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What’s so Valuable about Peak Moments?

Mountain Range

Peaks and Valleys. I use this coaching exercise to get clients in tune with their personal narrative. It’s also useful for highlighting the best path to peak performance through identifying your values.  Here’s why and how.

Your Peaks

When you consider your life story, what peak moments come to mind? Graduations, weddings, births, and landing a great job are often cited as key experiences demarcated by “before” and “after.”

As you remember your peak moments, which emotions get stirred up?

  • Joy / Appreciation / Empowerment / Freedom / Love
  • Passion
  • Enthusiasm / Eagerness / Happiness
  • Positive Expectation / Belief
  • Optimism
  • Hopefulness
  • Contentment

The positive emotions listed above, which come from the Emotional Guidance Scale, function like a ladder with joy / appreciation / empowered / freedom / love as the top rung.

By distinguishing the emotion behind your peak moment, you can determine which peak moment(s) had the greatest impact on you.


Using graduation as an illustration, one person may associate that event with announcing to the world they have their degree. For another, it was having family present to witness it. A third might say it was a crowning achievement to be personally celebrated. 1

Notice it’s the same peak moment but with three potential values represented: external recognition, family, and personal accomplishment.

Peak moments typically reflect core values.

Emotions and Values

Observe the relationship between emotions and your values.

When you feel strongly, either positively or negatively, it’s because you’ve identified a core value.

Peak moments demonstrate positive emotions, like you read in Scale above.

In contrast, valleys reveal negative emotions. When you feel strongly in a negative way (jealousy, hatred, blame – located near the Scale’s bottom), it’s likely due to a core value getting trampled upon.

Values are unique to you. Whether you value external recognition, family, or personal accomplishment, your core values are what motivate you intrinsically. The bond between emotions and core values means emotions drive your actions, whether you’re aware of it or not.

Your Body

Humans love to think. As a result, in many ways, humans have become entirely disconnected from body, heart (emotions), and spirit.

Descartes said, I think therefore I am. The modern world has assimilated this philosophy so completely that when I start talking about emotions and the body, clients get uncomfortable.

The truth is, your body tells you how you feel. Think of the word I just used: feel. We feel in our bodies. Feelings = Body.

In those moments when you can’t pinpoint your emotion, take a moment and ask yourself, Where do I feel this in my body?

When you feel stressed (negative emotion), you often experience contraction in the body, for instance, in the shoulders, chest, head. During times of elation (positive emotion), you often feel open and expansive in those same regions.

As I’ve said before, the vagus nerve runs through the stomach to the brain not the other way around. This is why you feel a gut reaction before your brain processes a thought or experience. It’s the best example of how the body informs the mind.

Use your body to access your emotions, which in turn inform your core values and thus what motivates you intrinsically.

Achieving Peak Form

Peak moments make you feel whole by combining mind, body, heart, and spirit.

Uncover your peak moments to find your values so you understand your internal motivation. Know your core values and you can figure out what you want and what you don’t want.

That’s how you achieve peak form.

1 I’m directly quoting advice I gave to a sociology grad last year in The Globe and Mail.

Header Photo by Rohit Tandon on Unsplash

You have to be open minded in order to grow. The coaching that Laura gave me opened my eyes to what and how I was doing things and allowed me to see the bigger picture. I am not done yet but I already see the changes in my everyday life.


I think coaching is a great way to help you clear your mind when you get stuck with overwhelming situations or when stepping into changes in your life.


Coaching is life changing. It pushes you outside your comfort zone and challenges your perspectives.  It is highly motivating and the exercises and techniques used are both fun and informative.  I think the main benefits of coaching are to see yourself, others and the world more clearly.  I think coaching is valuable to anyone regardless of where you are in your life or career.


I honestly never thought I’d need a coach. I thought coaching was for CEOs and industry VIPs. I didn’t think it was for the “little guys” (i.e. me). Now, I’m of the belief that everyone – yes, EVERYONE – needs a coach. Coaching has really benefitted me and I’m so grateful to have had that time with Laura. It’s changed my life!


Laura is very patient. She took the time to understand what was causing me to be stuck where I am today and help me build a better vision so I can continue to grow.


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Coaching sessions with Laura gave me new perspectives on how to process specific feelings and situations in life.  She showed me how to sit with my emotions, acknowledge them, and then use visualization strategies to move through them.  I now feel more confident and in control of how I choose to walk through life.


From the beginning, Laura put me at ease, creating a safe, open space for me to talk and share freely without fear of judgement. I loved the variety of approaches she used depending on the topic we were working on and it was fun being able to try out things I wouldn’t have considered before! With Laura’s coaching, I substantially grew my confidence in the workplace, overcame fears, dealt with issues I’d been carrying around for many years and, most importantly, learned to value myself and define a path forward into the future.


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