In the 70’s, everyone was playing tennis, running 5K races and going to bars to play backgammon. “The Inner Game of Tennis” was on the New York Bestsellers list.
Great athletes have always known that winning is a mind game. One college football team cut its field practice short so team members could close their eyes and imagine themselves on the field playing perfectly and in harmony. They went from the bottom of the league to being in the playoffs.
One study had weightlifters sit in a couch and imagine they were doing bicep curls. Their arm mass increased as much as the group that actually lifted weights. The mind, in a relaxed, focused state can create physical changes in the body.
More importantly, relaxing and creating the emotional state you want works, too. We all know what stress an angst feel like in our bodies—a tightness in your chest, shoulders, and gut, shallow breathing, sticky palms. But few of us concentrate on what confidence, courage, and competence feel like in our bodies.
Just like athletes, we can change our performance on the job and reduce our anxiety by simply relaxing and feeling the things we want to create. Feel what confidence is like in your body. It’s all an inside job, as they say. And you are in charge of what goes on inside YOU!