Using resilience to overcome stress

Resilience is the key to handling stress and using it to create opportunities for success. But resilience doesn’t come easily, or naturally. It takes dedication, persistence, and guided support for individuals to enhance their resiliency. But once you learn how to be resilient, you will no longer feel the need to avoid stress. Rather, you’ll notice stressful instances for what they are: opportunities that lead to positive changes in your life.

The first step toward enhancing your resiliency is developing the peak-performance mind

Doing what you gotta do, when you gotta do it

In its simplest and most straightforward form, a peak-performance mind means taking care of business, no matter what. This term is oftentimes used in the world of sports, when an athlete has to deliver as the game’s on the line. But peak-performance mind isn’t something only athletes can experience. No matter what you do for work or in life, a peak-performance mind is what will give you the confidence to meet every challenge and stressful event head on.


Peak-performance training techniques – Visualization

As a motivational speaker for companies and individuals throughout the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, I help my clients develop their peak-performance mind through a series of exercises and training techniques.


The goal is to be able to control your mental state in order to “perform” optimally, be it during a game, at the office, or elsewhere in your life.


While these training techniques tend to change, depending on my clients, one of the most successful approaches to developing a peak-performance mind is visualization


Visualization helps to reduce stress, enhance relaxation, and maintain focus by directing your attention to one specific aspect of a routine or performance. For example, let’s say that you’re experiencing stress regarding an upcoming public speaking engagement for your company. With visualization, you’d develop mental cues to help eliminate distractions, such as the audience.


One common mental cue is your very own breathing. By focusing on the sound and movement of your breath, you can silence all that chatter and noise that is the cause of your anxiety. When you silence these distractors, you’re then able to focus on the presentation in its simplest form. Many of my clients develop their own personal mental cues, aside from breathing. What matters most is that your cues work for you.


Beyond visualization

Developing a peak-performance mind requires more than practicing visualization, but that is a good start. Some of the most prolific sports teams in the world (such as the soccer club Real Madrid) use what is known as neurofeedback to enhance their peak performance training. Neurofeedback records and analyzes the brain’s electrical activity, which is then used to shape these processes more efficiently.


Not everyone has access to this type of technology, but that doesn’t mean a peak-performance mind is out of reach. Structured training with an expert in resilience development can help you lay the groundwork for a peak-performance mind.


Once you develop your peak-performance mind, what’s next?

Your peak-performance mind is what will give you the confidence to embrace stress and use it to your advantage. Of course, in many instances, you’re not the only one involved in overcoming a stressful situation. You may have coworkers, a spouse, teammates or colleagues who are waist-deep in anxiety as well. That’s where interpersonal and intra-organizational communication skills come into play.


I’ll discuss that portion of my Resilience Enhancement Program in my next article.



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