What is the “One Thing” that helps you to perform at your very best under pressure?
As I travel the country speaking to businesses about emotional toughness, I continually get this “one thing” question. Some people want the easy answer, but there are no easy answers to this essential question.
However, in all my consulting work with the greatest athletes in the world and super successful businesspeople, I have discovered that winners fall back into greatness when the stress level rises to a boil.
More specifically, winners follow what I have labeled “the Emotional Toughness Triad”:
1) Winners know what emotions cause them to perform their best under pressure.
2) Winners use primers such as words, actions, and images at the right time to push their emotions in the right direction.
3) Winners use these primers in daily routines which ultimately becomes their habit of choice.
One of the oldest psychological theories is that we go to our habits under pressure. So when your habits are correct and effective, you fall back into greatness under pressure.
A great visual illustration of this principle is with an orange. Let me explain with 3 simple questions:
Question 1: If I squeeze an orange, what comes out? Answer: Orange Juice.
Question 2: Why does orange juice always come out? Answer: Because that is what is inside.
Question 3: What have you put inside? Answer: If you put in negativity and nervousness, then when you get squeezed (as we all do), those emotions come out. But winners put in the right emotional juice such as confidence, joy, and peace of mind. So when they get squeezed (as we all do), then that is what comes out.
The key ingredient to this problem is how to put in the right emotional juice so that when you get squeezed (and you will constantly), you will rise to the occasion and fall back into greatness. There are no simple answers to this orange question. Everyone is unique and so the “one thing” is based upon your emotional framework.
The good news is that I have created an emotional toughness training MOOC (Massive Online Open course). If you go to https://www.canvas.net . Type Emotional Toughness Training and you can enroll in the course. There are numerous videos, articles and applied exercises for you to master emotional toughness. It is all free and sponsored by Austin Peay State University. The course ends on March 7. Go enjoy the course!
Bio: Dr. Gregg Steinberg is a professor of human performance at APSU. He is a motivational and inspirational business speaker who lives in Nashville. He is the author of the Washington Post bestselling business book, “Full Throttle.” Visit www.drgreggsteinberg.com and see his TED talk about super-resilience at http://tinyurl.com/o2anxsz