One of my favourite mental models is the ‘performance equation‘ cited by author Tim Gallwey in his book, The Inner Game of Work. It strikes at the very heart of mindset and the notion that we can achieve whatever we want to put or mind to (literally).
His equation is:
(P=p-i) Performance = potential – interference
What he is saying here is that we can perform to our potential if we have no interference which he defines as internal or external obstacles that prevent you from doing so.
From a mindset perspective these are generally internal mental obstacles that are holding you back creating interference in your life, or your job, that reduces your potential and prevents a performance that you are capable of delivering.
These mental obstacles can be many and varied in including: loss of control, lack of confidence, fear of failure, or your own procrastination.
The solution to your improving your performance lies in either modifying your potential or eliminating the interference.
If there are no apparent mental obstacles then you’ll know that you need to improve your knowledge and skills through additional learning and development.
If you know how to perform but are blocked in some way then your solution will be in clearing your obstacles.
This is where your mental toughness approach kicks in to help you remove, navigate around or manage the obstacles.
In practice, your performance is likely to be boosted through both increasing your potential via developing new skills and removing interference via removing or managing obstacles.