We are more likely to perform better when we are in what Joey refers to as “love-based” states like … [+]
In the world of personal mastery, Joey Kline, Founder and CEO of Inner Matrix Systems brings a wealth of knowledge to the table, with a focus on aligning and rewiring emotions, thought strategies, and the nervous system. He joined Negotiate Anything to share valuable insights into keeping your cool under pressure and maintaining high performance during intense scenarios.
Joey’s Path to Personal Mastery
Joey’s journey into personal development started as a quest for happiness and fulfillment. This quest led him to travel to India, explore temples, and dive into meditation practices all over the world. He immersed himself in anything related to personal development, driven by the desire to find the formula for a fulfilling life.
Having spent years practicing martial arts, his epiphany came when he realized that he wasn’t performing up to his true potential. Although he excelled during training, he struggled when it came to competitions. The shift from the joy of training to the anxiety of competing hindered his performance, making him feel unable to tap into the skills he had honed. Joey recognized that he was experiencing a fight-or-flight response, which was shutting down his faculties.
The Science of the Stress Response
It’s common for people to underestimate the value of stress management, but the truth is that stress can debilitate individuals, impairing their ability to think clearly when it matters the most.
When we are in a fear-based state, experiencing emotions like anxiety, sadness, overwhelm, etc., our brains are not wired for maximum performance. An overactive amygdala, triggered by something in our environment, shuts down neural pathways to the prefrontal cortex. This limits our ability to think clearly, rationally, and creatively.
In short, we are more likely to perform better when we are in what Joey refers to as “love-based” states like joy, happiness and excitement.
In sharing the science, he makes the argument for why managing anxiety is essential if we hope to perform optimally in any given scenario.
It’s important to recognize that we cannot force ourselves out of anxiety and into a healthier mindset. After noticing how his performance suffered during competitions, Joey was inspired to develop a simple three step formula for shifting from a fear-based mental state to a love-based mental state.
The first step is to acknowledge where you are. Where are your emotions currently? What kind of feelings are coming up? The goal here is to accept your current emotional state without judgement. Acceptance is the first step towards shifting into a better frame of mind.
The second step is to re-center yourself. Focus on calming down and then recalling the emotions that fill you with a sense of peace or excitement. This is easier said than done, so Joey likes to use meditation and a simple breathing technique to help with the transition.
Gently touch your tongue to the roof of your mouth, relax your body, and take deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Inhale for four to five seconds, pause for a few seconds, exhale for four to five seconds, pause for a few seconds at the bottom of the breath and then repeat until you begin you feel yourself entering a state of relaxation or calm.
This simple exercise helps transition your overactive sympathetic nervous system response (fight-or-flight) into a parasympathetic nervous system response (rest and digest).
The final step is to notice when you begin to tap into those love-based emotions, and then proceed with the task or challenge at hand.
For Joey, it all came down to remembering how he feels during practice. Although the environment can be just as intense (if not more so) as it is during competitions, during practice all he’s focused on is getting the techniques down and having fun. Meditation helps him to return to this feeling, at which point he knows he’s in the best place to perform optimally.
Regardless of context, if you are experiencing an overwhelming amount of stress and anxiety, it’s important to take a few moments to yourself. The more you practice, the more naturally this will occur.
Joey’s experience and expert insights highlight the fact that fear and stress don’t result from your external environment but rather from your thought processes. When you change your thinking, you can shift your emotional state, but it starts with accepting your natural emotions and then making time to recenter. Developing this skill is critical to not only managing your well-being but performing better in high-stakes conversations and scenarios.
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