Make Tension Work for You

Calm balanced businessman sitting outdoors on bench in Yoga lotus pose meditating, with office building and blue sky in backgroundIt impacts performance, so use it.

By Bill Reeb

Your best comes through, especially when you are calling upon fine motor skills, when you are relaxed. Too much tension can quickly impact your mental, physical and emotional acuity.

MORE: When to Cut Your Losses | Heading Off Course? Time to Correct | Don’t Let Time Pass Without … | Is Your Sense of Duty Misplaced? | Are You Sure You’re In the Wrong Place? | How Are You Programming Your Mind? | How to Stay in the Present | Stop Ignoring Opportunities Right in Front of You
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What I am referring to is finding the right level of tension to support performance at a heightened level. The problem is that there is a fine line between tension that pumps you up and tension that starts to drag you down.
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When to Cut Your Losses

Man with head down on desk, sticky note with "HELP" writte on it on baseball capTenacity and persistence can be friends … or foes.

By Bill Reeb

You are now at the final leg of the Process. To be here, you had to kick out of the Try (Work)-Evaluate loop because you were either feeling unsuccessful or unhappy about your progress or priorities. This negative evaluation occurs as you are either starting to get stuck or you are already stuck.

MORE: Heading Off Course? Time to Correct | It’s All Right to Enjoy Success | Failure Paves the Road to Wisdom | Are You Paralyzed by Fear? | How to Change the Way You Think (and Why) | Have Your Beliefs Stopped Serving You?
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Because you have already worked through the techniques of “What You Are Thinking,” it’s time for us to walk through the other side of this evaluation, which is “What You Are Doing.” These techniques should help you find ways to get unstuck from what you are doing so that you can once again start regaining momentum toward whatever goal you are trying to accomplish.
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Heading Off Course? Time to Correct

Young man steering a wooden shipBe ready to forgive yourself.

By Bill Reeb

We need self-acceptance that as human beings we are emotional, have faults, are regularly scared, will make mistakes, are very self-critical, expect more from ourselves at times than is reasonable, and more.

MORE: It’s All Right to Enjoy Success | Make Worry Work for You | Why We Have to Deal with Guilt | Are You Right Where You’re Supposed to Be? | Letting Go Is Not Giving Up | Your Obligation to Yourself | Why We Risk Change
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We need to accept the fact that we will commonly sabotage or undermine our own efforts, sometimes consciously, often subconsciously. When we find our psychological and physiological energy heading down one of these destructive paths, rather than pile on and beat ourselves up even more, we need to accept that these detours are both expected and predictable so that we can quickly refocus on more constructive responses.
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It’s All Right to Enjoy Success

Boy hugging ponyHow is perception changing your experiences?

By Bill Reeb

Your perception of what you expect will actually shape what you experience. Let’s consider a few common perspective variations like “scarcity versus abundance,” “one right answer versus many right answers,” “opportunity versus threats,” “easy versus struggle,” “success versus failure,” “happiness versus sadness” just to name a few.

MORE: Make Worry Work for You | Don’t Let Time Pass Without … | Is Your Sense of Duty Misplaced? | Are You Sure You’re In the Wrong Place? | How Are You Programming Your Mind? | How to Stay in the Present | Stop Ignoring Opportunities Right in Front of You
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With each of these, there is a continuum between one extreme and the other, and depending on where your outlook falls on that continuum, your perspective – that filter – will shape the way you interpret every experience.
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Make Worry Work for You

Chinese man looking worried outside on bench… instead of consuming you.

By Bill Reeb

Worry is an instinctive response that is meant to surface an issue or problem that needs attention. It is an internal alarm system saying, “Danger, danger, Will Robinson, danger” (okay, you got me … a quote from “Lost in Space,” a mid-’60s TV series).

MORE: Don’t Let Time Pass Without … | Failure Paves the Road to Wisdom | Are You Paralyzed by Fear? | How to Change the Way You Think (and Why) | Have Your Beliefs Stopped Serving You? | Don’t Use Only Your Strengths | Are You Your Biggest Obstacle? | Why Your To-Do List Isn’t Getting Done
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Like so many of our psychological and physiological responses, too much or too little of this emotion can be equally negative. If you don’t ever worry, then you might get caught off guard regarding something you could have easily prepared for. On the other hand, too much worry is like too much adrenalin: Your body will just wear itself out by constantly processing it.
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Don’t Let Time Pass Without …

Businessman running after clock in silhouetteWhy spend days or years doing things you don’t want to do?

By Bill Reeb

“Time passes anyway” is a phrase commonly tossed around at my mentor John’s martial arts school. It is the reminder that change comes from doing the work and therefore we need to make every workout count.

MORE: Failure Paves the Road to Wisdom | Why We Have to Deal with Guilt | Are You Right Where You’re Supposed to Be? | Letting Go Is Not Giving Up | Your Obligation to Yourself | Work Smarter, Not Harder
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Days will pass – 30, 60, 90 – in what feels like the blink of an eye, and when you make every day count, before you know it, you will be a lot better. Whether you use your days well or simply throw them away, know that time passes anyway and that time can never be reclaimed!
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Failure Paves the Road to Wisdom

Man with head down on laptop keyboardWhy that’s OK.

By Bill Reeb

Besides guilt, overachievers seem to have a real problem with the idea of failure, which is why it comes up in so many different forms throughout my book.

MORE: Why We Have to Deal with Guilt | Is Your Sense of Duty Misplaced? | Are You Sure You’re In the Wrong Place? | How Are You Programming Your Mind? | How to Stay in the Present | Stop Ignoring Opportunities Right in Front of You | Work ‘Better,’ Not ‘Harder’ | What a Pro Knows | Don’t Let Opportunities Become Detours | What Are You Giving Priority? | Don’t Let Others Block Your Path
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How does this attitude toward failure manifest itself? Well, in business, as with life, we are taught by society that to be considered a worthy and successful human being, we must “grab for the brass ring” or buy into the idea that “winning is everything.” And clichés like “anything other than first doesn’t count” are used to motivate people into obtaining “the right perspective.” This has created some self-destructive and dysfunctional attitudes toward winning.
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Why We Have to Deal with Guilt

Businessmen miserable over errorIt’s one of the most damaging emotional obstacles you throw in front of yourself.

By Bill Reeb

When I talk about guilt and duty, the examples I share can sound similar. However, the distinction to me is that duty is what you feel before you make a decision or take an action, and guilt is what you feel afterward.

MORE: Is Your Sense of Duty Misplaced? | Are You Paralyzed by Fear? | How to Change the Way You Think (and Why) | Have Your Beliefs Stopped Serving You? | Don’t Use Only Your Strengths | Are You Your Biggest Obstacle? | Why Your To-Do List Isn’t Getting Done | Appreciate the Joy That Comes From Work
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For example, I feel a sense of duty to protect my daughter, and I would feel guilty if she were hurt badly because I would imagine everything I should have done to better protect her (even if what I imagined would be unreasonable to expect).
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Is Your Sense of Duty Misplaced?

Businessman crossing finish line after leaping hurdlesOnce again, you may be your own biggest obstacle.

By Bill Reeb

In my opinion, most people are rarely driven by just their own desires. Rather, they are influenced heavily by the desires and expectations of those around them as well as by the roles they fill.

MORE: Are You Paralyzed by Fear? | Are You Right Where You’re Supposed to Be?Letting Go Is Not Giving Up | Your Obligation to Yourself | Work Smarter, Not Harder | Why We Risk Change
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Duty is synonymous with words like responsibility and obligation – and the thesaurus offers the phrase “what you have to do.” Duty has intellectual and emotional ties to your value systems, too. Therefore, to defy one’s duty is to default on one’s values.
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