Finding your Optimal Emotional State

Hi. I’m Rick Sessinghaus. So many people come to me and say, “Hey, emotions. What emotional state do I need to be in to be at the highest level?” I actually answer that depending on who you are and what your personality is. So for instance, in sports psychology, it’s often accepted that you should be calm and composed all the time. I disagree with that.

Now a few months ago, we just had the Ryder Cup here for golf and it’s an interesting team format, right? We’ve got the Americans against the Europeans and golf is supposed to be focused and calm. Yet, it’s interesting where the best players that week that performed that week tended to be actually a lot more emotional. The Ian Poulters of the world tended to be very psyched up and very excited and … and he played at extremely high level. But I thought I was supposed to play calm and cool. You have to understand. Emotions can trigger our focus, right? If I’m psyched up, I can actually narrow my focus to what I want, okay? Adrenaline can actually help us in some cases.

Now, Ian Poulter, great player, but hasn’t been a dominant player like some of the Americans in other tournaments. Now, is that sustainable for 72 holes, jumping up and down all the time? Maybe not, but it’s interesting that he plays extremely well with a very intense emotion. It is positive but is intense for a game that is supposed to be played nice and calm and cool. So I use that as an example that in your world, whether it’s a sales presentation or a board meeting or you’re going to play some golf, what emotional state would serve you best? Would it be exciting and passionate? Would it be just being curious out there? Would it be creative because the other side of the coin is probably not so good, right, playing frustrated and angry and depressed? That’s not gonna help you either.

So start thinking about what emotional state gets the best out of you and you can start to actually do pre-tournament, pre-round, pre-performance routines to get you into that state. So now you can be focused. You can be energized and you can now perform for success.

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