitioner and Rational Emotional Behaviour Therapist and runs life coaching groups in London and on Zoom.  She teaches NLP at The City Lit in Central London and tutors at the City Lit and Mary Ward Centre in central London on Using REBT for Managing Stress and NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming). She runs goal setting and REBT coaching groups for vulnerable people for inner London authorities and charities.  

Her most recent book is Motivate Yourself and Reach Your Goals, pub, November 2013, Hodder Headline. Available on and  For extract visit To inquire or book personal development courses contact Frances on Tel: 07818 896 795; 


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