Have you ever done the best job you could possibly do with something and it still wasn’t good enough? Approval from others is never a guarantee.

Hi, this is Grant Herbert, International Influencer and Sustainable Performance Coach, and this week I want to have a conversation with you around The Performance Trap.

Just to set the scene for this week’s chat, let’s recap a few things we have talked about in previous episodes.

We talked about the 3 universal fears that we all perform to avoid:

- the fear of not being good enough,

- the fear of not belonging, and

- the fear of not being loved. 

We talked about always caring too much about what other people think of us, needing their permission to feel approved.

When you operate out of fear, it can cause you to behave in ways that are not healthy and helpful at all.

Personal Power is about being OK with who you are becoming, and feeling capable of doing life well.

So let’s go deeper now into what I have found to be one of the biggest roadblocks to having a healthy level of Personal Power. 


You see, you and I get up every day and PERFORM. That’s what we do. I’m performing right now as a speaker, a trainer and a coach. My performance is designed to empower you, shift mindsets and help you remove roadblocks. That’s OK, my performance has a healthy agenda.

The performance isn’t the issue we need to look at here. The motive for the performance is.

When I do a great job at having this conversation with you, and everyone else watching or listening to me on these episodes, lives are changed for the better. That’s a good thing. But if my motive for this performance is to get you to like me and approve of me, validate my significance or get your APPROVAL, then that’s where the problem starts.

You started this episode by agreeing with me that approval from others is never guaranteed, even when you do your very best performance. When you do get the approval, it fires the pleasure circuits in your brain and you feel good for a moment. When you don’t get the approval however, it makes you feel even less valuable and gives you more evidence that the negative beliefs you have formed about yourself are true. “I’m not good enough, I don’t belong, and I am not loveable”.

Whether you get the approval or not, it affects your IDENTITY

You see, the PERFORMANCE is about what you DO, your IDENTITY is who you believe you ARE.

What you do and who you are can create totally different emotions. If I yell at my child, something I might DO, that can make me feel guilty. This emotion is a powerful motivator that compels me to DO things differently next time. On the other hand, those same thoughts nursed and rehearsed by that negative inner voice, it can quickly escalate to… “therefore I AM a bad father”. This brings feelings of shame, a debilitating emotion that tears down another building block of a healthy identity. 

So when you get the APPROVAL and feel good about yourself, it adds some positive to your inner dialogue and builds up your self-belief and level of self-worth. However, when you fail to get the APPROVAL, your negative self-talk goes into overload and you think it’s a waste of time trying any more because you will never be good enough.

Being addicted to the APPROVAL of others damages your authenticity and destroys your Personal Power. Every time you engage in ‘people pleasing’ performances to fit in and feel worthy, you erode away another piece of your true sense of self. When this happens over time you stop stepping up and the world, especially those closest to you, miss out on your unique gifts and talents and it becomes a never ending cycle that can spiral out of control and cause major issues in your life. I know this oh too well. This was the pattern I ran for many years in my life, and it hurt me, and the people I loved the most.

So, let’s shift gears now and take a look at what I do to help people break free of the Performance Trap, regain their true self and live a life with more fun and fulfilment. To do that, you have to shift your thinking and flip the process upside down.

Now we have IDENTITY on top and that’s where you need to start.

Take responsibility for your own identity, for who you are.

Take practical steps to develop your Personal Power.

Remove the roadblocks of negative belief and self-talk.

Become OK with who you have become so far and set an intention to become who you need to be for the journey ahead.

To do this you will need to tame your inner dialogue and unlearn some of your past conditioning. Having a good coach who will step up and give you support, and keep you accountable, was crucial in this process for me and if you are serious about finally getting free and moving forward from this yourself, then you may need to invest in yourself this way too.

When you work on your identity, and no longer care what other people think about you, you will come to a place called SELF APPROVAL. There is no better place on earth to be. It lifts a heavy load from your shoulders, frees your mind and sets you up for a life with way less conflict and stress. Don’t get me wrong, you’re still teachable and can learn from constructive feedback. But you no longer need external permission to feel good about yourself.

Are you ready to finally move the monkey of approval off your back and take back your self-esteem? As you are nodding yes right now, watch this. Let’s flip the model and get you free once and for all.

So instead of performing now to ‘get’ approval, you now PERFORM ‘out of’ a position of SELF-APPROVAL.

Now getting a pat on the back, a smile or a nod when you do something well can still make you feel good, BUT you no longer need it to feel good about yourself. That responsibility is yours alone and you are liberated from the shackles of fear, doubt and worry. It’s a gift you are worthy of and so are the people around you.

Well, that’s it from me for another week. Join me again next week when we look more closely into your identity and how to build it up. See you then.

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