September 27, 2015


Following from my last post about overcoming stress, here is another example of high performance thinking: the All Blacks often make the right decisions under pressure whereas other rugby teams often don’t! What is the difference? It is exposure, at a very early age, to challenging situations and drilling the correct response until it becomes a habit, it becomes an attribute, a part of the individual’s character. Many people think the All Blacks are experts at this, most people don't realise they have spent years developing the ability to do this under pressure.

Unfortunately, changing certain behaviour requires concentrated work, quick fixes don’t work. As I have often said in many of my trainings, you don’t become an All Black or a Roger Federer overnight. It has taken them years of exposure to challenging situations to develop the skills of responding differently than the competition. You are in competition with everyone. The faster you understand this on a primal level, the faster you will develop the ability to handle choking under pressure. Malcom Gladwell wrote in his book Outliers that it takes 10,000 hours to become a master. How much time do you spend practicing the ability to make decisions under pressure?

If you want to change, you have to be brutally honest with yourself otherwise you are living in denial. Let me describe it another way. Your brain is a computer running a particular program, say XP, and now you want to upgrade it to the next version of Windows. You download it onto your “computer” but you find from time to time the program doesn’t work very well, glitches happen. These are like bad habits that are always running in the background. They never go away, they need to be managed.

If you have ever been to an Alcohol Anonymous meeting, the attendees will introduce themselves and tell everyone how long they have been an alcoholic even though they don't drink anymore. Why do they say this? Because they know that the thought, the habit is lurking in the background just waiting to rear itself. Because they are aware, they are prepared and they have strategies in place to cope if this happens. They have practiced their responses; they learn how to make the right decision when it counts.

Are you willing to pay the price to practice, not just once but on a regular basis? If you don’t, then you are like most people in the world. This is why most people don’t change – because it requires too much effort!

Without concentrating on fixing this in a focused process, it is very difficult to overcome this problem. There are no quick fixes, I have never seen quick fixes and I don't offer quick fixes. I can help show you the process to change if you are prepared to do the work. You will learn how to cope with this panic situation and how to minimise impact of this on your business and personal life to reduce the chance of stress and burnout. It is false hope to expect that this will ever go away. What is possible is for a person to understand when it comes up and how to deal with it effectively.

I am running a public workshop in November on how to manage Stress and Burnout. If you would like details, please email us on