The Mental Game – Part 4

Better/Stronger Under Pressure 

Our fourth and final point here, and that is successful entrepreneurs are actually better and stronger when they’re under pressure. 

This is a tough concept for a lot of people to wrap their heads around. 

Most really successful entrepreneurs, especially as they’re climbing the ladder, have an increase in pressure.  There’s a higher demand.  Their business is building.  There’s a bigger customer base.  There are more customers, partner, staff, you name it. 

The level of pressure, in general at all levels, increases.  There’s more demand on their time.  There are more cash flow considerations. 

You can imagine all of the stuff that starts to happen. 

Here’s one thing I’ve noticed.  Successful entrepreneurs, the ones that really take off to the next level, have literally trained themselves to respond positively to this type of pressure, versus negatively.  

A person that handles this negatively would see an increase in demand like this and immediately fold into a shell and say, “Oh my goodness, I can’t handle this.  There’s too much coming at me.  What am I going to do?” 

Versus the successful entrepreneur who has trained themself to realize that an increased demand means an increased level of success in his/her business.  It means increased opportunity for them to be able to handle more.  They can achieve a higher capacity. 

A rite of passage for more success. 

You cannot obtain a higher level of success if you can’t handle the current amount of ‘stuff’ coming at you. 

Most successful entrepreneurs can withstand incredible amounts of pressure because they’ve trained themselves to actually decompress and become calm, even when the situation appears to be chaotic and hectic around them. 

There are a number of different strategies that come into play here, but this involves a lot of self-control, self-introspection and physical manipulation. 

First of all, one of the tips I like to recommend to people is as soon as you begin to feel pressure in your business, whether it’s demands from staff, clients, partners, whatever, take that moment to automatically interrupt whatever your natural reaction is, and study it.   Take a sheet of paper and write down all the things that are making you feel pressure or overload.  Do a brain dump.  It doesn’t have to have any order or make any sense.  You are just taking it out of your head and putting it on paper.

Also, analyze what is happening in your body.  What do you do by default?  Do your shoulders get tense?  Does your breathing increase?  Do you start sweating?  Do you feel a general sense of anxiety?   

List all of it out and understand how you default, when these situations occur, so that you know what to expect in the future. 

Second, you want to decide what to do instead. 

If your default is to suddenly feel a sense of anxiety and to get tense in your shoulders and your back and whatever, in your posture, you can create your own exercise.  Create exercises to immediately counteract that physical reaction that’s happening in your body. 

One thing you can do is Belly Breathing.  When we get stressed, we tend to breath more shallowly and perhaps even hold our breath.  Belly Breathing reminds us to breathe deeply instead.  The breath should expand the rib cage front to back, left to right, and top to bottom, including the abdomen.  When breathing is shallow, lifting only the rib cage, the oxygen supply to the brain is limited.  When one breathes correctly, there is abundant oxygen for higher brain functions. 

Here is how you do it: 

  1. Inhale through the nose and initially cleanse the lungs with one long exhalation, released in short puffs through pursed lips (imagine keeping a feather afloat in front of you with those short puffs of air).  After that the outbreath is also through the nose.
  2. Your hands rest on the lower abdomen, rising on inhalation and falling on exhalation
  3. Inhale to a count of three, hold your breath for three counts, exhale for three, hold for three.  Repeat.  For an alternate rhythm, inhale for two, exhale for four, with no holding of your breath.
  4. Ideally, rhythmic breathing is automatic.  Rhythmic music may help, so that counting isn’t needed.

When you calm down physically, the rest of your being goes along with it and you suddenly begin to feel better.   

Nothing else has changed around you.  All of the pressures still exist.  The demands are still on you, both mentally and sometimes even physically if people are there in person, but you yourself have changed. 

You’ve changed your body chemistry to become more resilient to those demands.  Now it’s a matter of habituating that, so you can handle it over and over again in the future.  

This is just one tiny example, but the point I’m making is the most successful entrepreneurs realize and accept with open arms, the fact that pressure is going to increase as success increases. 

The only thing that’s left to do is be able to handle yourself and keep yourself calm, relaxed and prepared to take on the next challenge, so that whatever is going on around you will not impact your productivity and you can stay strong on the road to success. 

Take a few minutes right now to uncover and identify the situations where you feel the pressure and what you’re going to do instead, so that you can make your rite of passage for more success and you can handle more pressure so you can grow further. 

This will be an unbelievably powerful experience for you, when you learn to implement it. 

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