The 5 ‘A’s of Performance Mindset – Acknowledge

In this series I look at the 5 As of Performance Mindset to set out the 5 most important aspects of mastering your mindset, and give you tools to do just that.

This episode is about one of the fundamental changes you can make to transform how you perform, and how you feel when you perform. More than that, how this shift can help you set and achieve goals whilst still enjoying right now.

Acknowledgement can be both rewarding and scary. In this episode I dig into how it can work for you....

Podcast 34 - The 5 'A's - Part 4

The Courageous Performer Podcast

The 5 'A's of Performance Mindset - Part 4 - Acknowledge

If you would like to learn how to let go and perform brilliantly, so that you can feel confident (even without being able to guarantee the outcome!) then go to to find out how to work with me.

Read the episode transcript here:

[00:00:00] Hi, I'm Hattie Voelcker from Find Your True Voice, and this is the fourth in my series of five discussions about the five A's of Performance Mindset. And today I'm going to be talking about Acknowledge. There are a number of ways in which Acknowledgement can help your Performance Mindset. Firstly, it's about understanding where you're at. We can so often want to impose or superimpose positive thinking onto our negative situation to make ourselves feel better. So impose positive thinking on a negative mindset and, uh, positive psychology is hugely useful and very, very effective. One of the things I think that holds it back from being really effective is when people haven't acknowledged where they are.

So, for this, it's about acknowledging how you actually feel. How angry [00:01:00] are you? How frustrated are you? How anxious are you? Um, how calm are you? How not calm are you? Acknowledge where you are emotionally because if you want to be somewhere else it's important to know where you are so you can move somewhere else.

There are two things we need to know when map reading. One is where we want to go but if we don't know where we are as well then you can't read the map. So, acknowledge how you feel now. Acknowledge what your current skill set is. And this is one thing that comes up time and time again because as performers, we can want to suddenly become The Best.

We want to stand up and wow our audience and be invulnerable and nail it now even though our skill set when we were practicing is [00:02:00] perhaps still only at 60 percent. So acknowledge where your current skill set is it might not be where you want it to be. By acknowledging where you're at, you can then take steps to get to the next space, the next rung on the ladder.

And then finally, acknowledge where you want to be. So, um, as a life coach, one of the things that I've always set out with People I work with is the outcome they want both from the program of working with me and the particular session we're in right now. Because if we don't have a goal It's much harder for us to achieve a goal. It would just be serendipity or good fortune if we happen to, to achieve something through just me, uh, being a coach and providing a space in which the work can be done.

If however, someone comes in and they don't know what they want, we work on finding out what it is they want because then that's a huge step forward. [00:03:00] So work out what it is you want and where you want to be in a week's time, in a month's time, in ten years time. What are your goals? So that's the first acknowledgement.

Acknowledge where you are and where you want to get to. Next. A more traditional sense of acknowledgement, have you acknowledged your achievements? Because we are so good at acknowledging what we haven't achieved yet, at looking in the gaps in our achievements, and we're less good at looking at what we have actually achieved.

Looking back over your life, what things have you achieved?

And acknowledge that, and acknowledge what it took to achieve those things. What effort did you put in? What courage did you show? And that leads me [00:04:00] to the third thing, acknowledge how courageous you have been in your life with the things you have achieved. Again, it's all too easy to acknowledge how scared and how lacking in courage we might be right now, but actually look at the things you've done and acknowledge some of the, the courage it took to do those things, whether they were successful or not successful, whether they achieved what you wanted or they didn't achieve what you wanted.

You took the step. Next, I want to turn your attention outwards to think about your audience and acknowledge your audience. Who are your audience? And I mean, who are they really? If you look at an, audition panel, we look at them and we know they're going to judge us, and we put them on a pedestal sometimes because they're going to judge us and we see them as [00:05:00] experts in their fields often as not, but they're just people. They're people with a lot of skill and a lot of knowledge. They're still people. They put their socks on in the morning, if they're wearing socks. They, they hopefully put their pants on. They can only wear one set of clothing, generally. Um. They are people.

They have their own insecurities and they have their own wants from the situation. What do they want from the situation? When we're looking out at an audience of business people listening to us, what's their agenda? An audience that wants to be entertained. They're not going to be looking at our every note.

They want something different. So who are your audience and what do they want? Acknowledge that they're sharing their time here, they're investing their time into the space and even if they haven't paid for a ticket, that time [00:06:00] is an expense to them. If they have paid for a ticket they're investing their time and they're investing their money, and that is something I think that is worthy of acknowledgement and acknowledge them as humans.

And for this, I mean, avoid the otherisation. Now, that's a very messy word. But so often, we can look at how people are different to us. We can look at how they're going to judge us and feel vulnerable about it. And that can lead us to possibly resent them even though they've done nothing, we can put thoughts into their heads about what they think about us, that we don't know are there, that we're guessing are there, and then judge them for those thoughts.

Remember they're human and they are going through life living the best they can. They're doing the best they can, even if the best they can may not be brilliant for either you or them right now. [00:07:00] We're all going through life doing the best we can to survive as human beings and make our mark on the world.

That includes your audience. So, Ask yourself who your audience are. Give them credit and acknowledgement for the fact that they are giving you their time, and remember that they are human and frail, like you.

Finally, I'd like you to think about this. I'd like you to think about acknowledging that you are on a journey, not on your way to somewhere, not a journey with a destination, but a journey through.

It's more like an exploration as we go through life. And this is something my granny used to say, and she wrote it once in an article. I remember reading it in a, in this little magazine and it made so much sense to me. She talked about happiness not being a destination. She said happiness isn't a destination.

It's a state of [00:08:00] mind. And that is so true. If we say, "I'll be happy when." we're putting off being happy. We can suck the joy and the, um, interest out of every experience we have, if we view ourselves as trying to get to a destination, all the time, then that stops us enjoying what's going on now.

Now that might sound like it contradicts having a goal. For me it doesn't, because goals, I mean I have hundreds of goals and they change all the time, and goals give me this sense of direction, but not a sense of finality to them. They give me an idea of, oh I'd like to do this next, let me find some steps to do this.

That doesn't stop me saying I'm enjoying the journey right now because this journey doesn't stop, we can't stop this journey until we die and if we don't make a [00:09:00] decision, decisions are made by us not making a decision, because life keeps moving by and if you see life in that way then you can also see it in the way that if you make a mistake, wait a little while and it'll pass you by.

Wait a millisecond, and it's in the past. It's already in the past getting further and further and further in the past. So are all the things that we do well? And that's why I say acknowledge the things you've done. Well bring them back into the present. But the, the things that have been, have gone and are heading into the past, and that means that more and more opportunities are coming up.

Over the brow of the hill keep your head up because life will keep moving and more and more opportunities will show up. You just have to keep your head up to look

So this episode has been about acknowledgement Acknowledge where you are. What you've [00:10:00] achieved. Acknowledge the other people in the world. So when I talk about your audience That's just really meaning everyone else in the world and connect with them, acknowledge them because that will help you connect with them and acknowledge that you're on this journey through life.

And this will really help with your mindset because what joy can you take from now? Even if you're in a really bad headspace, look up. What joy is there out there for you to, to find? What interest is there? And that also taps into and aligns with my idea of if you're making a mistake, have curiosity about the reason that's happening.

Have curiosity and find the joy in life and acknowledge all of these things.

I'm Hattie Voelcker from Find Your True Voice. Thank you for listening.