I have this recurring nightmare.
I’m working at Applebees. I’m the only server on duty. There’s nobody in the kitchen. The hostess just gave me 10 new tables and everyone needs something. I’m new and I don’t know where anything is. Food needs to be delivered, people are upset. My heart is pounding, I’m stressed. I don’t see any end to it. Then I wake up.
It takes me back to my gymnastics days. I remember standing next to the beam, completely overwhelmed, and making the choice to stop, feel my feet on the ground, and take a couple of deep breaths.
Yeah, the judge might not like the way I look or the way I point my toes, but that could happen regardless of how stressed I allow myself to get.
This is the time to get grounded and centered. I let my shoulders relax, remembering that it’s not that big of deal, then salute the judge and get to it.
Peak Performance Tip: Get Grounded
Whether you’re training for a huge competition, studying for finals, or up against an important deadline, there are moments when everything just seems like too much. That feeling of overwhelm can be your reminder to:
- Feel your feet on the ground
- Find your center
- Place one hand just below your navel
- Place your other hand on your lower back
- The space between your hands is your center
- Bring your energy to your center
- Take a couple of deep breaths (in through the nose, out through the mouth)
- Let your shoulders drop
- Just do what’s in front of you
Try it right now. STOP. GROUND. CENTER. BREATHE.
Feel better? Make a point of getting grounded before an important event. Do it at key moments as well. If the pressure rises, let your shoulders drop.
If this resonates with you, consider adding it to your pre-performance routine. The more you practice getting grounded, the more automatic it will become.