Whether it’s a final exam, public performance, or just leaving your house and socializing with others, these can all be nerve-wracking experiences requiring pressure to perform. Today we’re doing a deep dive into PLAY THEORY to find ways to ease the pressure and boost your performance! Let’s dive in
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Whether it's a final exam, public performance, or just leaving your house in socializing with other people. These can all be nerve wracking experiences, requiring pressure to perform. Today, we're going to do a deep dive into play theory and how to find ways to ease the pressure. And boost 📍 your performance For today's highlight reel. I wanted to share a delightful story. I found on good news network.org. Entitled. After asking his neighbor to take his trash bin out. He received a photo shoot of their day on the town. So a little play on words here, a cheeky neighbor in Queensland, Australia, I believe.
Named Carl. Got a text from his neighbor, Nick, with a request to take out his bins, to which he responded. Yeah, sure. No problem. Any particular place? He then took the lucky wheelie bin. He was caring for, to the local beach in Mackay Queensland.
Then to the surf club and then to do some chores, including a stop at a hardware store for socializing. After stopping at several restaurants, they took some RNR. Carl said we went for a massage and then to the tattoo parlor.
And then stopped at the pub for a coldy.
After five hours spent around the Australian town. Carl returned home with news. He had completed the favor for his neighbor and sent a photo album of all the events from that day, which reportedly blew Nick away. Carl told the guardian that putting a smile on people's faces, especially his neighbors.
Was totally worth it, especially since McKay is a town that relies on tourism and was so hard hit during the lockdowns. Now that is a fun way to put smiles on people's faces.
And what a great example of letting go and playing and of course, accepting and building in a unique way. The next time your neighbor asks you to take the trash out. You might think of some nice date ideas for you in the trash bin.
All right. So last time we chatted about being more present during crazy times and unplugging the play of the week was to delete the social media apps from your phone for one whole week. So, how did it go? Did you find that even the thought of deleting the apps was too much? Yeah, that was me too a while back, but I'm telling you it will be so eyeopening and freeing.
To take that break and not even to completely go. Missing Mia from social media, but just delete those apps off your phone. So there's a little more friction to get on there.
What are some other ways you can find a, just be a little more present. We would love to hear what your thoughts are.
Oh team happiness huddle up here because we are very excited by tomorrow, January of this year will be our best month ever for podcasts, downloads and listens. And that is absolutely thrilling. What an amazing way to start out the new year. And we are just so thrilled with the traction we've been getting and these last couple of months, and so grateful for all of our new listeners. If you're new here, welcome to the show. I just did a workshop for
a company yesterday and told somebody about the podcast. So if you're listening. Welcome to team happiness. We're so excited for you to be here. And I just want to give a very special shout out to one of our dedicated listeners, Jimmy Russen, who always takes the time to reach out and tell me his thoughts on our episodes and express his gratitude. Jimmy is the king of let go and play and a dear friend of mine.
Thank you for listening brother. So grateful to have you on team happiness. You always put a smile on my face.
All right, let's get into the practice here. So I want to start by sharing that Adria has successfully completed her second week at culinary school. Abra is my wife. If you're not aware and you're new here. And she signed up to become a professional French patisserie chef. And this is a pretty big deal. It's an intensive program and she's been learning a lot and I have been benefiting from that knowledge and this experience of her going through culinary school. But I wanted to share with you about her first day at class, because it is an intense program and the chef is very professional.
He's had. Bakeries in Germany and he's just a very well-known chef and really knows his stuff. So. She loves cooking. All right. You got to know that about Abra. She loves cooking. Always has, and she is self-taught up until this point. She's now getting the professional training, but. She has always wanted to improve her speed and her ability to perform under pressure.
And she would be the first one to tell you this, that she's wanting to get better at being a little more organized in the kitchen and a little quicker. And she got thrown into this culinary program. And we were anticipating there'd be some orientation. Maybe the first week there'd be a lot of talking. And after 20 minutes of being there, they started cooking and they're in this professional kitchen and they're broken into teams and they're doing all these things. And this was way outside of her comfort zone.
Let's be very clear. She was thrilled to be there, but this was. This was not only the growth zone. This is probably the panic zone. Right. Because she's not used to going that fast and to, to being she's cooking all these new things that she's never done before. And so she was in the panic zone and she was starting to feel that pressure and getting really close to giving into the anxiety. And there's, I think there's 15 people in her cohort.
And so there's all these people around her and about an hour or so into the experience. She started looking around and noticing. At, she was really far behind, like she was way behind everybody else and they had to wash their dishes afterward. And so she was anticipating this all of this work and she started kind of.
Getting really anxious and stressed out from all that pressure. And we have all been in similar situations.
Now, I don't know if anyone listening has been to culinary school or. Intense situation quite like that. But we've all had those exams, those social settings or those jobs or environments that were just so far outside our comfort zone and that pressure can become unbearable. And if we don't know how to manage that, we can slip into the panic zone and start having massive anxiety. And in worst case scenarios, even panic attacks.
I'm happy to report that my sweet wife. Just grounded in the moment she got present. And started just laser focusing on her task at hand and blocking out. She stopped looking at what others were doing and just really got present grounded in the moment. And she was able to really perform under that pressure and make it work. So let's talk about some ways that we can mitigate the panic zone. And perform under pressure when our performance matters most. The first thing is we got to understand what pressure is and how it affects you. Like we've mentioned already. We feel pressure when we leave our comfort zone. And pressure affects everyone differently when you leave that comfort zone.
Some people get a thrill out of the growth zone. They love being there. They crave that energy and that excitement and the new, but on psychology today.com Alfie, Kohn shares some thoughts about how pressure can affect us individually in very differently.
Can stress actually be good for us. Not withstanding the cliche. He says about how diamonds are made. Such a sweeping generalization is hard to take seriously, and it doesn't help much to add a qualification. Such as people are more productive, under moderate pressure, which people productive in what sense? What kind of pressure? These are all questions that we should be asking ourselves.
Based on what we're hearing here. And so while some people love being in the growth zone there are others who really get uncomfortable and either from trauma or core beliefs, it's just really hard to operate there. And so it's important that we understand. What pressure feels like to us and how it affects us. You've been in stressful situations and you know what that feels like. And you also know what helps you get out out of those situations. So that is an important thing is just to understand the pressure is when we start questioning our capability. And start feeling that the stakes are high. And when that happens, we got to have a game plan. So the second thing I wanted to talk about when you are feeling that pressure, when you're feeling the high stakes situation, maybe having that self doubt.
Take a few deep breaths and center yourself. That is the first tip. And this is obviously a great way. To be present. We talk about this all the time, but especially when you're feeling that pressure. Some deep breathing is a great way to bring yourself and in ground in the moment. And the more you can focus on your breath, the more helpful it will be.
Another thing to do, which Abra did in this situation was to focus on the task, not the outcome. A lot of times when we feel that pressure, it's really easy for us to be thinking about what could go wrong if you can just instead get laser focused on the task at hand, just like Aubrey did instead of looking around at everybody else and seeing how far ahead they were and how far behind she was, she just got down to business and looked at her dough and rolled it out and just really focused on the next best thing that she could do for herself.
On inc.com, according to whisk singer and poly fry, they conclude that this might be the easiest tactic of all when we're feeling pressure. They say, instead of worrying about the outcome or about the task at hand, that means developing tunnel vision. When you keep your eye on the task at hand and only the task at hand, all you can see is the concrete steps necessary to Excel.
For a student writing a paper that means concentrating on doing stellar research, not obsessing about the ultimate grade. What will happen if you don't get it, and whether you should have majored in economics after all. These are just some examples of how we can focus on the task at hand.
Instead of the unknown outcome. The next tip is to get in touch with your senses. Right. If you're still struggling to be present and ground in the moment. Focus on one sense, whether it's touch, smell sight maybe you can look around the room and try to describe some of the things you're seeing, feel the texture of whatever's in front of you. These are great ways to also ground in the moment.
And to better perform and to better perform under pressure.
This next one is really important. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Now that's easier said than done, but the more we can practice instinctively reaching out and connecting with others, especially when we're under pressure and feeling the high stakes situations. It is going to be. Massive help for us.
Going back to the inc.com article. Telling someone else about the pressure you're feeling has been proven to reduce anxiety and stress. But there's another bonus for this tip. And that is sharing your feelings, allows you to examine them, challenge their reality and view a pressure situation in a realistic manner. And it's likely the person you're sharing your feelings with will have some feedback or insights as well.
Keep this in mind, you may not be the only one feeling the heat,
last and certainly not least when you are trying to perform under pressure. Remember that practice is a longterm tactic to help you perform better.
The more you practice A task or situation. Outside of your comfort zone. The bigger your comfort zone gets and the better you perform under that pressure. I think of a baby who's learning to walk that is outside of their comfort zone. But the more time they practice, the more comfortable they are performing at that level. And the same is true for us. If there's something that is really causing you a lot of anxiety.
Try and letting go and playing a little bit, practice that thing. Leave your comfort zone, a little more practice, interacting with people in a safe environment in a safe way. And make that comfort zone stretch a little bit.
And now for our play of the week, during times of stress this coming week, I want you to ask yourself out loud under your breath if necessary. What is the task at hand? This will help you ground in the moment. And focus on that task instead of that outcome, this will help you perform instead of give in to the anxious thoughts about that outcome, that you are dreading or experiencing that anxiety around. 📍
Pressure is a part of life. It's what we do with that pressure that makes the difference. Today. We've talked about six techniques or principles you can use to manage that pressure and achieve success.
Keep focusing on tasks, asking for help from others and being present. If you know someone who could benefit from today's episode, I invite you to share this with them
and as always remember that happiness is a skill and life is a team sport, and we are so glad to have you on the team catch you next week.