Im Excited

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In The Upside of Stress, Dr. Kelly McGonigal tells us:

“Imagine that you work for an organization with hundreds of employees and you’re about to give a presentation to the entire group. The CEO and all the board members are in the audience. You’ve been anxious about this talk all week, and now your heart is pounding. Your palms are sweating. Your mouth feels dry. What is the best thing to do in this moment: try to calm down, or try to feel excited? When Harvard Business School professor Alison Wood Brooks asked hundreds of people this question, the responses were nearly unanimous: 91 percent thought the best advice was to try to calm down. You’ve probably told yourself or others in moments of stress that if you don’t calm down, you’ll blow it. This is what most people believe. But is it true? Is trying to relax the best strategy for performing under pressure? Or is it better to embrace the anxiety?”

Dr. Alison Wood Brooks had half of them say to themselves, “I am calm.” The others were told to embrace the anxiety and say to themselves, “I am excited!”

People who watched the speeches rated the excited speakers as more persuasive, confident, and competent than the participants who had tried to calm down. With one change in mindset, they had transformed their anxiety into energy that helped them perform under pressure. Although most people believe that the best strategy under pressure is to relax, this chapter will reveal when and why the opposite is true. Whether it’s a student facing the most important exam of her life or a professional athlete facing the toughest competition of his career, welcoming stress can boost confidence and improve performance.”

I love this! When your heart is pounding, your palms are sweating, and your mouth feels dry, try channeling that excitement to transform a fear response into the biology of courage, a challenge-response.

Some great reframing mantras to help us do this are “Bring it on!”“I’m excited!”, “OMMS (obstacles make me stronger),” “My infinite potential exists just outside my comfort zone!” and “Good!”.

Im Excited
Episode 6