Calvin Strachan | 2 Things You Can Do When Everything is Falling Apart
Over the span of my career I've held many roles, most of which required me to perform under massive pressure.
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2 Things You Can Do When Everything is Falling Apart

What do you when everything’s falling apart?

I used to be a competitive athlete, I’ve been in sales, I’ve been an actor and there are these moments when you are performing and all of a sudden things just go all to hell. 

What do you do?

Some of the biggest challenges you will have are: your brain starts going too fast; or the crowd or the person watching you starts to turn on you; you start getting it in your head and you can’t figure out what to do next.

So, what I wanted to share with you is, what do you when it’s all falling apart? How do you get out of that moment?

The first thing I tell my clients is you have to call a timeout. Realize that if you’re in the boardroom, you can’t just say, “Timeout!” and break out of the meeting. The idea is, you need something to interrupt the momentum. You will see this behaviour all the time in sports. That’s why I use timeout as a metaphor because when you are watching a football game or a basketball game, invariably what happens when the momentum shifts the coach calls timeout and totally breaks up that moment.

So, if you’re in the boardroom or on the court or with a sales client or wherever you are, what can be your virtual timeout? Maybe you take a deep breath, maybe you fold your hands, maybe you sort of rub your eyebrow, just something to interrupt the momentum of what’s going on. That’s the first thing you can do.

The second thing is, you need to slow down. I was talking to a major league baseball player this past fall and I asked him, say, “Hey, what do you do when the pressure’s so high? How do you get out of it?” He said, “you know what, I did some things where I was able to totally calm down.” He was a pitcher so  in the situations where he was losing the game and the odds were against him with the crowd’s screaming. He said, “The first thing you’ve got to do is calm down. Take a deep breath and relax.”

To wrap up, two things you can do when everything’s falling apart, the first thing is call that virtual timeout. You want something you can do to change momentum. The second thing is, to totally, completely slow down. Just slow your thinking down so you can get back to being more resourceful.

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