The psychology of performance is directly impacted by our beliefs, assumptions, or schema. As mentioned before, where your mind goes the energy goes. Our beliefs can be self-limiting. It is similar to the story of how to train fleas not to jump out of a jar. Initially, you put the fleas in and put a lid on the jar. The fleas jump and hit their little flea heads on the lid. Eventually, they learn to jump only high enough not to hit their heads. Then you can take the lid off of the jar and the fleas will not jump out because they never go back and test their learning. In our case we have beliefs about how we perform that we may not be testing to see if the data match up with our beliefs. Thus you can have someone who has beliefs about their performance for better or worse and they perform accordingly independent of their capability. If you want to improve your performance in any area, first you have to examine what you believe about how you perform, then test the belief to see if it is self-limiting and finally, implement a plan to provide new data that refutes the original belief. For more information on refuting and changing beliefs, there is a significant body of literture by Albert Ellis and other cognitive psychologists.

Happy Fourth of July! Have a day filled with loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, equanimity and impeccable sobriety.

Robert A. Mines, Ph.D.

CEO & Psychologist