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Performing Under Pressure – Tenacity & Enthusiasm

Last article I shared with you from a book called Performing Under Pressure. The authors found people who perform under pressure harness what they call COTE: Confidence, Optimism, Tenacity and Enthusiasm. This week we will look at the last two: Tenacity & Enthusiasm.

The authors suggest that tenacity is critical to our success, and that there are four parts to it: Goals, Focus, Hope and Coping.

Goals – Tenacity requires working towards a goal, and voluntary exertion. If you have a goal and are voluntarily working towards it, you’ve got the first chromosome of tenacity covered.

Focus – in this context it means the ability to place your attention on whatever helps you achieve a goal, and to ignore what doesn’t. This requires us to also demonstrate self-control to take the actions that our focus demands of us.

Hope – Hope is what keeps our focus alive when other people throw in the towel. One of the best things you can do to create more hope in your life is to work on identifying the necessary routes to achieve your goals. The authors say, “where there’s a way there’s a will”.

Coping – If you are working on something worth achieving, eventually you’ll run into obstacles that block your efforts. There are two main ways you can cope – by managing your emotions, or by focusing on solving the problem. In the highest-pressure situations, a combination of both is required.

There are some basic truths about enthusiasm.
• It’s an affective state – you feel energized or excited.
• It’s a state of heightened arousal. You are likely breathing faster, and your heart rate increases.
• It’s accompanied by positive thoughts.
• It’s a behaviour – you rarely sit still while you feel it.
• Some responses are universal across cultures – smiling and clapping for instance.
• Finally, and most importantly, it communicates excitement, engagement and positivity to the people around you.

There have been plenty of studies that show that the level of enthusiasm present in team dynamics accounts for improved results – especially in high pressure situations.

Here’s how enthusiasm works. It increases our working memory (what we can hold in our minds at any one time), which allows us to take in more information in the moment. It allows us to see more connections between things and more possible combinations of ideas, which leads to greater creativity, which leads to more pathways for action, which leads to more hope, and ultimately better decision making about what path to take.

Which one of these do you need to start developing?

About David Lawson

Finding the Light is a locally owned and operated counselling and life coaching business based in Bundaberg. We seek to empower our clients to find their way forward to a better life by using the approaches of counselling or coaching. If this blog article has raised more questions please contact us by email or call us on 0407 585 497 to arrange a time for us to discuss the article. Mention this blog and we will give you a FREE 30 minute session to discuss.

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