World-class athletes perform their best when they are calm, carefree (of the outcome) and focused (on the most important thing to do their best). In other words, they trust and believe in themselves. They may feel fear, anger, doubt, frustration just like we do, but they know how to manage these emotions and even use them to their advantage. Not being able to manage emotions is distracting, and the consequences can be significant.
Keep this formula in mind, and you too will be able to champion your best results, especially when it matters:
1. Recognize when feeling negative emotions. If you are thinking ‘I am worried about my performance because there is a lot riding on it.’, recognize that ‘worry’, and be at peace with it. Try thinking ‘I’m worried and that’s o.k.’ It’s important to realize that emotions typically need to be felt before they can be moved aside.
2.Release. Many times, it’s fear that drives negative emotions. We need to pass through fear in order to get to courage. One way to do this is to challenge and even welcome fear, and then ask: What am I most afraid of? For example, you have a big presentation coming up, and you are worried about the consequences of not doing well. Again, welcome that worry, and challenge yourself to feel it full force. Then take 5 box breaths (inhale through your nose for 5 seconds, hold 5 seconds, exhale 5 seconds, hold 5 seconds).
3.Strategize. You should be in a better place now to get down to what matters! Think of what you are most fearful of and what is most important for you to do to make sure it doesn’t happen. For example, it may be to ask relevant questions, keep eye contact, explicitly ask for what you want at the end of the conversation or breathing a certain way while competing. Whatever it is … it must be in your control.
World-class performers know how to manage emotions when it matters, and now you can too!
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