It’s 25 minutes before I am about to be interviewed by Tom Bilyeu for the Inside Quest TV show and I am by myself in the green room (which in this case is a blue room). I’ve been treated like a celebrity all day – they’ve flown me out to Los Angeles, picked me up at my hotel, had me meet with the producer, the AV folks and the director. I have even had my makeup done. Everyone has been amazing. Awaiting me is Tom, the cameras and a live studio audience.
Am I excited? Nope. I am suddenly gripped by anxiety and nerves. Here is what I have been saying to myself for the last 90 seconds:
“What am I doing here?”
“Who would want to interview me?”
“Tom just interviewed Anthony Robbins, I am going to be awful compared to him.”
“Tom is a really cool guy and he won’t like me since I am such a terrible person to interview.”
“Why did we have to write a book called ‘Performing Under Pressure’ – that’s way too much pressure!”
“Is my face that bad that it needs makeup?”
“I’ll be an embarrassment and it will be all over the internet.”
Then it dawns on me that I have spent the last 14 years learning, practicing and speaking on emotional intelligence and performing under pressure. So I start applying the strategies and pressure solutions I teach other people to use:
- Breathe. Sounds so simple, but in moments when we are anxious, our emotional system actually wants us to shorten our breathing. So I clear my mind and take a bunch of deep breaths.
- Be open and expansive. Don’t sit looking at my phone. Closed body posture like that actually increases cortisol, our stress hormone. So I stand up, stretch, and do a power pose. All of which will reduce cortisol and anxiety. (See Amy Cuddy on TedTalk for the science behind this.)
- Crisis vs. Opportunity. We are all wired to view pressure moments and situations as a crisis and envision all the negative outcomes, which is exactly what I was doing! So it’s time to shift to opportunity thinking:
- “If I don’t do well, it won’t be all that bad.”
- “There is a chance I might do well in this interview.”
- “They invited me to be on T.V. for a reason. I must have something to offer.”
- “Tom is an amazing interviewer and he will help me through any rough spots.”
- “I am pretty passionate about this topic and people seem to like hearing me speak about it.”
- “Wow, I feel better already. This Emotional Intelligence and Performing Under Pressure stuff really works. People need to hear about it!
- “You know what, I am going to do really well at this!”
- Recall Me at My Best. Finally, I recall a time when I was in a high pressure moment and I was really on, engaged, full of energy and got great feedback on my performance.
You get to be the judge of how I did in the Inside Quest TV interview, but I can tell you I performed much closer to my best ability than if I hadn’t put those four strategies into practice. I felt really good about the interview – Tom is even more amazing in person – and I got great feedback from the audience and the Inside Quest crew. Then it was off to a fun photo session with Tom and a paint brush! The great news is you can use all of these techniques anytime you face a pressure situation. You can learn even more strategies by watching the episode and reading the book – www.pressurebook.com – enjoy!