Tina Greenbaum

By Tina Greenbaum

What’s Your Cutting Edge?

150 150 Tina Greenbaum

You know these sayings, “Just do it!!,” No risk, no reward,” “No pain, no gain,” “Just buck up.” Most of us have grown up hearing these bits of advice. They come from the likes of parents, teachers, coaches, the media and get unconsciously registered in our minds as THE TRUTH. In psychology, we call them “Belief Systems.” And whether you’re aware of it or not, they rule our lives by the expectations we set for ourselves because of them.

Since they have such a profound influence on our feelings of self-worth, competency, actions and behaviors, it behooves us to dig a little and examine how to work with them, so we put ourselves consciously in charge of our lives, rather than be ruled by outdated and unwanted mandates.

This is a big topic, but in this article, we’re going to focus on the expectations we have of ourselves and how to realistically pace yourself, so you can actually realize your desired outcome.

In his book, The Warrior Athlete (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Ltd, Toronto, 1079), Dan Millman talks about the principle of “Accommodation,” Briefly, this law states that athletics or life develops what it demands; no demand, no development, improper demand, improper development.

Let’s look at this statement, “Improper demand, improper development.” Depending on what you are asking of yourself, it could be to learn a new skill, manage a team, improve your work/life balance, manage your emotions better, or many of the numerous tasks you want to accomplish.

Many high-achievers make great demands on themselves. As we said, no demand, no development. But how do you judge when it’s too much? What are the signs signals that let you know you’re over the line? And what types of guidelines can you use to answer these questions?

While I was studying to be a Nia (combination of dance, movement and physical exercise) Instructor, we were required to learn dance routines very quickly. Some of us were better at this than others. Lord knows, I wanted to be successful. But I noticed, the more I demanded of myself, the worse I got. Until my teacher said, “You cannot go any faster than your nervous system will allow.”

That was a revelation to me! I expected myself to pick it up right away. But the truth was, I was a beginner at this skill and until I adjusted my expectation to the reality of the situation, I would remain frustrated, my adrenaline would start kicking in and my ability to think clearly would be diminished.

No matter how much you want to succeed, your body and your mind will tell you whether you’re being realistic.

To be sure that your “cutting edge,” sets you up for success, keep these tips in mind:

  1. Your mind and your body have to work in sync.
  2. If you find yourself getting frustrated, ask yourself, “Are my expectations realistic? Am I asking more of myself than I am capable of at this moment in time?”  You may be quite capable, but not in the time frame you are demanding.
  3. Pay attention to the signals your body is giving you. If the nervous system is overloaded, your muscles will get tight and the quality of your thinking will deteriorate.
  4. To find your own personal “cutting edge,” take a tip from Yoga. In order to grow, we’re always looking for that edge of discomfort. This is your “growing edge.”

So, remember; if you ask of yourself as little more than your comfortable with, every day, both your body and your mind will accommodate to the new, higher level. And then, you’ll turn around and say to yourself one day, “Wow, how did that happen?”

If you’d like to learn more about your own level of Peak Performance skills, go to Masteryunderpressure.net and join our Facebook community at https://www.facebook.com/groups/masteryunderpressurecommunity/

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