Our perception of ourselves can have a huge influence on our performance. The language we use, our inner dialogue and conversations dictate our behaviours and actions. All our self-concepts can either enable or hinder how we go about life. They hugely influence who we are, how we deal with others and how well we perform. They also dictate how we deal with day-to-day challenges, like getting stuck in traffic or bigger hurdles that we may encounter.

Currently, the global health crisis is a good example of a huge obstacle we are facing. Understandably, this is a scary and uncertain time for everyone. It challenges all our ideals. Suddenly, we seem to doubt our own and others’ attitudes. Our society is forced to operate differently – our behaviours and mindsets are daily changing. Our perceptions also hugely shape our interpretation of what’s taking place in the world. The scary thing is that our own thoughts about how we feel and what we believe are quietly in the background of our minds. As a result, we often don’t give them much attention. We let them be influenced by stronger messages we see or hear – especially in the media. But we need to become more aware of them.

For me, right now I’m choosing to self-isolate. I’m trying to develop a new routine that still incorporates both my physical and emotional needs. Despite knowing the importance of developing this regime I still find myself conjuring up excuses for not rising early and getting out of my PJs. “What’s the point, I could be housebound for months!”,I’ll get back to things when life returns to normal!” to “I’ll just get sick!!” Clearly, these thoughts only heighten my feelings of entrapment and being stuck. As a result, I feel less motivated to develop a new regime and try to see what’s possible. I’m subconsciously expecting the worst – my thoughts are limiting me.

How often do you believe that you can’t do something? How often are you pre-empting a dismal outcome and maybe unintentionally limiting your performance?

Try to become more aware of your thoughts right now, especially in response to this virus. Is this response serving you, or holding you back? Be aware of your own mindset and how it can really dictate your performance. Perhaps also be mindful of how another’s attitudes and actions (whether it’s a journalist, your family member or colleague) influences your own thoughts and behaviours.

Ultimately, your mindset can either serve you or stop you. Choose to make it serve you. Expect the best for yourself. You can’t control the world’s reaction to what’s going on but you can take control of your own reaction.