Are you bringing your ‘A-Game’?

Pulse Issue 8 2023

"Are you bringing your ‘A-Game’?"

Emma Murray’s tips and tools on developing a high-performance mindset. 

Those of us lucky enough to hear Emma Murray’s talk on High-Performance Mindfulness at the recent Melbourne and Sydney Pharma Marketers breakfasts would agree she was one of the very best speakers ever enjoyed at our events.

The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive – not just because of the profound learnings and vulnerability Emma shared from her own life experiences, but also the practical, everyday steps she armed us with to bring us a little closer to our ‘A-games’.

As the founder of High-Performance Mindfulness, Emma uses mindfulness, psychology and meditation to help people perform at their best, so from elite athletes to team leaders in Pharmaceutical companies, Emma aims to overcome the unhelpful thinking that can sabotage performance and build the mindset to help deliver our very best.

It was good to hear about the value she places on ‘being in the right emotional state for optimal performance’, as this is a value shared by us at Bastion – where we find the right balance between science and emotion in our work.

We tried to break down some of the main tips and tools we all took away from the breakfast session:

  • Identifying your ‘A-Game’

We all know that actions lead to results, right? Simple!

But Emma started her talk with a whiteboard explanation, that outlined the importance of ‘Emotional state’ and the profound impact that has on our actions.

Namely, when we perform actions in the ‘wrong’ emotional state, how can we expect high performance results?

A big part of her advice is to identify and ‘control your mindset, to own your skillset ’ and the powerful role your mindset plays in how you perform. – and that included being totally aware of what your ‘A game’ looks like… as opposed to your ‘B-Game’.

To truly understand why our minds keep defaulting to our ‘B-Game’ (and getting trapped there), Emma explained the science behind how our minds work and it’s all to do with our survival wiring – Those ‘fight or flight’ impulses that control most our thoughts – and hard-wire our physiology… and it’s these thoughts and practices that can overwhelm and consume us.

Unhelpful thoughts, drive unhelpful feelings, that drive ineffective action and continue to deliver low-performance results – a cycle Emma calls the ‘B-Game Loop’.

  • Stopping the ‘B-Game Loop’.

Getting out of the B-Game Loop represents a paradox to our natural instincts, as our actions are based on ‘survival mode’ – we do what is necessary to ‘get through’.

But to perform at our best no matter how much stress we’re under; how much we fear failure; the opinions of others or our obsessive focus on outcomes, we need to be able to shift from our B-Game into our A-Game.

To do that we need to actually diffuse the internal monologue that tells us to keep on doing what we always do, to survive.

Emma describes finding a ‘STOP’ tool – that works for you and becomes automatic under any level of pressure, involving 3 steps:

  1. Stop and Accept the emotional state you are in
  2. Do something right here, right now… to change your physiology – try breath work, meditation or mantra.
  3. ‘Step’ into your best
  • By changing your Motion, you help change your E-Motion

In short, to move from unhelpful ‘B-Game’ thoughts we need to shift our focus and move our bodies.
The word ‘emotion’ means Energy in Motion… it is the energy that is constantly moving between our mind and our body. And if you are in an emotional state that is making you feel scared, bored, tired or anxious then you need to change this emotion… and you do this with ‘motion’, which can include a focussed breathing technique.

When we know how to deliberately, purposefully and consciously regulate our breath- so it doesn’t become dysfunctional and panicked – we can then shut off our stress response… or stop it from kicking in in the first place.

Emma had the whole room stand up and work on some simple breathing techniques that can help us in any situation.

  • Overcoming the Overwhelming

When we are in our ‘A-Game’ we’re bringing all of our strengths to the moment to help us execute at our best.

But our B-Game can still creep into our subconscious – after all, this is our innate instinct. This can consume us when we are overwhelmed and feel like we have too many things to get through in life.

Emma talked us through a simple tool called ‘Chunking it Down’ as a practical way to tackle overwhelming schedules and workloads and likened this to a flashlight – where we cannot see anything but the ‘one thing’ that must take our full focus. By shining our light on a single thing, we shift our focus from the insurmountable to the achievable, staying present and not attaching ourselves to outcomes.

For sharing these useful tips and tools toward High-Performance mindfulness, we are sure Emma will be welcome back to the Sydney and Melbourne Pharma Marketing breakfast anytime.

For more information on Emma, visit her website:


 Simon Davies
M: 0402 425 545

 Bruce Williams
M: 0407 359 582



We are always interested in hearing from great people dedicated to making a career in pharmaceutical communications. If you’re ready to make a positive impact with Bastion Brands, get in touch today.