How aligned are your thoughts, words, and actions?
I feel very fortunate to have recently taken part in a peak performance pilot training program created by renowned American sports psychologist Michael Gervais and Seattle Seahawks NFL head coach, Pete Carroll. Michael has worked very closely with Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks coaches and players over the past few years, helping each stakeholder in the organization to find their best selves in order to perform at the level that each person is fully capable of performing at.
This training course, Compete to Create, is all about developing the necessary skills and mindset to bring on peak performance under any conditions. The Compete to Create team has some wonderful coaches in place to help and to challenge each participant to learn more about themselves in order to identify what is working and what is not in their lives. Whether it be a personal or professional pursuit, the learning in this course is aimed at better understanding ourselves and the mindset that we bring into difficult and challenging situations. When under pressure, we can often fail to perform to the best of our ability, often leaving us expecting more of ourselves and confused as to why we aren’t delivering in the way that we know that we are capable of.
By applying specific strategies that are entirely within our control (and can be trained), this course guides participants through a series of exercises and activities that help to reframe what is possible in our personal and professional lives. It’s not about hacking our way to a better self that performs amazingly in every situation thrown before us, but instead to put in the necessary time and energy cultivating the conditions that bring about better performance in any endeavor we set out to accomplish in our lives.
Let me make it clear.......
In this blog post, I'm sharing my own thoughts related to my own learning over the past five weeks, not the thoughts or teachings of the Compete to Create crew. Every person's learning journey is an individually unique experience, so this blog post is aimed at sharing my own learning, not the thoughts and teaching of the coaches (Adam, Nicole, and Courtney) or Michael Gervais and /or Pete Carroll. However, it is very important for me to recognize the impact that the entire Compete to Create team has had on my learning. Thank you!
The Value of Critical Self-Reflection
During the five weeks of study in this pilot course, I constantly returned back to and reflected on the work that I have done, as an educator, over the past 20 years. I have always genuinely believed that teaching is the noblest of professions, as every single day there is a blank slate that we have before us. Every single day, we can create a new picture of what we hope to achieve in order to leave a lasting impact on students that we teach and the colleagues that we collaborate with. Our world has never needed our profession more than now.
In my opinion, one of the most prominent themes that came out in this training was the importance of knowing who we are, what we believe in, and aligning everything we do to this specific purpose. Seems so easy to do, right?
However, when we genuinely dissect and examine our own personal and professional lives and are genuinely honest with ourselves, we can often find an incongruence and disconnect between what we believe is important and how we think in regards to our beliefs. And when we dig into these themes even further, we can often see that our actions do not align with our thoughts and beliefs as often as we would hope.
I’ve taken a very hard look at the thoughts, words, and actions that are prevalent in my own personal and professional life through a process of critical self-reflection over the last five weeks while taking this course in order to to identify the gaps and the disconnect between them. Our my thoughts, words, and actions aligned with consistently in my personal and professional life? Am I living my thoughts, my words, and my actions on a daily basis? The honest answer is NO.
As a result of taking this 5-week pilot training program, I’ve given myself a meaningful homework assignment during the summer vacation. This will help me to dive more deeply into what it is I believe in and how I can learn more about myself to better align my thoughts, words, and actions in moving forward in my personal and professional life. So, in sharing this blog post with you, I want also to share a short list of reflective questions that I will ponder and dive into over the next few weeks. I hope that you take 15-20 minutes to jot down these questions and to honestly reflect on them and write your thoughts. At minimum, I hope you just think about them, even if for a few minutes and to ruminate on what answers come to mind. In being the best educator you can be and the best person, I believe that critical self-reflection plays a pivotal role in helping each of us to better understand ourselves and the next steps needed to deepen the personal and professional impact we have on others.
Tough questions to explore, but so important in moving toward the father, husband, educator, and friend I want to be for those around me.
Thanks for reading folks!
KAUST Faculty, Pedagogical Coach. Presenter & Workshop Leader.IB Educator. #RunYourLife podcast host.