We were thrilled to have James Parris as a keynote speaker at The Staycation in 2019. He is a Performance and Behavioural Change Specialist and he has a wealth of knowledge to help you achieve success in all aspects of your life. We caught up with him to get the low down on dating with confidence.
James, you’ve worked as an elite rowing coach since 2003, tell us a bit more about how you’re bridging the gap and using your expertise to help coach people who aren’t athletes.
Yes, I’ve been asked this a few times as initially it doesn’t seem to be a natural progression.
What I’m best at as a rowing coach is teaching people that all performance is a process. There’s a very specific process an athlete has to go through to be a good rower – whether that’s the process of building fitness and strength, the technical process of taking the “perfect” rowing stroke or the process of getting the most out of yourself both physically and mentally during competition.
I’ve come to realise through coaching hundreds of athletes, through my own life experiences and by helping others achieve their goals that there is a simple model you can apply to anything you want to perform at in life – be that winning a medal in competition, breaking through the glass ceiling at work or finding the partner of your dreams.
There isn’t enough space to go through the model here, but it hinges on three core things –
- Being crystal clear on the results you want
- Mapping out the process to get the results
- Programming your subconscious to take you there
What does Performance Coaching mean and how can it help with dating?
As a Performance Coach, I work with people to put plans and processes in place, which they can live their lives by, to help them perform to the best of their ability – whatever they want to achieve.
With dating that can be helping with the nerves some experience before and during a date, helping someone be themselves when meeting new people or making certain that the date doesn’t start to unravel after a good start.
What are your top tips for navigating the modern dating scene confidently?
Because a large chunk of the modern dating scene is carried out online, without any live social interaction, I think the hardest part is meeting someone for the first few times. Nerves get in the way and your first face to face interactions can seem awkward.
As a result, it’s important to be prepared for the first few times you meet someone in the real world.
If you’re someone who gets nervous, I suggest preparing in the run up by visualising the type of interactions you want to have during the date. Have a pre-date ritual that you can do to get yourself “in the zone” for the date. Finally, have a few pre-planned exchanges loosely prepared so that you can start the date off on the right foot and get yourself settled into it without leaving anything to chance.
If people only take one piece of advice away from you now, what should it be?
If you’re someone who gets nervous and this is affecting your performance in the dating world, you need to find a process, train it and trust it. Only by letting your subconscious do the work for you will you ever achieve what you want.
Lastly, what’s the best bit of advice you’ve ever been given?
When I was learning Transcendental Meditation, one of the teachers told me to relax my tongue. It worked instantly to calm me down, keep me focused and allowed me to quiet my mind.
It has been a game-changer in my life.
After some research I found that relaxing your tongue helps switch on the body’s autonomic nervous system, allowing you to let your subconscious lead.
When you need to handle a stressful situation, relax your tongue.
I suggest this to everyone, including my athletes. When they are 1,500m through a 2,000m race, their lungs are burning, their legs feel as if they are about to explode and the devil on their shoulder tells them it can all end if only they quit… by getting them to relax their tongue they are able to let the result take care of itself.
You can book a private coaching session with James on his website.