The Hierarchy High Performance is formed into a pyramid to reflect the progression of mastering each level before moving on to the next all the way up to high performance. 

Maslow’s Hierarchy of NeedsOf needs

Abraham Maslow developed a pyramid model to explain the most basic of human needs and how there is a natural progression from one need to another until the ultimate need of self-actualization (being one with yourself). For example we need to have our physiological needs of food, water, etc. before we can reach the need of feeling secure and safe. Then to fulfill the need of belonging or love you must first feel safe. The general progression of needs makes Maslow’s model a hierarchy. Just as Maslow’s model is a hierarchy that applies to us all, the Fearless Mind’s Hierarchy of High Performance applies to every type of performance in our lives.

The Hierarchy of High Performance

Hiearchy of High Performance

 First Level- “The Fundamentals”

“The fundamentals” refers to the science of the respective sports or activity you are participating in. When I say “science” I am referring to the discovery and study of natural laws. Why do we study natural laws? So we can use them to our advantage to become high performing.

Natural laws are universal. The natural laws in sports, business, and life are just like gravity. You cannot defy the law of gravity no matter how hard you try. It doesn’t matter if you are a rookie, a veteran, a professional, or a beginner—the same natural laws apply to you as they do to everyone else.

For example, in tennis hitting a ball cross-court is a high percentage shot. This is because the net is lower, the court is longer, and you are in a better position to make the shot. On the other side, hitting down the line from behind the base line is a low percentage shot. If I want to be high performing which shot should I take? Clearly it’s the cross-court shot. This natural law applies to everyone in the sport of tennis even the best in the world like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

The same is true in all the other sports. A three point shot in basketball is always going to be a lower percentage shot than if you were dunking it right at the rim.

The Second Level- “Strengths”

We want to build our strengths on top of the fundamentals. This is where so many individuals get it wrong. However, it is not their fault. Most of us grow up being taught that we need to learn from our mistakes, which we do, but we first need to learn from what we do well. We need to leverage our strengths and build our strengths off the fundamentals of whatever we do.

What does that mean? It means that I need to understand the fundamentals of tennis, basketball, or the business I’m in, and once I have built the muscle memory and understand the fundamentals, I need to know who I am. I need to know what my strengths and my weaknesses are in detail so I know how to leverage my strengths on top of the fundamentals.

Doing this gives us the flexibility to adjust to the fundamentals according to what our strengths are.

The Top Level- “Self-Mastery”

Self-mastery is being the best we can be. This doesn’t mean we have to be the best in the world—it’s just being the best we can be by understanding the fundamentals, and leverage our strengths on top of them.

When we master the self we become free. We’re able to deal with any given situation on a moment-by-moment basis. So when we are in the present and trusting our instincts we allow our mind to focus on the most important cues at that moment.

Self-mastery is the highest level of human performance. But we cannot get there without understanding fundamentals or if we don’t know what our strengths are.


Get the fundamentals down- Study the natural laws of your sport, business, or personal activity. Know what works (high percentage) and what doesn’t (low Percentage).

Know our strengths- Write in step three of your Mental Skills Journal everyday. Write at least three of your strengths in detail so that you can better understand them.

Once you get the fundamentals down and understand your strengths you can then be free in the moment to perform at the best of our ability.


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