My hand shakes, reaching for the doorknob. With my first time on the Stanford University campus, I have this one meeting — one chance — to secure a big opportunity. If I do well, I’ll be able to serve as a guest lecturer to MBA students at Stanford. I’d enjoy a significant step forward in my journey as an educator. Or I could fall on my face.
Can I do this?
How about you? Have you recently faced one of those do-or-die moments? One of those moments of “my life changes for the better or I could choke”?
I’ve learned about a crucial element to rising to a higher level of success. It’s learning how to perform at your best when you’re tired, afraid or feeling rejected.
This was so important for my clients and audiences that I developed a process, The 3 A’s to Perform at Your Best.
- Access what you don’t know
- Adapt through rehearsal
- Align with your Personal Energy Buffer
1. Access what you don’t know
It’s crucial to develop a Circle of Support. I have my own coaches, and I serve as the Spoken Word Strategist and Executive Coach for my clients.
In your Circle of Support, have those people who will listen to you when you have a fledgling idea. Be careful about any negative family members. I have a family member whose negativity creates a place where good ideas go to die.
Instead, I invite you to develop friendships with people who can walk with you during a process of uncertainty. I’ve noticed that a new idea might sound like something with no chance to work, but it can serve as a step on a ladder so that you rise.
2. Adapt through rehearsal
Rehearsal has served me in so many areas: job interviews, acting on movie sets, speeches and interviews on television.
My rehearsals helped that day at Stanford University. I secured two opportunities to address MBA students at Stanford.
Here is a crucial distinction. You do better by going beyond merely rehearsing your text. Instead, focus on rehearsing for situations when things go wrong.
When you know how to handle something that goes wrong, your True Confidence is enhanced.
For example, if you misspeak, you can say, “That’s not what I meant to say. What I meant to say was …” Then, you start again and express the words in an effective and compelling manner.
It’s still vital to rehearse how you will handle a mistake. You make your method to recover into a part of you.
3. Align with your Personal Energy Buffer
To perform at your best in a high-stress situation, rehearsal is key. As a trained actor and professional speaker, I noticed that with effective rehearsal I have even more freedom to improvise. How is this so? It’s because I have connected with the essence of the most important ideas that I want to communicate.
Just as important as rehearsal, your Personal Energy Buffer can empower your performance. By this I mean, you need extra personal energy every day. Why? Because on any day you may be hit with a painful, scary, bad surprise.
With extra personal energy, you’re ready to face such tough moments. You build up your Personal Energy Buffer by getting enough sleep. I log my sleep, and I’ll take steps to gain more sleep if I miss hours of sleep on a particular night.
The basics will help you develop that extra buffer of personal energy. The basics may include good nutrition, exercise, quiet time (perhaps, meditation), playful time with a pet, and quality time with people you care about.
The value of a Personal Energy Buffer comes to light with research on tennis pros. During a tennis match, a tennis pro only leaps into action for 20 minutes — of a 3-hour match. Otherwise, the tennis pro is relaxing between bursts of energy.
One of my clients, a sports psychologist, emphasizes that she helps Olympic athletes develop appropriate poise and relaxation so they have full access to their best energy when necessary.
Your Personal Energy Buffer helps you bounce back from rejection. It takes energy to say next! and make the next phone call or go to a meeting after having a disappointing experience of rejection. Do what is required to keep up your strength.
Nurture yourself and keep yourself strong. This is the process so you can succeed even if you’re tired, afraid or feeling rejected.
Go the Next Step and See the Video Ep. 50 “Succeed Even If You’re Tired, Afraid or Feeling Rejected” (16 min.)
many happy moments,
Spoken Word Strategist
CEO – Executive Coach – Pitch Coach
Speaker-Author of 47 books
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