Skip to main content

Verified by Psychology Today

Entering the Fitness Zone

Discusses the zone, a level of rigorous mental discipline characterized by an unshakeable faith in your own abilities. How the faith allows the peak performer to block out the distractions that hamper ability.

You've seen them shine on the playing field and at work--the stars who alwayspull through in a pinch. They're not superhuman. They're just performing in "the zone," a psychological state even mere mortals can visit at will.

According to psychologist Robert M. Nideffer, Ph.D., an adjunct professor at San Diego State University, the zone is not some mysterious, otherworldly plane, but a level of rigorous mental discipline characterized by an unshakable faith in your own abilities. That faith allows the peak performer to block out the distractions that hamper ability.

Nideffer's message for the motivated: "Train yourself to focus only on what's relevant in the situation"--shooting a basket, making a speech-"so you can let go of doubts. That's where your ability counts."