3 Steps of Performance Change

I’m going to say it.

I know You have one.

I know you have a Big Hairy Audacious Dream.

Now, you might not be talking about it…. I get it. Sometimes, probably most of the time, our Big Hairy Audacious Dreams get a lot of feedback from others instead feedforward. However, in your mind, heart and soul… you have one!! A burning desire that every time you think about it – invest time moving it forward – you get fired up. It lights that spark inside of you. It’s a place where you begin to become the person you were meant to become.

But as you move forward, you find for every step or two you move forward, you get knocked down or have a setback. You may be wondering if you can take it anymore; or is it even worth it. You may stop & take a break. Heck, you may even quit. Now, this may or may not resemble any of your experiences. However, I am sharing with you what it looked like for me.

 •  If you haven’t already, check out my website DoneneTaylor.com and read the pdf “The One Thing That Changed Everything for Me.”  • 

I have told my story of how it took me 38 years to be a World Champion in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association in the Tie Down Calf Roping. When folks hear me say it took me 38 years to accomplish my dream I get a lot of raised eyebrows. I mean 38 years is a very long time to do anything, Right?!

It was January 2015, I am at Lari Dee Guy’s Ranch taking roping lessons. I had a great lesson that day. I made a lot of progress. We have just finished eating dinner at Lari Dee’s home. Lari Dee & I are sitting in her one-of-a-kind living room sharing stories.

Then Lari Dee asks me one of the most Thought Provoking questions I had ever been asked. Lari Dee asks me, “Why is it taking you so long to win the World?” She knew exactly what I wanted, and she knew some of the stories that were woven into this journey that I had been on for over 3 decades.

I do not come right back with an instant answer. I had never been asked or asked myself that question.  I pause, think about her question and to put an answer together. I tell Lari Dee, “It has taken me this long because I was not the Captain of My ShipI was not making my own decisions. Instead, I was being passive and giving my power away.”

After I left Lari Dee’s ranch, my life changed drastically. I realized I had this Big Hairy Audacious Dream, but I had been sleeping through it. I decided that I was going to transform this Dream to a Mission.


When Lari Dee asked me the question, “Why is it taking you so long to win the World?” she helped me gain awareness. After Lari Dee questioned me, I woke up the Awareness I needed to strategize a plan and take action to accomplish my mission. I became the Captain of My Ship! Awareness is the first step of performance change.

The 3 Steps of Performance Change are: Awareness, Strategy and Action.

When these 3 steps are taken, they can change performance in anything: training/practice, competing, school, work, finances, relationships, anything and everything.

I have found the best way to spark (Step 1) Awareness is to ask myself thought provoking questions.

Sometimes, the answers don’t come to me immediately. Gaining awareness is a process. Here are a few questions I ask myself:

 Where do I want to go?

 Why am I not there?

 What can I do to close the gap to get from where I am to where I want to be?

 If money, time, effort didn’t matter, if I had all the resources I needed at my fingertips, what would I do?

That last question really frees up my thinking. It takes away barriers. It allows me to brainstorm outside the box with no constraints.

(Step 2) Strategy can be a creative process and it can be a research project.

Most of the time, for me, it is both. It’s important to remember, when developing a plan, that it does not need to be the Perfect Plan or the No Fail Plan. Because there is No Such Thing as a Perfect or No Fail Plan. Some of my Strategic Plans have failed. When they do, I grow through them – find the lesson and learn.

I have experienced more learning, growing, and improvement from my mistakes & failures than from my successes.

(Step 3) Action can be the most difficult of the Steps to execute.

Like the Nike slogan says, “JUST DO IT!” Once I’ve identified what I need to do through Awareness, and once I have a Strategy,  I do not hesitate to take action. Within the next 24 – 48 hours, I’m taking action to move forward. So, I make the phone call, write the letter, send the Email, schedule the meeting, do the research, sign up for the clinic/school, begin the class, begin working out, hire a trainer, buy/eat healthy foods, read the books, watch the videos, get a coach, work with a mentor. You get the idea. I make it a point to Take Action immediately.  This quote, by Dr. Rob Gilbert, is what I tell myself when I’m having a difficult time taking action: “It’s the start that stops most people.”

You and I may have something in common regarding these 3 Steps of Performance Change.

For years, I was implementing these 3 Steps without realizing I was doing them. Highly possible you have been unknowing using these 3 Steps in your life, as well.

For a long time, I had no idea how vital these 3 Steps are to increase my performance level.  However, once I became aware of the 3 Steps then I became consistent at intentionally practicing them.

In May 2016, I began one of my self-awareness quests; just like I had been doing for a while. At this time, my roping and horsemanship had really begun to improve, and I was seeing positive results.

 • (Step 1) Awareness 

I begin asking myself questions: “What can I do to close the gap from where I’m at to where I want to be?”

My answer: “I believe if I had a mental performance coach it would help me “close the gap” and I would put myself in the best position to accomplish my goal to win the World.”

My next question: “Can I afford a mental performance coach?”

My response: “Can I afford not to hire a mental performance coach?” I did the math…I concluded that I could not afford to go another year doing what I’ve always done; getting the same results.

 • (Step 2) Strategy

I brainstormed on what type of coach I needed. I decided to do research on the internet to find a coach. This took some work. As I researched, I found Brian Cain. He instantly began resonating with me. He was coaching mental performance strategies and principles that I knew I needed to improve upon. He was also discussing mental performance topics I knew nothing about. I decided to reach out.

 • (Step 3) Action

Within 24 hours, I reached out and sent an email to Brian Cain. The next day, he called me and agreed to take me on as a client. We scheduled our first Skype coaching call. It all happened “that fast.” My mental game immediately grew exponentially as I worked one on one with my Mental Performance Coach.

Having awareness is useful when you are looking for a solution or when things are not happening in the way or the time frame need you desire.

It’s equally important to have awareness when everything in our world is right.

We want to maintain awareness when our mechanical and mental game is right on point, our goals are on track, we are moving forward and seeing positive results, our bodies feel great, our relationships are working, we are confident, focused and having fun.

When “life is good,” this is a great time to use (Step 1) Awareness.

It is equally important to document all the great stuff that is happening during practice and while competing. We want to journal our habits, routines and thoughts during the great times. Everything gets journaled the good, bad and when the “stuff hits the fan.” When the struggles, challenges, adversities, mistakes, failures happen…(Oh Yes, it is coming)…then will we have a solid resource to refer to.

Being deliberate of the (Step 2) Strategy in maintaining a Performance Journal will be worth all the time and effort invested in maintaining it.

The Performance Journal will contain documented information of each practice/training session and competitions. When reviewing the Performance Journal, it will become apparent in what changed. What did we stop doing or start doing? What shifted in our habits, routines or thoughts. Has our effort, attitude or perspective changed. When we take the time to document, we remove some trial and error from the equation because now we have true data. We can identify what worked and what did not work.

For me, identifying what had changed, was usually something very small, seemingly insignificant such as: a habit I started or stopped, a change up in my routines in practice or competing, my thought processes, my positive self-talk or lack of it.

Implementing (Step 1) Awareness and (Step 2) Strategy is key in helping to keep our performance consistent.

Here are some thought provoking questions I ask myself to spark the awareness I want:

•  What went well today?

 • How often did I work my routines?

• What level of effort, energy, enthusiasm did I bring today?

• What was my perspective and self-talk?

• Do I have a problem I need to find a solution for?

• How will I find the solution?

(Step 3) Action is writing in the Performance Journal.

Keeping a Performance Journal is easy to do; but it is also easy not to do. It is easy to say “It’s not that important”, or “I’ll do it tomorrow.” However, it gets real important to us when the “stuff hits the fan” and we are questioning why our performance has changed. Having a complete Performance Journal is a great resource.

Each day I find myself working in one of these 3 Steps of Performance Change:

Awareness, Strategy or Action.

For me, once I am intentional working these 3 Steps, my life begins to transform. When I have the awareness, I need to change and what I need to change; my life begins aligning with what I want to have happen. When I’m the Captain of My Ship my life moves in the direction I want it to go.


What is one thing in your life that, if you could change it, would help you close the gap from where you are to where you want to be?

I encourage you to brainstorm, be creative, ask yourself thought provoking questions.

Let me know by commenting below…

I would Love to Empower You with Tools that Will Transform Your Dream into Your Mission!

Be the Captain of Your Own Ship!!

Have you identified your Biggest Challenges as you work towards accomplishing your mission?

I can help you identify the awareness you need to begin, help you develop strategies that work and hold you accountable to take the action needed to begin your journey of becoming the best version of yourself.

Also, if you’re interested in:

  • goal setting,
  • developing a success plan,
  • confidence,
  • being a savage of your time,
  • keeping process over outcome,
  • practicing present-moment focus,
  • growing through adversity,
  • developing personal routines to help you practice and compete with consistency,
  • releasing bad performances and quickly refocusing,
  • competing your best when it means the most,

I have an amazing mental toughness conditioning program that might be a good fit for you!

Throughout this program, you will gain clarity and design your custom success plan to ensure you stay on track and make 2018 one of your best years yet!

I would Love to connect with you! I can be reached by this email or you can DM me on Facebook. I will follow up with you within 24 hours.

I know how beneficial it was for me to work 1-on-1 with a Mental Performance Coach. Prior to getting a coach, I invested years reading mental game books and articles, watching videos on the mental game and listening to interviews of athletes, coaches, sports psychologists. I was determined to figure this mental game stuff out because I knew improving my mental game would make a huge impact on how I competed. I was very consistent and motivated in my efforts to learn all I could so that I would accomplish my goal to be a World Champion.

However, it wasn’t until I began working with my Mental Performance Coach that I closed the gap from where I was at to where I wanted to be. I was learning how to apply mental game principles to my very own situations. My coach was guiding me step by step, teaching me how to apply Mental Performance Principles. Finally, it all started to make sense to me. My coach was a great accountability partner and provided me with support and guidance; during the good, the bad and when the “stuff hits the fan.”

I want to do this for YOU! Working with a Mental Performance Coach One on One was transformational for me. My life will never be the same. I can’t see myself competing or living my life any other way.