The moments leading up to important events are often filled with anxiety. While you can’t always control the outcome, you can control your physical and mental preparation
Whether it’s an important career event, an interview, a business meeting or a family milestone, how you react to these moments can be influenced by your mental and physical preparation.
Depending on the individual, pre-event preparedness can come in the form of exercise, mental focus and rehearsal, or relaxing activities to help you perform your best.
When preparation meets opportunity
Everyone has faced those times when you’ve realised that success could have been yours, if only you had been better prepared. So what factors can you work into your life so that when the next important event comes around you will nail it?
Take the 2014 Rexona Clinical Women’s Agenda Pitch Off, where finalists pitched their two-minute business idea in front of a live audience and a panel of judges.
A lot was at stake – a 12 month office space in Sydney’s Darlinghurst from Viacom International Media Networks, a mentorship from Rare Birds, access to potential investors and a year’s worth of online accounting software from Saasu to be exact.
Although the pressure was high, The Dream Job founder and Pitch Off joint-winner Sarah Liu believes speaking in front of as many people as possible gave her a thick skin and equipped for her public speaking victory.
“Don’t be afraid to put your hands up for speaking opportunities in front small audiences to begin with, regardless of the stage you are on, so that by the time you have a large opportunity you are actually ready for it.”
Mind and body: relaxing rituals
Just as an athlete stretches before a game, or a singer warms up their vocal chords before going on stage, physical preparation is closely intertwined with your mental game.
CapacityHQ founder Samantha Wong enjoys weightlifting to help her perform at maximum level to face the challenges that come with getting a startup off the ground. This sense of motivation and confidence spills over into all areas of her life.
“It makes me feel really strong and connected to myself,” says Wong. “I’ve also taken up yoga which brings me back into balance to be centred and true to myself and make sure whatever I’m doing is honest to myself.”
Similarly, Resispecifier co-founder Georgia Christakos loves yoga and meditation to help her be ready for opportunity when it comes. “I face important moments quite regularly as I get older, be they decisions about your career, business decisions and decisions about family,” she says.
The hours before
All the preparations have been made, the hard work has been invested and the event is fast approaching. Whether you’re stepping out in front of a room full of people, or about to address your team, you can effectively use the time immediately before to set up your body and mind for top performance.
“The preparation advice I give myself if I’m feeling stressed in the lead up to things is to go for a run. And to breathe – because I tend to talk without breathing otherwise!” says The Perch Project co-founder and CEO Simone Perkins.
“I like to control as many variables as I can,” says Perkins, who also took part in the Pitch Off. She visualises situations and potential scenarios to foresee all possibilities, minimise stress and increase a sense of wellbeing and control.
Practicing deliberate, deep breathing also helps if you’re stressed and to trick your body into believing you are calmer.
“Knowing what I’m going to say, being able to anticipate those questions and feeling physically comfortable means that I can use all my energy to focus on the mental power I need to get through the event.”
Rexona Clinical can help you feel confident in your important moments.
Written by: Thea Christie