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How to Become a High Performer?

Whether you want to succeed in your job, in your life or in a sport you need certain assets that will allow you to work under pressure, that will help you succeed, surpass your previous versions and allow yourself to practically be able to create a growth loop where you can certainly be motivated to continue your growth independently almost from your environment or start becoming a self-adaptive person to find your way through success and growth.

In fact, high performance not only means succeeding in your professional ladder, it means a broader picture of your life where you encompass having a pòwerful health, a stable emotional mood and inspiring relationships, a good contact with your inner self and be able to find peace at stressful moments, and a stable economy that allow to live almost without being worried all the time for hassling money or pursuing the next opportunity just to survive.

In fewer words it means that you’re able to breathe, to enjoy life, to be able to focus in other things rather than your basic needs, and most likely it is because you’re a hyperactive, productive person that always wants new challenges and constantly is seeking ne endeavors to help and to grow.

People that are truly high performers not only worry for themselves and their family, they are also constantly engaging in activities where they can leave an imprint in the society, where they can help others to walk some of the paths that they know they have work for them and for many others to accomplish certain things that we all want.

You might be thinking that this sounds like a dream that comes true, and probably too good to be truth, well it is like your dream becoming alive, actually it is too good but in this case is real, however, and yes this is the big requirement! It will be a long term project, it will be something that once you’re in that path, you don’t want to go back but go forward, requieres discipline, constancy, vision, creativity, openness, resilience and above all requires all the compromise of your heart and mind to get there and to be there!!

Because as probably you’ve heard before, it’s not something that you do it once, taste it, drop it and then come back for more! It’s a life style, it is something that you will adopt and from the moment you step in to the moment you practically die, you will live appreciating, enjoying, and living life to the maximum levels!

And don’t get me wrong here, each person can have a definition for what high performance is, meaning you don’t have to become a billionaire to be a high performer, you can simply be able to live life from a completely different perspective but almost always maintaining a balance/homeostatic outlook for what you are doing in the present moment, for what you want in the future and using the past only as leverage to propel for more!

So what are the most common characteristics of this kind of people, how do they do it, what keeps them going and how do they regulate their emotions and behaviors? ...

Personality is a person’s “unique variation of the general evolutionary design for human nature, expressed as a developing pattern of dispositional traits, characteristic adaptations, and integrative life stories complexely and differentially situated in culture” (1).

This integrated framework for understanding the whole person (psychological self) was expressed in terms of three broad metaphors: the self as social actor, motivated agent, and autobiographical author (1).

It is essential to define the personality for this kind of “high performers” to try to model and construct a specific set of steps and tasks that almost everyone willing to invest time and effort will do them !

As the definition clearly states all the stimuli, the environment, the culture, the surroundings behaviors where we grew up are going to influence the way your inner self will be developed, no matter how much you try to avoid knowing yourself, the environment and experiences will take maybe through automatic pilot and just to live a life in “survival mode” or if you happened to be more worried about your inner knowledge of yourself then you will be able to take the environment and culture as tools so that you take the control in your hands of how you want to be shaped, what are the things that you’ll like to invest time, effort and of course be patient to see the results!

So, now we’ll star to unfold the three proposed metaphors so you can be able to incorporate them to your new model to achieve high performance!

From birth we play the role of social actors. Initially, genetics lay the foundation for people as social actors, whose actions are constantly evaluated by self and others. Indeed, people are performative in the social interactions of daily life and these judgments of social performance are framed relative to others (eg, self-regulation, societal norms). Over time, people’s behavioral signature is characterized by these broad and partly inherited dispositional traits. These behavioral signatures reflect peoples’ social reputation in specific roles such as coaching or across any other contexts (1).

Whether we try to deny or not, our genetics has something to do in our personality development, however it is not a destiny signature, it is not an imprint that we will have to carry over throughout our whole existence, here’s where your self regulation, your awareness can pretty much make a huge impact, because as we all know the blaming or regretting game has never been an asset for anyone that fits into the criteria of being a high performer!

That’s why there is so much emphasis that the best investment you can do knowing yourself, is sometimes going back a little bit to reflect on the wounds that only you know they made an impact on your personality, that made an impact on the way you see things and that have shape the way you’re now behaving, reacting and allowing yourself to have a much more profound impact in you present personality, in your first layer entitled Social Actor!

It is taking those back experiences and seeing the lessons in them, seeing them as an observer, pickup up those messages that probably in that time was not even a wake up call for you, was just something that stayed ingrained in your mind, that probably cause some pain or a lot of pain, but that is still there and is giving you a hard time every time you encounter something similar.

Finally, of course all of these traits of personality will reflect in mostly everything you do, that’s the paramount importance of working with them, healing and I would say that more than once in a while observe yourself than others!

White (1965) refers to the age 5–7 shift that highlights a psychosocial transition from early- to mid-childhood, which has significant implications for personality development. From this transition, children’s personalities from about 7–9 years undergo further transformation toward that of a motivated agent (1).

Children’s psychosocial development during this transformation enables them to choose where and how to invest their time and effort (McAdams, 2013). Social forces are more influential at this layer of personality than the social actor’s traits and are expressed in terms of personal goals, values, ideologies, and cognitive style also refers to this layer of personality as characteristic adaptations, reflecting the influences of social forces on personality development. Peoples’ motivational and intentional lives, and how they differ in relation to a wide range of social-cognitive, and developmental adaptations embedded in time, place, and social role characterize this aspect of personality; children begin to express what they want to achieve, what they want to avoid, and what they value in their lives (1).

Then it comes our Motivated Agent Block or Layer, which is developed once we start owning our opinion, finding what we enjoy, what we like, what we don’t like of course and many of these assets or liabilities will come from our social environment, that’s why it is very important that you try very hard to surround with people that demand more themselves, that already have success and balance in their lives, that motivate you to give more of yourself and become a better version, not with people that promote lazy behavior, that promote toxic cycles or that really don’t have an interest in their mindset and health.

Having a strong role model for your children and also for you even if you already have some influential traits from people that add value in your life, will most of the times encourage with their example to become more, to achieve more and also to be able to enjoy things as they are but with the expectation of really leaving behind the old version of you!

Around late adolescence and early adulthood, people become an autobiographical author. In McAdams’s (1995) integrated personality framework, this third and final layer is concerned with how people make sense of their past life experiences and their imagined future in creating a coherent story about themselves. It is noteworthy that not all stories are coherent within and across all three layers. Nevertheless, this often cohesive, purposeful life narrative and identity builds upon the foundation of the two previous layers (social actor and motivated agent). In telling their story, people reflect upon “why the actor does what it does, why the agent wants what it wants, and who the self was, is, and will be as a developing person in time” (1).

Comparatively, social and cultural forces shape the autobiographical author’s unique story more than the first two layers. “The internalized and evolving stories reconstruct the past and imagine the future in order to describe how we have become the people that we are becoming”; that is, a person’s narrative identity is a first-person account of the author’s subjective understanding of how he came to be and who he is becoming (1).

Finally the last of your personality and how can you develop a real High Performance Life comes with your Narrative Identity, this last layer comes with the sweet dessert of being extremely maleable and subversion as we all know that we were in teenage years, for one side as mentioned by research there’s a high influence of cultural and social interaction, which also explains why most of teenagers enter a stage where they don’t even know themselves, they have serious identity issues and between them serious rage or outbursts of emotional charge!

Moreover as highlighted above, it is the interpretation and perception of the other two layers that will eventually make up for this last layer of identity, meaning that if you had a rough childhood, poor examples, toxic patterns and in general a really harsh environment your teenage years and early adulthood will be challenging, however there’s is a strong counteracting force which is becoming a person, that reflects more in himself/herself that is really interested in knowing answers from a reliable and good source, that learns to go within instead of just searching poor examples of behavior in social media or web browsing for “celebrities” or now “influencers” that just really do more harm than benefits.

And it is in this stage where you as an adult responsible of a child or teenager have to be more aware of almost everything that they have interest, knowing what they like, who they follow, what are they watching or surfing in the web so that you’re at least aware of the influence that your children are exposed to.

On the other hand as an adult, who already have integrated all these three layers, there still hope of taking all the information, constructing now a more coherent, conscious and responsible narrative and owning what has happened to you, embracing the pain, working through the wounds and allowing your self to construct resilience from all of it in order to be able to move on! As you perform this task, I can almost guarantee you that many of the step backs that you’ve had over time, all the sabotage behaviors will start to come out, but now with a more useful narrative that will allow you to be more aware of them and be able to handle them before they grow so much!

Many times during our lives as adults we have experienced events, encounters, struggles that remind us from something we lived either in the Social Actor layer or in the Motivational Agent and those experiences are the ones that are going to test your ability to grow, to generate resilience, to test yourself through the change that you’re expecting from you and that now you want others to witness and more importantly that you’re able to prove to yourself that you’ve processed and integrated the experience to defeat the fear, the anxiety or the sadness that some while ago was still there!

In order to become a high performer, you will have to pass valleys, you will have to cross mountains, and you practically will have to reinvent yourself to come out stronger, more resilient, more aware and conscious and full of clarity that what you want for your life is completely different to what you lived, what you’ve experienced and probably what you thought you were capable of!

Aim yourself for a new outlook, allow all the divine possibilities that are just awaiting for you to synchronize your internal minds (brain and heart), to align your vibrations to the future that you always dreamed of!


1. Mallett, C. J., & Lara-Bercial, S. (2016). Serial winning coaches: people, vision, and environment. In Sport and exercise psychology research (pp. 289-322). Academic Press.

2. Ortega D. “The Power of Your Inner Movie!”. September 06th, 2019

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