One of the first things that suffers under pressure and stress is the ability to make decisions. Athletes, parents, leaders, employees, kids..everyone experiences it.
In today’s fast-paced world we have to make many decisions daily at record speed. We often wonder, afterwards, "What was I thinking?" Maybe that is the issue - we just weren't thinking! "What was I feeling?" may be the more appropriate question. Although some decisions can be made quickly without thinking, there are those that are made from a reactive and emotional place. When we feel worry, fear or frustration, our body's stress response can actually shut down our thinking mind and leave us without the ability to see all options. Our emotions drive our behaviour.
So what? Now what?
To resist going down a path that reflects our biases or fears, we need to use a self regulation strategy to pause and reset. Then we need to keep an open and challenge mind-set so we keep our thoughts positive. This will help the mind be far more effective, sharp, and clear. When we’re emotionally coherent and balanced, we’re set up to make better decisions that will help serve us and everyone concerned.
About the Author - Jo-Ann Pawliw is a Licensed Stress and Performance Coach. Her company, Heart Of Performance, helps athletes, executives, leaders and teams bring their "Best Brains to the Table" even under pressure and stress. Jo-Ann delivers the Institute of Health and Human Potential's curriculum, Performing Under Pressure: The Science of Emotional Intelligence, based on the award winning book, Performing Under Pressure.