Being Your Best When You’re Feeling Your Worst
A great question I’ve been asked recently by several of my seminar attendees is “How do you do it? How can you produce that incredible energy on demand? Don’t you ever have a bad day?”
It’s a great question because no matter what, I owe my clients and my audiences everything I’ve got. I can’t contact a meeting planner who has been slaving for months and months to put together a fabulous meeting and say, “Oh, I got dumped last night, I don’t think I can motivate your 500 attendees.” The month my Mom passed away I had speeches a few days before and after her funeral. My clients never knew.
Most of you have to perform on demand as well – you can’t tell your boss, “I’m feeling a little upset about my problems at home, I don’t think I can give the big sales presentation today.” You’ve got to pull it together and do what needs to be done. Excellence isn’t about waiting until you feel like performing – excellence is about performing when you need to, whether you feel like it or not.
So how do you do it?
1.) Do what you love. Anyone who has seen me speak knows I am passionate about FireStar and I consider any day I get to speak a great day. I can honestly say that I love the people I get to work with and I love what I do.
2.) Know where your energy comes from. I’m an extrovert and my energy comes from people. Put me in a room full of them and I come to life. This matches my performance needs. If you need to be alone to recharge, try giving yourself alone time before you have to produce or finding situations where you get to be alone when you need to be “on”. If you truly aren’t suited to the work you’re in, it will be much harder to excel on demand.
3.) Take outstanding care of your physical body. My health is my number one priority, I regard it as the foundation for my performance. Eight to nine hours of sleep a night, regular exercise (both cardio and resistance training), and good nutrition keep me running on high octane. Am I perfect with these habits all the time? Heck no, but I’m pretty darn consistent and it pays off big time. I haven’t taken a sick day that I can remember and I feel great. If you are too sleepy or too overweight, it’s going to be much harder (if not impossible) to focus when you need to and produce your best.
4.) Be aware of your mental state. If you are in a funk, figure out why. Maybe it was that phone call from your Mother. Maybe it was that run-in with your annoying co-worker. Then understand it – realize your Mother didn’t mean to make you feel guilty, she’s just lonely and wants to see you. Then you can decide if you want to keep feeling guilty or would prefer to choose another state of mind. This becomes much easier with practice. The key is to realize how much control you have over your mental state.
5.) Do something. When we’re feeling hurt or upset, it’s easy to wallow: to think about all the other times we’ve been hurt, to dwell on the unfairness of it, to feel terribly sorry for ourselves. We’ve all done it, but it doesn’t do us a damn bit of good. It makes us feel even worse and gives the person or event that hurt us way too much power. The best thing to do is dry your tears and act. I might call a good friend who I know loves me or hit the gym. Maybe even run some errands – anything!
6.) Learn to let go. Again, this one becomes easier with practice. If you can’t do anything about something – let it go. I can’t make someone love me, I can’t bring back the dead. But I can refuse to let those things stop me. Let go of pain – there’s just no need to hang onto it. Focus your thoughts on things you can do something about.
7.) Check your beliefs. Do you believe you fall apart at the first sign of trouble? Do you believe that if a certain person leaves you, your life will be meaningless? Do you think you are an emotional basket case? You better work on changing those incorrect beliefs, because you are what believe yourself to be. I believe that no matter what happens in my life, I will be okay. I will never give up on myself. Will you give up on yourself?
I believe we give up on ourselves when we don’t take care of our physical bodies. I believe we give up on ourselves when we allow people who mistreat us to stay in our lives. I believe we give up on ourselves when we do work we hate because we are afraid to change. I believe we give up on ourselves when we don’t try to become everything we are capable of becoming.
The only one who can bring out your best is you. The more you learn to be your best when you are feeling at your worst, the easier it becomes. It feeds on itself – you learn that you are in control of your destiny. At anytime, in any place, it is YOU who decides what your life will be.