Your Best Happens When You Are Peaceful
May 10, 2021
Fear and anxiety exist wherever there is a consequence for your actions. The bigger the consequence, the more pressure and fear you will experience.
Say you have been asked to make a presentation to your management team. Your mind creates a mental map of the possible consequences. If the presentation goes well, you will gain visibility with the senior management, and your career will be on a fast track. And, If the presentation does not go well, you feel it could harm your growth prospects. If you are ambitious about your career, you will automatically feel a lot of pressure and anxiety going into the presentation.
On the other hand, if you feel that the presentation is a part of your normal routine and you don’t see it impacting your career, either positively or negatively, you will not feel any anxiety.
If you don’t have any fear, it means that no consequence bothers you. Or, conversely, if you approach anything being carefree about what will happen and instead focus on the action you have to take, you will not experience any fear.
Our best performance is rarely only about skill. We all operate at our best when we feel relaxed. Our mind is not peaceful when we are anxious, worrying about the consequence of something going wrong.
As long as we are worried about the consequences, there will be fear and anxiety. And, as long as there is fear and anxiety, you cannot operate at your best. Therefore, paradoxically, the key to eliminating performance anxiety is indifference to the outcomes you expect and not worrying about the consequences. Only then will your mind be calm, and your performance will thrive.
Many of us have this romantic notion of delivering results despite fear and anxiety.
I feel we have got it all wrong.
A better mental model for all of us is to stop worrying about the outcome and the consequence. When we do that, we will be naturally calmer and more peaceful. And, from that state of peace, we can deliver our best.
Detachment is the antidote for fear and anxiety.