Getting In The Zone: 5 Strategies To Help You Keep Focus, Be Calm and Perform Under Pressure

Setting a strong foundation – repetition, repetition, repetition.

One of the most effective ways to increase your performance in anything is simply by turning up and practicing! This may sound extremely obvious but it can be discounted far too often. Some people want all the glory but are not willing to put in the time to achieve it. So repetition, repetition, repetition cannot be overlooked as it’s the cornerstone of executing the task in hand.

Moving practice to performance

With a strong foundation in practice, our next task is to convert that to the match or performance. A classic example is the musician. They practice for many years in their bedroom to then hopefully one day play to hundreds or thousands of people. Their next step is to then move that playing to the stage.

The paradox of performance

Let’s just quickly address one area that can cause many people to trip over when trying to perform at their best. Always wanting to perform at perfect standards can cause problems if it’s not addressed and managed. We want to create an environment in which we push for our best performances, aim for a high level/standard, but have a heavy level of perspective whilst doing it. So if we have a bad day at work or at the session, we can quickly turn ourselves back around and get back to it.

Taking off the pressure

One of the most effective ways to take the pressure off yourself is to simmer the amount of focus on yourself. This is a little paradoxical, but the best way to do it is to focus on your main mission. Some performers, instead of focusing so much on themselves, switch their focus to entertain the crowd; giving them a great evening or offering a product or performance that can impact their lives. This can be especially helpful for entrepreneurs. When they focus on their overall mission, it can help keep them on track when the challenges come. It helps to alleviate the pressure THEY PUT ON THEMSELVES!

So let’s take a look at ten techniques that you can apply in any pressurised situation:

  • Visualisation – visualisation plays a huge part for many athletes and performers. Simply put, it’s the ability to visualise the desired outcome you would like by mentally running through your performance, bit by bit. This is a great technique for many golfers, basketball players, musicians etc – they clearly visualise the outcome they would like. A study by Edmund Jacobson proved how effective visualisation truly is with a set of basketball players. Check it out! http://www.llewellyn.com/encyclopedia/article/244
  • Movement – your physical body (the way you position your body). Resetting your posture under pressure can massively affect your performance. Take Cristiano Ronaldo’s body positioning when he steps up to take a free kick. With Ronaldo being a ‘J’ shape kicker (direction of the kick) he inputs greater power into the ball in the direction of the kick. His upright posture gives him a ‘power’ stance that can also add huge mental benefits. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy has done some phenomenal work on body language and how it effects our testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain. Fascinating! http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are
  • Meditation – in any pressurised situation, being able to regulate your thoughts and emotions is huge. Meditation can be a great tool to keep your emotions and impulses at bay in performance. Restful alertness is the key here: with training we become more and more aware of our thoughts and emotions. Therefore, we can respond more effectively in high performance.
  • Language – reframing the situation – a healthy way to increase your performance is the way you shape the situation. Many performers still feel nerves before aperformance, but it’s how they manage and use it to their advantage that is the key. Mike Tyson before many of his boxing fights would be extremely nervous, but his coach would say: “The hero and the coward both feel the same thing, but the hero uses his fear, projects it onto his opponent, while the coward runs. It’s the same thing, fear, but it’s what you do with it that matters”.
  • ‘There are many opportunities’ – think about how many times you have to get it right. The band Coldplay got turned down by over 20 record companies but they kept going. You will have other opportunities if you put yourself out there and keep on being proactive. The irony is you feel less pressure knowing there will be other opportunities.

These are five of many strategies you can begin to develop in your arena. Start with one and see how it can help with your development and training.

Step into your greatness today!

Bio:
Musician, teacher and life coach, Daniel Rutter is on a mission to help people find their own greatness across the globe. Whether its increasing performance, having better relationships, finding your purpose in life or finding the happiness you want, Danny has developed the tools needed to help each individual awaken their own greatness.
Find out more here:

How Ready Are You To Take On New Challenges Of 2017?

The as the New Year unfolds, we leave behind the worries and challenges of 2016 but bring the lessons we learned with us.

The year 2017 is another chance for us to create a story in the new chapter of our lives. This is the time to discover new things and explore new possibilities. However, along with new opportunities, 2017 is also a year full of new challenges. So let me ask you, how ready are you to take on the challenges of 2017?

If you not sure yet if are ready for the challenges, here are some simple tips all of us can make use of to prepare ourselves as the New Year starts.

Have Some Time For Self-Reflection

We don’t need to be in hurry all the time. When times get tough, sometimes, we just need to stop and ponder. Set aside time for self-evaluation. This is the time where we ask ourselves several questions with can help us determine your personal mission and our state of mind.

Self-reflection is especially useful when we are at our lowest and darkest time. We have to go to the deeper part of our soul to re-evaluate our goals. What we will discover about ourselves will help us come up with a set of rules and guidelines on how we are going to face the challenges ahead of us.

Be Creative

This year, it is time to think differently. Oftentimes, tough challenges need a non-traditional solution. You just have to summon your creativity and innovativeness.

Let us try to look at adversities at different angles. Maybe it is not as difficult as it may seem. Maybe it’s our approach that makes them difficult. Start from simple things and practice creativity. A simple garage makeover for our new home will help us exercise our creativity. It would be easier for us to think outside the box if we start from our simple daily activities.

It Is Ok To Let Go

There is a time that the best solution to overcome challenges is to let go and adapt. Overcoming challenges does not necessarily mean that we have to push our hardest to take control of the situation, there are times that we just have to go with the flow and let things happen.

When things go out of control and let us allow things to happen naturally, and more likely, things will work out better. Letting go means freeing ourselves from unnecessary sufferings which can bring us to a more peaceful life.

Chase Success But Be Guided By Your Happiness

Success is not as fulfilling as it may be when we are not happy. We’ve seen this in movies, people who gave up everything in life to chase success but in the end, they ended up still unhappy. Success and happiness should be on the same page to find fulfillment in life.

To be happier this 2017, we need to chase success as guided by where we will be happy. We want to achieve our dreams but chasing for our dreams won’t be easy. There will be trials, but what is important is that we chase our dreams because that is where our happiness is. And whenever there is happiness, there lies our success.

Last Words

None of us have an idea what lies ahead as this year starts but it doesn’t matter whether we have different struggles to take. We need to face it whether we like it or not and the outcome really depends on how well we handle the situation.

The tips mentioned above are just a few tips which could help us get a head start but what we can do is not limited. It is still up to us on how we approach every situation. What is important is that we learn from them and we keep our heads up as we face every challenge that comes.

From  : PICK THE BRAIN

Building Confidence – Prepare For Success

Nowadays, a person requires confidence to be able to handle all of life’s challenges. Without it, you can feel inadequate and unimportant.

If you look around, you will observe that confidence is very important and needed in relationships, careers and parenting. Building confidence is a continuous and long process, starting from the moment you first walked.

Confidence is not something that a person is born with. It comes from within a person’s desire for self-improvement, encouragement and belief of other people and accomplishments or achievements.

You might think that there are people who are born with a level of confidence that is enviable. You would be surprised at how hard they have worked to become that confident.

There are effective ways to build confidence. Here are some great tips that you should consider.

1. Find a role model that you could learn from. Having an actual person to look up to would make it easier and realistic for you. Make sure you find out how they became confident and what the factors are, which influenced that person’s confidence level.

2. Consider your achievements and accomplishments. They would help build up your confidence faster.

3. Learn to act confidently. If you do this, thinking and feeling confident would soon follow.

4. Being well-prepared is one of the reasons why confident people stay confident. Nothing destroys confidence more effectively than being caught unprepared.

5. Continually work on your skills. You will be surprised at how confident you will feel when you know you possess the right skills and talents.

6. Learn to relax. To build confidence, you should know how to compose your self and relax. Some people believe that by relaxing, you will be able to fell more confident. On the other hand, if you did not relax, you will feel unprepared.

7. Don’t set yourself up for disappointments. Building confidence would be easier if you set realistic goals. If you feel confident enough to move forward, make sure you do it slowly.

8. Give yourself a pat on the back everytime you succeed in one of the goals you have set for yourself. By congratulating yourself, you learn about personal limitations and expectations.

Again, building confidence is not something that can be achieved overnight. If you experience some setbacks, you should charge it to experience and always learn from your mistakes. By not being hard on yourself, you will be able to genuinely build your confidence.

Boost Your Self-Confidence: 9 Easy Hints

Whether you are looking for a new job or going on a first date, one of the most important characteristics that will stand you in good stead is your self-confidence. Increase your self-confidence with these tactics to help you through interviews, meetings, and more.

1. Stop saying “should”

Don’t make yourself feel guilty by thinking about the things that you should have done: if something is in the past, let it pass. Fretting over it will not improve your situation. Try using the word “could” instead of “should” for everything. This way, your actions become your choices, and you are empowered to make decisions. For instance, “I should mow the lawn,” becomes “I could mow the lawn,” which is a much more positive statement. Instead of allowing your tasks to hold power over you, take power for yourself by actively choosing how to spend your time.

2. Don’t focus on yourself

If you are stressed out in a public situation, consider how the other person must feel. Go out of your way to make the other person feel comfortable, or introduce two people who haven’t met. Set yourself small tasks. Just having a task to do will make you feel better.

If you are alone and feeling anxious, take a few deep breaths. You can try various techniques, from meditation to distraction to take your mind off of you.

3. Set realistic goals

Setting goals will help boost your self-confidence. You want to set goals that are attainable. Choose something that you can measure, rather than something that is hard to measure so this way you will have a way to chart your progress. For instance, rather than saying “I will become an expert on the Victorian period,” you could set yourself the task of reading the complete works of Jane Austen, or you could sign up for a course at the local university. Chart your progress. Keeping track of how you are doing will allow you to feel positive about yourself.

4. Surround yourself with positives

If there are things or places in your life that are bringing you down, avoid them. If there are people in your life who are constantly negative, it might be time to reconsider your friendship with these people. You want to surround yourself with people who are optimistic and caring, people who respect you and value you for who you are. It is easier to be self-confident when you know you have a network of supportive people around you.

5. Stop being critical

Stop comparing yourself to others with self-criticism. You will always find something that someone else is better at. You are an individual, and unlike anyone else, so comparisons are moot. Constant self-criticism can also turn into cattiness: to make yourself feel better you might point out flaws in other people. Choosing to focus on your positive traits and on other people’s positive traits will help you gain self-confidence.

6. Take the time you need

Take some time for yourself. Perhaps painting your nails or polishing your shoes will make you feel that much more empowered. Take the time to do small things that are often overlooked. This time you spend will help you gain confidence.

It is important to learn that you are worth making time for. You will never be able to adequately care for another person until you care for yourself, so take time to unwind and relax.

7. Think positively

If you find yourself thinking negative or critical thoughts, think “cancel” or “delete.” Your mind is like a computer, and you will be able to erase those negative thought patterns with practice. Then, once you have pointedly erased that negative thought, replace it with a positive one. If you were thinking “My thighs are too fat,” say, “cancel” and then, “My thighs are growing thinner every day” or “I love my body just the way I am.” Try saying these nice things to yourself in front of a mirror.

Write down your best traits, abilities, and skills on a piece of paper. Then when you are feeling down you can come back to this piece of paper to remember how wonderful you are. You can also write down five or ten things that you are grateful for each day. Remember how fortunate we are helps boost confidence because it helps surround us with the positivity that is required for true self-confidence.

Try visualization to help you with achieving your goals, and to help you think positively towards a sense of self-confidence.

8. Reprogram yourself

You might hold some beliefs which are limiting to you. It is time to take these negative thoughts and replace them with positives, as outlined in the previous point. Here are some thoughts you might need to re-think (literally!): “I can’t do that,” “I get scared easily,” “They don’t like me.”

Remember that even confident people get bummed out sometimes. Having occasional periods of anxiety is completely natural.

9. Fake it…and Smile!

If you don’t know how to truly be self-confident, then just pretend to be self-confident! Smile, too. Just the act of smiling will release endorphins to the brain, which will eventually make you happy. Acting confident will help build your confidence for when you truly are confident.

Remember: you are going to be fine. Start building your self-confidence today so that you can begin leading the lifestyle you deserve.