12/15/2019 Q: How do you respond to a challenge? With fear or excitement? The Choice is Yours!

Q: How do you respond to a challenge? With fear or excitement? Your Choice

You have a choice! Fear and excitement are the opposite sides of the same coin.  When faced with a challenge, your body will prepare you for the moment.  This is inevitable.  Your palms will sweat, your heart rate will speed up, and you will naturally think of all the potential negative outcomes. This is the fight or flight response that is programmed into each and every one of us. We need to embrace this feeling as excitement rather than fear.  Most likely, the situation we will be facing is not life or death.  You have nothing to fear.  However, our caveman programming, which has evolved over thousands of years, will not adapt to this fact overnight.  If we are preparing to compete in a big game, to deliver a big speech, or ask someone out on a date, our bodies will prepare as if it were about to be attacked by a pride of lions.

We need to step between stimulus and response and choose the most empowered meaning of our physiological response.  This process is championship mindset training. There are four steps:

  1. Celebrate noticing your emotions – Congratulations. You have stepped between the stimulus and your response!
  2. Choose your response – Recite a mantra at this moment to choose the most empowered response.  You should do the work in advance to have a reminder ready for any emotion i.e.
    1. If: I feel fear:: Then: I smile and say “I’m Excited”, “Bring it on”
    2. If: I feel sad:: Then: I smile and say “I love my life” and call someone for encouragement
    3. If: I feel annoyed:: Then: I smile and I ask myself “Are they really trying to hurt me”. I then “beam love”
  3. Seek opportunities to practice –  Step outside your comfort zone throughout your day
  4. Reflect – At the end of the day, Journal.
  5. Repeat

In her book, “Everything is figureoutable” Marie Forleo, speaks to the legendary performer, Bruce Springsteen’s preparation for a challenge. She writes,

Legend has it that when Bruce Springsteen is about to go onstage in stadiums full of screaming fans, the Boss feels a host of physical sensations in his body:

Just before I go onstage my heart beats a little faster . . . my hands sweat a little . . . my legs go numb as if I’m getting pins and needles . . . and then I get a tight feeling in the pit of my stomach that starts to spin round and round . . . When I get all those feelings, I know I’m excited, pumped up and ready to go onstage.

Fascinating, right? Springsteen interprets those body sensations as a sign of readiness, not a sign that he’s afraid, anxious, or incompetent. He’s chosen to believe that the vibrations and sensations in his physical vessel are telling him he’s prepared to give his fans a legendary performance. He’s chosen an interpretation that serves him.

So just like the Boss, we need to step between stimulus and response, choose our reaction, and let it rip with excitement!


+1: Springsteen Says I’m Excited

PN: Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo

101: Peak Performance 101