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Managing the Pressure of Performance

From being a full-time athlete, coach, and business owner, I've had to learn the skill of operating under pressure.


Believe me, there's been plenty of times I've felt like I was going to explode. But through this process I've learned and developed a number of tools that allow me to continue to show up and do my best and maintain my focus and centeredness through the many challenging and chaotic times.


Firstly, remember that you always have a choice. So often we make ourselves believe that we "have to" do something when really we are always choosing to do something. Just as much as I'm choosing to work, I have the same opportunity to choose not to. I've found the difference is getting clear on what your overall outcome is and what provides a sense of meaning and purpose. Are you doing work because it's what you feel called to do or are you just working out of a sense of obligation or because it's what you feel like you should be doing?


Remember: a labor of love is sustainable. Personally, if I'm doing the work that feels aligned to my purpose and meaningful then it's easy for me to show up to that work regardless of how I may feel in the moment. This is one of the keys to not burning yourself out.


Secondly, cultivate and practice your capacity to maintain your center regardless of what may be going on around you. I like the analogy of the tornado: all the tasks and responsibilities are constantly swirling around you and you have the choice as to whether you get swept away in the whirlwind of chaos or if you remain in the cool, still, and quiet center. Operating from your center allows you to more objectively see what's going on around you and pick and choose what to work on and how you respond to what arises.


This is where your meditation practice is crucial. Meditation is your daily opportunity to practice and cultivate your centeredness so that you can carry it with you through the rest of your day.


Lastly, create the structure that allows for the flow. Creating the space and taking the time to schedule yourself and manage your activities provides a solid foundation so that you can trust that the important things will always get done as long as you're showing up to the structure you created for yourself.


Hint: prioritize activities surrounding your Four Doctors - Dr. Happy, Dr. Diet, Dr. Quiet, and Dr. Movement.


Above all else, remember that the only thing you can do and the only place you can be is right here and right now. So much of the pressure we create for ourselves is unnecessary because we're holding onto a done-and-gone past or we're projecting into a not-here-yet future. Do your best in this moment and then do your best in the next moment that arises. Trust that what is meant for you will be yours in the right time, space, and sequence.


If you'd like to take a deeper dive on this topic, go check out the recording of today's IG Live session here.


Happy Dreaming,

With Love,

Nathan

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