If you follow sports news at all then you definitely heard about Tiger Wood’s performance or lack of it. As I watched him get worse each day, losing his temper and finally ending the competition in defeat it was quite obvious to me that Tiger was losing his mental game. Now although I don’t know exactly what he was thinking I can guess and I bet you can guess too. Why? Because all of us experience that downward spiral at times in our lives. We make a mistake, beat ourselves up, begin over thinking every step we take. It really is a recipe for disaster.
When our brains are calm but focused we are amazing problem solving, creative and resourceful people. But when we are under high levels of stress and anxiety, when we start making what we have practiced so many times conscious instead of subconscious by second guessing ourselves, that’s when we crash and burn.
So whether you are working on improving your golf game or facing a challenge at work it all works the same. We are using the same brain! It doesn’t have to end badly . The first step is to calm your Amygdala. Your Amygdala is the emotion center of the brain and the emotion that gets priority is fear. Now you may say that you aren’t afraid you’re mad or embarrassed or disgusted. The fact is that anxiety or fear often shows up as anger, embarrassment or disgust. To get back to your creative, resourceful smart self you must calm your Amygdala. When your Amygdala is over stimulated all your brain’s energy is going to that part of your brain leaving the prefrontal cortex (problem solving part of the brain) with very little energy to work with. So here are some quick ways to calm your Amygdala… Stop and pay attention to your breathing, stretch, yawn. Take time for daily meditation. Learn a technique like the Emotional Freedom Technique which quickly lowers anxiety.
Pay attention to the beliefs that come up when you are under stress… “I’ll never be able to do this.” “I’m making a fool of myself.” “Everybody can see I don’t know what I am doing.” or the ever so “helpful” ” I’m such an idiot!” It’s those beliefs that will cause you to completely lose focus and shut the creative part of your brain down. The first step is to acknowledge you have those beliefs and face them. Then you can take steps to rewire your brain to have more supportive anxiety-lowering beliefs.
As top performers we are going to be faced with challenges. We are going to stretch and push ourselves. The key to doing that successfully is to learn how to work with that marvelous part of us… our brains. Start today by taking time to calm your Amygdala and by choose powerful positive thoughts.
Have an amazing Monday!
Leanna Fredrich, Mindset Coach, Adv. EFT, Adv. Psych-K
PS: If you would like to learn more about how to program your brain for success or if you would like to improve your golf game for the summer email me at Leanna@amazingmondays.com