Turn Up The Heat
As the Texas Rangers find themselves on the grand stage of the World Series, the pressure cooker of high-stakes baseball mirrors the stress many of us encounter in our daily lives. Competing priorities and meeting the needs of all our relationships, whether personal or professional, can create an atmosphere not dissimilar to challenges faced by professional athletes like Nolan Ryan or Ivan Rodriguez.
However, just as these Rangers legends discovered unexpected strength in adversity, there are lessons to be gleaned from the team’s journey about performing under pressure and navigating stress. In the heat of a World Series game, a pitcher steps onto the mound with the eyes of millions fixated on every move. The weight of the moment is palpable, akin to the stress many of us face in our respective fields.
Take a page from the pitcher’s playbook: focus on the next pitch—not the enormity of the situation. Success lies not in the avoidance of stress but in embracing it as a catalyst for growth.
Clinical psychologist Tracy Dennis-Tiwary, in this conversation with leadership consultant Simon Sinek, suggests that anxiety, much like the tension in a high-stakes game, carries hidden merits. The insistence on perpetual positivity is an impractical feat. Instead, recognize stress as a companion, one that can propel us toward unforeseen achievements.
In this TED Talk, psychologist Kelly McGonigal emphasizes that viewing stress as an ally—not an adversary—is crucial. Stress, she contends, readies us for life’s challenges, expanding our capabilities just as Rangers players will be stretched to their emotional and physical limits. The key lies in acknowledging stress as a friend and a teacher, guiding us through intense moments.
The true magic of stress, McGonigal underscores, lies in its ability to foster connections. In the crucible of challenge, individuals come together, forming bonds akin to the camaraderie among Rangers teammates. Recognize that, like the team rallying in the dugout, seeking support and partnership in times of stress is not a sign of weakness but a testament to resilience.
As we face our own pressure situations, we ought to envision success as a moment shared with those who supported us along the way. Visit the SurePeople Knowledge Center for strategies to better navigate high-pressure situations. Much like the Texas Rangers players, every individual has the power to shape their future and affect the futures of those around them.
In the world series of life, it’s not about avoiding stress. It’s about stepping up to the plate with the mindset that stress is not our adversary, but our ally in this pursuit of greatness.
“One of the beautiful things about baseball is that every once in a while you come into a situation where you want to, and where you have to, reach down and prove something.”
– Nolan Ryan
Do you have an idea you want to share with an empowered community of self-aware professionals? If you’d like to contribute an idea or article to ‘In The Flow of Work’ on the Evolve blog, just send us a message or submit a post to our Head of Content, Adam Schneider