A few years ago, I had the privilege of purchasing a block of coaching sessions from one of the top executive and personal coaches in the United States. The individual who worked with me was up to date on the most powerful and cutting-edge techniques of both personal coaching and NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming). He not only had breadth of knowledge in both fields of expertise; his competency in the techniques developed through that knowledge was exceptional. I’ve retained notes from those sessions that remain in a fire-proof box.

One method of personal improvement he taught that’s had a lasting impression on me is a contextual self-scoring technique. Its impact can be almost surreal, probably stemming from the fact that it causes a person to “dissociate” in order to properly perform the mental exercise. Dissociation is a terrific skill for experiencing increased success in any endeavor. It requires us to go outside of ourselves and look at our situations objectively – as if we are in a third person position. Done effectively, it removes the emotions from the context, content, and process of a life scenario in order that we can assess and apply effective actions to those situations.

Let’s look at the 5 basic steps of the technique:

1. Identify a context of life you’d like to improve (i.e. Income/Career, Fitness, Family, Intellectual, Emotional Wellbeing, Spiritual, etc.). If you have trouble choosing, go with the one that, when improved, will have the most positive effect on the other areas.

2. Self-score your performance within that context. If you were to take a step back and score your present performance between zero and ten in that area of your life, what score would you give yourself? With zero meaning you have no performance in that area and ten meaning your performance is absolutely outstanding, observe yourself from afar and score your performance as objectively as you can.

3. Let’s say you give yourself a score of seven. The next question: At what score would you like to be performing?

4. Let’s say you’ve decided you want to go all the way to a ten. The next step is to close your eyes and imagine what performing at a 10 in that area looks like. What does it feel like? How does it sound? What are you not doing now that you would be doing when performing at a 10? What are you doing now that you wouldn’t be doing if you were performing at a 10? What do you need to add, change, or delete in order to go from performing at a 7 to performing at a 10?

5. When you’ve identified what it is that you need to add, change, or delete from your current behavior to go from a 7 to a 10, it should become clear to you which values and beliefs might be standing in your way of making these changes.

Values are what’re important to us. Beliefs are what we think is possible. Conflicting values or a subconsciously self-imposed limiting belief are usually the obstacles left to overcome once we’ve established what we need to add, change, or delete in order to improve our performance.

What do I mean by conflicting values? Let’s say one of the things you find very important in life is getting your body into terrific shape. Suppose you also hold career success in very high value and that inspires you to frequently work long hours. It’s not difficult to see how these two values can quickly begin to conflict with one another. They both take time and we only have so many hours in each day.

But what if the notion that you need to spend exceedingly long hours to succeed in your career is an erroneous belief? What if it actually stems from a mistaken self-belief about your inherent capabilities and efficiency? If this were the case, it’s feasible that you could reduce your work time and increase your career output with a change of inner beliefs and outer strategy. That would free up time that you need for making it to the gym and improving your fitness level.

At the same time, you might hold an erroneous “global belief” (as opposed to a self-belief) about the amount of time required each day to get in shape. Many people have an ineffective strategy for fitness that negates synergism and thus has them working out too often with lackluster results. It’s clear to see that correcting this global belief and overcoming the limiting self-belief about capabilities and efficiency could power up one’s performance in both life contexts.

This example might be somewhat overly-simplified, but it provides an idea of what you can do with this mental exercise. It shows you how a clear view and analysis of your performance can lead to an understanding of what’s either lacking or amplified in your current behaviors within specific areas of your life. This understanding can show you what might be holding you back. It can obviously provide this discernment all the way to the areas of your subconscious self image.

But things don’t become this clear until we dissociate – until we go outside of our emotional selves and take as objective a look as possible. I highly recommend that you adopt this incredible mental technique of self-scoring and analyzing for doing exactly that. More than anything else, it will show you precisely where to apply self improvement for powerful results.

Author's Bio: 

Scott Abbett has been on both sides of the physical fitness spectrum and everywhere in between. In his teens and early twenties, he was a skinny kid who desperately wanted to gain muscle weight. In his late twenties through mid thirties, he was a self-proclaimed carbohydrate junkie with a thirty-eight inch waistline and a penchant for eating two double cheeseburgers and over-sized fries in a single sitting. “I used to fall asleep on the couch with a stomach full of lasagna with extra cheese, banana cream pie, and forty ounces of beer”, says Scott. “I know what carb addiction is.” He ballooned up to over 230 pounds at a mere five-foot eight.

Yet he’s twice finished a physical regimen that most men couldn’t do once. “When I went through Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL Training in the 1980s, we had 75% voluntary attrition by the end of Hell Week. I finished it twice. I also know what it’s like to be in elite physical condition.”

Scott’s experiences with extreme fitness and unremitting fat gain have taught him much about the mind and body. In addition, over twenty years of natural bodybuilding have led him to unorthodox muscle building methods that have made this “formerly frustrating endeavor” into a “rewarding experience of continuous muscle expansion”.

Scott is a certified Trainer of NLP and is also certified in Sport’s Mental Training. He claims his Fitness Trainer’s certification seems more a formality than anything else. “I’ve learned my most valuable lessons in fitness and physique enhancement through twenty years of experience."

For this reason, he’s named his business ‘Street-Smart Fitness Co.’.

To see his own transformation, visit http://www.hardbodysuccess.com