Having some tension to tackle any task helps you to maximize your abilities. The secret lies in knowing how to find the point of tension that will take you out of your comfort zone, and get de best of yourself, avoiding to be blocked or feel stress.
Here's an example of myself: I've been more than three years working as a professional speaker as an important supplement in my adventurous and entrepeneur life. This activity has become a central hub for all my profession, and I take it very seriously, with enthusiasm, ambition and commitment. In all this time I have found that whenever I've been too relaxed, confident and comfortable to give a lecture, the result has been less satisfactory than when I have been nervous, worried and tense up before starting my parliament.
When I started this job, I thought the goal was to arrive at the time to give the talk, quite really confident and comfortable about the fact I prepared it so well that I would be without any doubt that my content would be well served to the audience of the event. But I was wrong. Following this process of preparation I made good lecture, but I was not really powerful with my presentation. I worked well my abilities, my contents, my confidence and my style, but to become a true professional speaker, something was missing.
One day an expert in scenic arts told me that the theater director Calixto Bieito, used to change something about a certain act of the play, just the day of the premiere. After months of training, the actors where facing a sudden change just before going on stage. Why he did it? Because he wanted the actors to be tension, in order to have the point of pressure point to kept them alerted and radically connected to the moment, away from the comfort of knowing they had trained very much allowing them to be fully confident in their performance. He thought that gave the 'plus' that often separates the good of the excellence. .
Since then, I changed my mind in my approach to lectures, and I decided that I was not just doing a job the best I could, but I was taking a challenge every time I had the opportunity to participate in any event. A challenge is not a job; a challenge requires working hard and well, of course, but also it's something you want to achieve with all your energy, it's something that fills you with passion, It's something that is very important in your life, it's something that requires your best, it's something that amuses you, it's something that makes you learn a lot, it's something that makes you feel alive. But it's also something that puts pressure on you, because there is always a part you do not control and exceeds what you know, because if it were not like this, it could not be called "Challenge" and would be called "Doing the same job that you already know how to do".
I think that since I decided that every conference should be a new challenge for me, whether working for a large and prestigious company, as if I did for an small one, a group of friends or a Hiking Club or a group of friends, my evolution as a lecturer has been radically better.I felt like writing this post right in the week that I will be speaker at one of the most powerful events I've done throughout my career: I participate in the congress #START014 of IBM Spain, one of the largest business events that take place in our country, where will be the main external Speaker at the plenary session at the Madrid Congress Hall, in front of 1,800 people. I acknowledge that despite my experience, I am really impressed, not so much for the large audience, but because important companies and speakers agencies will attend; and for me will be an opportunity that can boost or penalize me. It may be a lever or a brake. It is a real challenge, and I assume it like it. Am I nervous? Yes. Do I feel pressure? Of course I do. But I've decided that instead of trying to control the pressure and nerves minimizing the importance of this event for me, I want these two factors to be my allies, and I want to use them to win more energy. And I want to put myself more pressure even publishing this post, which, fortunately, I hope many people will read, and thereby expand on my area of stress management, as well as the impact of this potential success or failure that I can have next Thursday.
The fear that one can feel in any difficult situation is always a great ally if it serves to maximize awareness of the moment and take out the best we have inside us, but it can be lethal if it blocks us.
Everything in life can be just one more thing, or more about the same; or may represent for us a small or big challenge that allows us to be better, to grow, to enjoy and to live intensely. .
As always , we have the choice, folks ... Thats the game!