Guest Post: Teresa Romain
Take the Pressure Off… “Stay Loose”…
I love to use sports analogies. I think it stems from being involved in sports year-round when I was in school.
No matter what sport it was, each of my coaches kept advising me to…
“Take the pressure off” and “Stay loose”…
Like most athletes, whenever I put too much pressure on myself (to make a basket, to get a hit, to win the match, to run my fastest race), my muscles would tighten up and I’d get tense – then I’d miss an easy shot, throw a bad pass, strike out, make a careless mistake.
The key to performing my best was to “stay loose”… to play the game in a relaxed, focused, clear-headed, energized manner – something that was impossible to do under pressure when I was “attached” to the results. (FYI – Being “attached” is the exact opposite of “staying loose”.)
This same “stay loose” principle applies to building your business and accessing the lasting abundance you desire.
If you look up “pressure” in the dictionary, you will find it is defined as: (1) the state of being pressed or compressed; (2) an oppressive condition of physical, mental, social or economic distress; and (3) to force [something].
I’m sure you’ll agree – NONE of those definitions sound very abundant!
And yet, this state of “pressure” is what you – like many home-based entrepreneurs – might be experiencing all the time, without even realizing it. You might even think it’s “normal” or “necessary”.
But pressure is no more normal or necessary for us than scarcity. In fact, operating under too much pressure actually limits or completely blocks abundance.
As radical as it may seem, I am now of the opinion that ALL of the pressure we experience in our businesses stems from SCARCITY and, especially, from an inaccurate belief that something is “not enough”.
For example, if you aren’t making “enough” phone calls or money in your business, you feel pressure to make more.
If you don’t have a “big enough” organization, you feel pressure to do more until you are “big enough”. (Good luck! Because in that scenario, it won’t matter how big you get, it still won’t be “big enough”!)
If you’re in debt or have a job you hate and think your business is your “ticket out”, you’ll be attached to your having your business grow bigger and faster. More pressure.
If other people expect more of you or doubt your ability, you might feel pressure to prove to them that you can succeed or perform well. Again, you become “attached” to the results instead of “staying loose”.
Through it all, notice you are operating under pressure. A business built under the pressure of scarcity will one day “blow up” (just like a “pressure cooker” kept under pressure for too long), taking with it any illusion of success and abundance you have attained.
Pressure will NEVER support you to access and experience abundance… because abundance is relaxed, flowing, flexible, patient, open and powerful. Abundance is the very essence of “staying loose”.
So – the first step is to notice when and in what areas in your business you are feeling “pressure”. Notice if or how you are thinking that what you are doing is “not enough”. Check to see if that is accurate. Have you defined what “enough” is for you at this point in time?
Are you feeling pressure because you are trying to prove something to someone – including yourself? WHAT are you trying to prove? Name it. And then ask yourself “what does proving that prove?” What you might begin to discover is your need to “prove” comes from an underlying sense of low self-worth or “not enoughness” you feel about yourself. And, trust me on this one – no matter what you do in your business – it’s not going to prove or fix that!
Notice, too, how or if you are feeling “attached” to the results. What would happen if you let go of that and just took the actions you can take, to the best of your ability AT THIS TIME? And get really honest with yourself about what you think it will “mean” or what will happen if you don’t get that result.
If you do, you’ll probably realize that your family and friends will still love you, that the sun will still rise in the east, that there will still be things in your life that you enjoy and have and can be grateful for. Remember – there is truly very little we “need”. Do not confuse really WANTING something with “needing” it – and it will be easier to “stay loose”.
So – having said that – how can you start “playing loose” in your business? How can you “stretch yourself” to grow and be in action without “forcing or pressuring yourself”?
I’d love to hear your ideas… but here are a few “PRACTICE” suggestions I can offer…
1. When you notice yourself feeling tense, tight, pressured… pause for 60 seconds and simply take some long, slow, deep breaths. Be as present as you can be to what is happening in this moment. Just be in the moment. Notice the sounds. Notice the smells. Notice what you’re feeling. Just BE for 60 seconds – and breathe in the oxygen that gives us life.
2. Pressure is often a response to a conscious or subconscious thought you have that you didn’t do “enough” or you’re not making “enough”. In reaction to this pressure, your focus becomes one of trying to do MORE or A LOT – and FAST. (This creates more pressure). If you notice that you’re feeling pressure about having to do it ALL, then give yourself permission to take the pressure off and do ONE thing. Then…
3. CELEBRATE that ONE action! In fact, CELEBRATE each action you take that releases the pressure yet keeps you in the game. (An athlete can drop out of the game because he “can’t stand the pressure” or he can learn how to “play loose” and keep playing. You want to learn the latter.)
Here’s to the “loose” and “relaxed” YOU! Here’s to your growth and your abundance!
Teresa Romain is the President & Founder of www.AccessAbundance.com and has trained and coached thousands of individuals around the world access and experience greater freedom, fulfillment, well-being and abundance in their businesses and their lives. Unique in her approach and dynamic and passionate in her style, Teresa is known for making the transformational process of accessing abundance challenging, fun and powerful in its results.
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