Whether in business or in sports, we all want to perform at our best and have fun doing it. For many of us however, optimal or peak experiences do not happen frequently enough. There are three things that impact on peak performance: our thoughts about the past, our thoughts about the future, and what we think about in the moment.

The Past: Past thoughts and feelings can impact either positively or negatively on how we perform on any task. When we are confident we tend to perform better, yet anxiety can derail your performance. Think of negative “self talk” as is your own personal kryptonite.

The Future: Thoughts about the future can also have either a positive or negative impact not only on performance. Thinking that you “have to win (or else)” creates undue pressure which can derail performance, whereas thinking that you “can win (and dare to lose)” creates the desire to win without the extra pressure created by fear of failure.

The Present: Thinking about the past and the future influence our performance in the moment… if we let them. The key to great performances is to stop thinking. Focus on the moment and have confidence in your ability and trust the process. When you think about the past or future you risk infecting your performance with feelings of anxiety and pressure to succeed, both of which can not only drastically detract from your performance, but make it almost impossible to have fun in doing it.

Remember that how we think impacts on how we perform.