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!
  • 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!
  • 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!

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:

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.

Tips For Developing Self-confidence

Various definitions of confidence can be found everywhere. Basically, confidence means a state of confident in either that you come up with a right guess or the action you have chosen is the most excellent or the most effective one. Confidence is a big factor for our success. You need to have trust of yourself for to be end successful. We can obtain confidence as we wanted, for the fact that not all people are gifted with this. Developing self confidence will really take time. You have to follow certain steps to achieve it. Even the best speakers experienced some fears in delivering their speech in a crowd. They also have the feeling of being afraid of the possibilities of making wrong while they are having their speech. But, it will not stop them to continue what they are doing, for they already have the knowledge in handling this kind of situation for they already started to develop their self confidence.

The following are the helpful tips in developing self confidence:

1. Try to have a self check. Look for the aspect of yourself that you feel that there is a need of certain improvement. Avoid thinking that you are less important than others, for you to keep away from others of thinking the same as you think. If you feel that there is a need of changing, then you should do it as early as possible.

2. Observing others action. You should try to observe the actions of others, especially on how they act confidently. Find a role model for you to follow. Following the things they do as they have their confidence is the best thing to do. Observe his actions of carrying himself. Then by this, do not just observe, try to apply this on your own. Those people who know how to listen to the ideas raised by other people are your best role model.

3. Practice having self control. Control yourself of doing the things that you must do and avoiding the things not good to you. It will take time, but embracing patience is very important to achieve it. Do not think that having self control is something giving restrictions of your freedom to do things, this is what others think. But thinking this way is a big mistake. You are about to control your thoughts and actions. This means that you are opening your door for the opportunity to do things using your own thought and action. Act with purpose, this is very essential for our success and you can do it if you have your self confidence. By this reason, you are showing your capacity to control things around you. Think this way, “controlling yourself for fun and profit”.

4. Do not be afraid in expressing your thoughts in front of many people. Make yourself free from fear and make a way to eradicate your fear. Start reading in front of a mirror, it’s nice to see your own action. Try to talk and think as if a big crowd watches you. Start it with your family or closest friend as your audience and accept the comments that they may give for it will help you develop yourself. Make yourself free from fear.

5. Try to develop your skills and working out your weaknesses. Make some way to turn your weaknesses into strength. Recognize your strong points and if needs improvements then do it. If shortcomings are challenging you, then don’t give up, everything will be fine. This will help you to be strong.

6. Start to give compliments. Giving compliments to the people around you is important. This may help you to receive compliments from them also. Saying something good about them then you will receive the same.

Developing your confidence is very easy, if you are going o follow the tips mentioned above. By this, success is definitely be on your way.