WHAT THE OLYMPICS’ MIKAELA SHIFFRIN CAN TEACH YOU ABOUT BEATING STRESS
After years of sales training, one thing I know is that your capacity to handle stress is equal to your capacity for success.
At FPG we have a simple definition for stress: it’s simply not knowing how to win. Have you ever watched a quarterback in the Super Bowl calmly commanding the huddle before a play? Or a guitar player stepping into a shredding solo on stage in front of 100,000 screaming fans? One thing that’s always amazed me about those scenarios is how calm they always look. There’s so much going on in that moment, and yet their legs are steady, their hands aren’t shaking and they deliver in the clutch.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t nerves. But it does mean they can handle them and get the job done when it counts. In short, it means they’ve raised their consciousness level a notch above the stress. As Albert Einstein once said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”
This is one of the most important lessons we teach in our award-winning Warrior Selling sales training program that threads through all of our lessons. The techniques we teach our warrior sales pros are geared toward giving them the knowledge to remove leashes so they can earn what they’re worth. We teach mastery and command so when it’s selling game time, they can step up to the plate just like a batter walking up in the bottom of the 9th in the World Series.
One of the most important lessons about raising your consciousness level above the stress comes to us from the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea from a world class skier named Mikaela Shiffrin.
Mikaela is without a doubt one of the best downhill skiers in the history of the sport. She won gold in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, and overall she’s won 41 races in the last five years. At the 2018 Olympics, she snagged her second Olympic gold medal in as many Olympic Games. If you’re a skier today, you study Mikaela Shiffrin’s game. Nobody’s better.
So you’d expect Mikaela to be running off a bunch of nervous energy right before races, right? Not quite. She actually takes naps.
Pretty amazing, isn’t it? Before the biggest races of her life at the 2018 Olympics, Mikaela Shiffrin, who has all the pressure on her shoulders to win gold, is so relaxed that she dozes off on couches. The only reason she can do that is because she realizes that her capacity for success is only equal to her capacity to handle stress.
This is such an important lesson. I wonder when you’ll fully realize that all the stress you’re currently struggling to handle right now is nothing more than not having a process, pattern and strategy in place to win. The thing about stress is that if you’re growing and constantly striving to be better than you were yesterday, then the stress will always be there at each new level you rise to. The key is simply knowing that you’re up to the challenge.
That’s the secret. That’s why Mikaela can take naps and then win gold medals. That’s why Tom Brady has won five Super Bowls while looking like the calmest guy on the field. That’s why world class pianists can play through musical pieces flawlessly in densely packed concert halls. It’s because they’ve risen above the level of their stress so they can keep growing.
Let me tell you what lobsters can teach us about growth. In order to keep growing, the lobster needs to continually get rid of its shell and grow a new one that can fit its new shape. The only reason the lobster knows to shed its old shell is because it’s uncomfortable. The shell is now too small, and the lobster can’t move around as easily as it used to. Only because of that discomfort does the lobster know to retreat underneath a rock, get rid of its old shell and grow a newer, more comfortable one. Then the process repeats all over again as the lobster continues to grow.
This is the exact process Mikaela Shiffrin and the top 1% all go through in order to continue growing. That uncomfortable feeling is stress telling you it’s time to rise above. When you feel uncomfortable and you feel stress, I want you to be grateful for that moment. Because it means you’re on the verge of a breakthrough.