I have spent a lot of time crippled by worries, fears, anxieties, guilt and shame.

They have often stopped me from doing the things that I really wanted to do in life.

It is incredibly easy to allow your mind to be overcome by these kinds of things and when it is; it is difficult to focus on what you need to be doing in the here and now. 

And that is what all those things have in common, they are not about the here and now.

I will use a common example to illustrate my point.

Debilitating exam pressure

If I have an exam to sit now, fear about what might go wrong has nothing to do with this moment; nor has any guilt or shame about past exam performance. 

But if my mind is consumed with those thoughts, I place a great deal of pressure on myself.

The results of this pressure can cause me to believe that I cannot cope with the demands of the exam and thus stress now sets in. 

The stress can have a devastating impact on my ability to perform in the exam and thus I end up suffering more due to fear and guilt which have no place in this moment. 

During my school and college days, I saw so many people breakdown over exams because their heads were full of thoughts which had no useful purpose at that moment. 

Briefly worrying about your ability to succeed in an exam can be useful to get you to study in advance of the exam but once the exam arrives, worry is no use at all. Either you know your stuff or you don’t. It is simply a matter of doing the best you can with the challenge (questions) put before you.

Learning from Tyler

I recently saw a video featuring Baseball Pitcher, Tyler Glasnow.

Glasnow was one of the top prospects in all of baseball when he was in the minor leagues.

This meant that there were high expectations of him when he made it to the top league. 

Unfortunately, he struggled. 

His career was headed in the wrong direction for some time until he finally got himself together and was able to focus on his performance.

What really struck me was when Tyler admitted that he had struggled with all the thoughts going through his head. 

Things changed for him when he realised that none of those thoughts mattered. What mattered was the job that needed to be done there and then i.e. delivering the best pitch he could to the batter that stood before him. It was that simple.

The lesson

We produce our best performance when we focus on the present moment.

What has gone before is of no relevance.

We have no absolute control over the outcome so focusing on that is pointless.

Think:

  1. 1
    What is the task/challenge facing me at this moment?
  2. 2
    What is the best I can do with the knowledge and skills I have right now?
  3. 3
    Just do it!

In time, as you practise this approach, you will drop the first two points. You will know the best course of action and you will Just do it!

This will produce better outcomes without the unnecessary pressure and stress. 

Give it a try for yourself.

Breathe

Stay focused on the moment  and remain composed, confident and in control when under pressure. This is critical to solving problems while avoiding stress.


Learn powerful strategies for remaining calm, composed and in control, with 'Breathe'.



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