042 Performing Under Pressure with Dr. JP Pawliw-Fry

The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place. – George Bernard Shaw

My guest on The New Leader Podcast today is Dr. JP Pawliw-Fry. He’s the co-founder of the Institute for Health and Human Potential and a New York Times best-selling author of Performing Under Pressure. JP is also the host of his own podcast called the Last 8% Morning where he talks about a routine which integrates movement, mindfulness and mental training to help you start your day and be at your best.

He is an advisor to the US Army and Navy, Fortune 500 companies such as IBM, Mercedes Benz, and Goldman Sachs, and performance coach to NFL, NBA teams, and Olympic medal-winning athletes.

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • What the Last 8% is and why we struggle with it,
  • How to get over that last 8%,
  • The BBIIGG structure,
  • The benefits of Movement, Mindfulness and Mental Training,
  • How to perform better under pressure, and much more..

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The Last 8%

We’re pretty good at covering 75-80-85-90-92% of what we want to say, but when we get to the last 8%, that more difficult part of the conversation, we struggle.

Say, you and I are having a conversation. I’m giving you feedback, and when I get to the last 8% of the feedback, what’s interesting is that as I get to that last 8%, you start to get a sense of where it’s going. You realize that there’s consequences attached to what I’m going to say to you. Now you start to get a bit triggered and emotional, and now you infect me with your emotion.

Here’s the interesting part – I get infected with your emotion and without even realizing it, as opposed to approaching that last 8%, I avoid it.

This is what we found that’s consistent – it’s a pattern. I avoid that last 8% and we both leave that conversation and you think we had a conversation. I think we had a conversation, but of course I conveniently left out that last 8%.

A month later, I’m looking at you and I’m saying, “Ian, what’s going on? I thought we had a conversation? Why are you still doing that?” You’re looking at me, saying, “JP, I thought we were on track. Why are you being so passive-aggressive?”

The problem is we never had the last 8% of the conversation.

How to get over that last 8%

It’s not just the last 8% of conversations that we struggle with; it’s also the last 8% decisions. We fall into what we call a predictable default behavior of either avoiding or making a mess.

What I want you to walk away with is, what’s the last 8% situation you’re struggling with? What’s your pattern? What’s your predictable default behavior? If you know that, then you can do something about it.

Movement, Mindfulness and Mental Training


We now know that there’s an internal pharmacy in our body. When we move, our quads spit out – more than any other muscle – myokines. When we exercise, myokines go into our bloodstream and can cross the blood-brain barrier. Now we know it has three specific effects:

    1. They move into our brain and they make us more stress-resilient.
    2. They help us enjoy pleasure more.
    3. We feel more trusting of others so we can collaborate more effectively.

Just by doing 15-20 minutes of moderate exercise, like going for a walk, will turn on these three effects.

To learn more about Mindfulness and Mental Training, listen to the podcast here or by clicking the play button above.

Links and Resources

Connect with JP: LinkedIn

Performing Under Pressure: The Science of Doing Your Best When It Matters Most by  Hendrie Weisinger and J.P. Pawliw-Fry


The Last 8% Morning

The Last 8% Project Facebook Group