It’s officially my favourite two weeks of the year! Wimbledon fortnight. I love it.
I particularly love watching the singles matches. Especially the Mens games. And no. Not for that reason, naughty. No. I love the speed and variety of the mens game. It’s so exciting when you get a couple of serve/volley players battling it out for every point.
I also love the stuff that goes on off the court. Watching the crowd. They’re so British. Frantically waving union jack flags, banners, face painted. And I can’t help but checking out what everyone’s wearing. It’s a fashion frenzy. All that make up,my love for it.
There are so many comparisons to draw between sport and our performance at work. Gaining a competitive edge. A winning mind-set. And the most interesting one for me, how we handle pressure at work. And the impact it can have on our performance.
We’ve all felt pressure at work, none more so than the players walking out on court this week at Wimbledon. That’s their job you might say, and you’re right, but how have they prepared for that crowd? The pressure. The crowd at Wimbledon plays a key role in the success of those who play in front of them. Especially home grown talent. I’ve often wondered how it must feel to walk out as a British player on centre court. The heavy expectation of the nation on your shoulders. Pretty bloody terrifying I imagine. So how do the likes of Murray and Konta cope? Not only with the expectation but the obvious groans of disappointment when they miss a shot.
We’ve all face deadlines, a work relationship at breaking point, a dickish boss, increased workload…the list goes on. How we respond when the heat is on, will impact your personal brand and reputation. So I’d like to share some ideas on how we can stay cool when the pressure is really on.
I’ve broken these into 2 camps. Some practical top tips for managing the emotions we feel when stressed, and some longer term strategies to futureproof your stress levels.
Preston Ni, author of, ‘How to let go of negative thoughts and emotions, has these top tips for dealing with negative emotions:
1. If you feel angry and pissed off with someone, before you say something you might later regret, take a deep breath and count slowly to ten. 9/10 times you will have thought of a better way of dealing with it by the time you reach 10. Go for a walk. Take the emotion out of it.
2. If you feel nervous and anxious, put cold water on your face. It’s also helpful to get fresh air and take deep breaths from the diaphragm. Avoid necking a shot of espresso as it can send you over the edge!
3. If you feel overwhelmed, confused, stuck, or uninspired, go outdoors and clear your head. Talk to someone you trust, off load. Come back with a fresh perspective
4. If you feel indecisive, do a bit of analysis on the decision you want to make. list all the pros on one side, and the cons on the other side. If you like, score on a scale of 1 to 5 each pro and con item on the lists to weigh their relative importance. As you do so, the most logical decision will often emerge.
This advice for future proofing your stress levels is primarily taken from the Mind website.
• Identify your triggers. Doing this will help you anticipate problems and think of ways to try and solve them. Firstly, identify what are the issues that crop up regularly and that you worry about? Reflect on what could be contributing to your stress levels
• Organise your time. Some adjustments here could make all the difference. Identify what time of day you’re at your best and do the important stuff then. Make a list of the important things you need to do and put the hard stuff at the top. I’m a morning person so I know if I leave the tasks that I find really hard until 3pm, they never get done.
• Address some of the causes. Accept the things you can’t change and do something different with the things you can. Ask for help when you need it, seek advice from those you trust and let go of the stuff that is outside of your control. Or simply SUMO it. Shut up and move on.
If all else fails, be thankful that you aren’t Andy Murray! Now that’s pressure.
But if you need help building resilience and your personal brand, come visit us at www.violetandcharlie.com.
I’m off to watch the tennis, strawberries and prosecco in hand. Cheers!