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Executive Decisions — How To Make Them Better!

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It’s obvious why we want to make good decisons. Yet, it’s also obvious that too many people make too many wrong decisons, from taking the wrong job, marrying the wrong person, to selecting the wrong college. How does this happen?

There are many reason we make wrong decisons but through my clinical, counseling, and coaching experiences, I have found a major culprit for many is the tendency to listen to the advice of others instead of using the natural intuitve decision makers that Mother Nature has provided to all of us. Using these natural decisions makers is the act of applying what is commonly called “intuition.”

If you are in the process of making an important decision, here are five tips to help you surface your intuition and thus help you decide your best course of action.

Use your facial expressions when making an important decision. Emotions are directly linked to facial expressions. Before an important decision, stand in front of a mirror and think of the decision you are to make. Does your face show fear, anger, happiness, anxiety? If your face does not look happy or satisfied when you think about the decision you are to make, you better think twice, because you will be ignoring your instincts.

I had a client, a young lady do this who was about to become engaged. When she spoke about her engagement, she said it was right for her, but when she saw how she looked in a mirror, when she was discussing her relationship, she opted out and soon came to realize that she would of been making a huge mistake. Her facial expressions helped her realized that she was fooling herself. Later on, she told me that deep down, she felt something was wrong, but tried to convince herself other wise because she didn’t want to hurt her boyfriend. The mirror on the wall helped her become the fairest of them all.

Listen with your 3rd ear…the practice of “listening to your voice,” is based on the fact that sound carries emotion, which is why some sounds of music make you enthusiastic, others scared, others depressed.

When a patient would tell me they were feeling great or happy about something, I would often notice that their voice communicated the opposite. You say you are happy but you don’t sound happy, or enthused.

Talk about a decision into a tape recorder or out loud and ask yourself, “how do I sound” often brings forth the incongruency between what a person says and what is really going on. Sounds of silence, when the person cannot talk about their decision enthusiastically often indicates not listening to one’s instincts/intuitions.

Emotions are complex systems with three components: thoughts, physical arousal, behavior. Many times, with our thoughts, we “lie to ourselves,” but our behavior speaks the truth. You might tell yourself you have found the perfect mate, that the uncomfortable feeling is just your normal nervousness, but your behavior will speak the truth. One woman told me she found the perfect mate, but when I pointed out that her behavioral avoidance of sex didn’t match her thoughts, she finally confessed that she felt she knew she was kidding herself. Observe your behavior and if it doesn’t match what you say or feel, think about why and you will get closer to your intuitiveness for helping you decide what action to take.

Intuition is defined as stimuli that is below your conscious awareness. Thus, you can get closer to your intuition by increasing your awareness to sensory data. In a therapy session, a husband and wife were sitting close together. The husband said something and in a micro second, the wife moved away. I said, “Did what your husband said hurt your feelings?” She said, Doctor, you are so “intuitive.” The fact is, I saw her move and my question was just validating my “intuition.” Exercise–when you go for a walk, increase your awareness to all the sensory data-noises, smells, colors. When you drive, off with the radio, open the window, you will be bombarded with sensory data. Next meeting, before it starts, check out the sensory data of people and see if your “interpretations” will prove to be valid.

5. Listen to hesitancies in speech, take in facial expressions. The more sensory data you tune into, the more you can get in touch with your intuition. If you interview someone for a job, and you are “uncomfortable,” ask yourself what the sensory data is that is making you uncomfortable–you are responding to something and by knowing what, you clarify your intuition.

5) Visualize & Feel The Outcome of Your Decision-Making
Many times, when we are anxious (uncertain) about a decision we have to make, we can help ourselves by visualizing and feeling the outcome if we were to decide one way or another. Ask yourself, “How would I feel in year if I go down this path? Answers of Joy, engagement, interest, are telling you it is a path to take and that you are in turn with your nature. If the answers are different, you are going against your instincts–the “bad feelings” are saying, “This isn’t for you. Don’t do it.”

Not long ago, I was giving a presentation to the 200 most successful women in a major financial institution. Shortly after my presentation and while I was waiting to be driven to the airport, one of the participants approached me and asked if she could ask me a question.
“Go ahead,” I told her.

She told me that she worked in Florida and had been offered a new position in a new firm with great opportunities in LA. “Sounds good,” I told her.

She told me it was everything she wanted but for some reason, felt uncomfortable about taking it. A few questions later, she told me she had lived in Florida for several years, had good friends, and had moved there from NY because she wanted to be close to her parents who lived in a retirement community in Miami. She saw them frequently. She said she had to make her decision in a week and didn’t know what to do.

We sat down and I gave her the following instructions. “Imagine yourself living in LA. It is six months from now. How do you think you will feel about not seeing your parents frequently? How will you feel about not seeing your friends? Does it make you feel good to think of yourself in Los Angeles. Does the type of work you’re doing excite you much more than your current work?”

After these mini-visualization exercises, she exclaimed, “I’ve decided…When I think about how I will feel if I took this job and moved so far away, I realize that it would not make me happy. What does make me happy is being close to my parents–after all, they are not going to live forever, my good friends, and the truth is, I like my work a lot but these other things are more important to me. I think I was feeling the pressure to take a move up position, but it wasn’t making me comfortable; that is the nagging feeling I was having. It was telling me something was wrong. Now, I feel good about my decision, she said.”

Decision making is a task throughout life. Now you can use Mother Nature’s intuitive decision makers help you make your best choices.

To find out how pressure adversly affects your decision making, check out the recent New York Times Bestseller, Performing Under Pressure: The Science Of Doing Your Best When It Matters Most (Crown, 2015) and the new online empowering E workshop: http://pressure.hendrieweisingerphd.com

Are You Likable?

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Likability—it’s a key predictor to success in all areas of life. From being the teacher’s pet to party invitations to job promotions, to a Presidential candidate, likeability can get you where you want to go. Likability pulls people toward you, so a good way to maximize your success is to develop attractiveness that increases your likeability quotient. Mother Nature generously provides two key tips.

The Sense of Humor. Your ancestors who had the keenest senses of seeing and hearing probably were at the top of the clan in hunting skills, but, all things being equal, those who developed sense of humor too become the chieftains. Two points explain why.
The first is the mental and physical benefits of positive emotions. Laughing, for example, triggers the release of endorphins-hormones and enzymes that re natural painkillers for your body. When we laugh, we feel good, and when we feel good, we are more productive in our work, better partners, and more loving parents. Humor’s evolutionary function is to make both ourselves and the people around us feel good.
Now the second point. Studies-under the rubric of emotional contagion-indicate that nature has provided creatures the capacity to transmit modes to each other, no doubt for the purpose of communication.
In humans, for example, emotional communication between mother and infant begins within days through facial expressions and range of sounds. You know by the tone of person’s voice when she’s irritable and by the smile on a person’s face that he’s in a good mood.
Emotions are contagious. It is not a coincidence that many partners of depressed mates inevitably find themselves depressed too-they are catching the emotions of their partners just like a bad cold.
Happily, humor is also contagious. This is why many television shows have laugh tracts-to mood infect you with positive feelings.
Back on the Savannah, when things got tough, who would you want to be with-the clansman who turned gloomy or the one who made you laugh? Because your human nature is to want to feel good and because humor is contagious, you would gravitate to the caveman who transmitted positive emotions, and this would be the one with a good sense of humor.
It is also fair to assume that this caveman’s sense of humor would attract others, too, nd inevitably, he would go on to achieve status in the community.
Hundreds of thousands of years later, I frequently her managers and front line employees saying, “I love working for my boss. She has great sense of humor,” but I’m never told, “I love working for my boss because she’s depressed and irritable.”
You can also make the assumption that those ancestors of yours who had a good sense of humor also attracted more than their share of desirable mates. Not only did the caveman have his status working for him, but also his sense of humor filled the air with positive emotions and pulled women toward him.
Four decades of studies in the research of interpersonal attraction consistently support that among the top reasons women select their mate is for their sense of humor.
To make yourself more likeable so you can pull people toward you, connect to your sense of humor. Here are some proven effective ways to do so:
• Candid camera glasses. People-watch 5 minutes a day with the goal being to tune in to the fact that we take ourselves too seriously. Instead of feeling road rage in traffic, look at the people in the car next to you, and you are sure to gain perspective. It is way to lighten up.
• Humor Breaks. Take a daily 5 minute break to think of things that make you laugh. You will feel enthused and feel your stress melt away.
• Formal joke sessions. You will have to get out of your comfort zone to start each team meeting with a team member sharing a joke, but numerous companies have told me it brings enthusiasm into the workplace.

Listen Well. It’s easy to see how natural selection favors those who listen well. Two cavemen out for a walk and you can bet the one who returned was the one who “heard” the leopard stalking them. Hundreds of thousands of years later, listening well still enhances your edge and likeability.
Listening is a fundamental survival tool. By listening you collect data to solve problems and innovate, and you strengthen interpersonal bonds. Good listeners are sought-after leaders. In every profession and interaction, parent, lover, therapist, doctor, lawyer, or Indian chief-listening well is elemental. It also bonds us to the person who respects us enough to listen to our ideas.
Make yourself more attractive by listening to others. Some points to remember:
• Do not interrupt others; doing so indicates you are not listening.
• Respond to what people say rather than initiate a new topic.
• Validate your understanding by paraphrasing or summarizing what you think the person is communicating.
• When you are not sure you understand, gently probe for more information and ask for clarification.
• Remember the function of listening is to collect data so that you can help people enhance their lives.

Having a sense of humor and listening to others are instinctual tools that nature has given us so that we can make ourselves more likeable and attractive to others and thereby enhance our lives in all of our arenas. Be sure to use both of them!

The Art of Worrying Well Helps You Worry Less

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Nobody likes to worry but we do it all the time. We worry about health, bills to pay, our children, job, future of the economy, and many worry about the state of our marriage/relationship.

Worry does not make us feel good. In all my years of being a psychologist, I never heard anybody complain because they had nothing to worry about. For many, worry creates counterproductive behavior, such as over eating, drinking, smoking, or just being a pain in the neck to others. I never heard a husband or wife say, “My husband/wife’s best attribute is that he/she worries all the time.” However, I hear people frequently say to their loved ones in both life and film, “You worry too much.”

If worry does not make us feel good and often creates stressful patterns of living, why do we do it? The answer, according to evolutionary sciences, is that you are hard wired or born to worry!

Your ancestors who “worried” about the factors that influenced thier survival-food sources, defending against predators-would be favored by Natural Selection, as their “worry” provided them the time to think about how best to master survival challenges. Thus, the evolutionary function of worry is to remind you that you are at risk, and you best take the time to think about how best to respond.

Since your hardwired to worry, you might as well use it as intended: a tool that helps you spend time to figure out how best to respond to problems that are threatening.There are three steps.

1. Befriend Worry. This means that every time you are worrying, you use it as a cue to ask yourself, “what is going on in my life that I find threatening? ” Is it your finances, marriage, health, children? Befriending worry is easier said than done because to do so, you have to feel comfortable in addressing your vulnerabilities.

Many a physician will testify that many patients do not want to address their vulnerabilities and as a result, suffer dire consequences. Many spouses will tell you their partner gets anxious when their health is discussed and shorten the discussion as a result. Why? Because acknowledging vulnerability is uncomfortable so we like to act like we are invulnerable but in so doing, we remain at risk.

Thus, to befriend worry so that you can spend time in a worry state productively, you have to feel comfortable in feeling vulnerable. Self help tips here would be: keep a feeling journal; play games and take big risks that make you vulnerable-it is only a game; take small risks, like going to a new restaurant. The point is that to use worry effectively, you have to spend time thinking about a particular issue and you do this best by being comfortable thinking about it and talking about it.

2. Put Perspective Into Worry Perspective. Here the goal is to keep you from making a “cognitive maladaption.” Tune into your thoughts and you will probably see that you are making catastrophic self statements: The gas bill is high, but to internally say, “Gas prices are killing me,” is an exaggeration that spikes your worry intensity and only perpetuates needless worry-worry that does not help the situation; you need less of it.

If you tune in to how yourself statements, you can clarify them so you can put your worry in perspective. Just because you are going to be five minutes late to your meeting is not a threat to your survival whereas five minutes late to a hunting post might of cost your entire village the meal it needs to survive. There is an abundance of research that shows these cognitive maladaptations are hazardous to both physical and mental health. One way they are harmful is they create physiological disturbances for prolonged periods of time, and these disturbances operate as wear and tear on the body.

It is also helpful to learn to use worry arousal as a signal that it is time to clarify your thinking — this allows you to quickly catch cognitive maladaptations before they intensify your worry intensity to a level that makes you ineffective.

3. Become Action Oriented. What do you need to do to make the worry go away? What do you need to do to minimize the threat? Are you worried about the gas bill? What’s the best thing to do — keep worrying about it or find a car pool or a cheaper gas station? You are worried about the economy? What is the best thing to do? Keep telling yourself you will help to sell your house or concentrate on doing your best at work and actively pursuing other opportunities.

The self help logic here is to use your thoughts — the cognitive component of your emotions — to help you convert physical worry arousal into the positive energy that is required for the actions that will take your worries away. Again, it is easy to see how natural selection favored those that used worry to help them problem solve. Is it any wonder that research shows that star performers, effective leaders, and healthier people are better problem solvers than their counterparts?

When you follow these steps, it allows you to use worry as Mother Nature intended, as a catalyst to get you to pay attention and come up to solutions to problems that currently threaten you and by responding effectively, you enhance your life.

Let me know your “strategies” for thriving on worry!

Follow me @pressuretweets

check out: http://pressure.hendrieweisingerphd.com

How To Become Pressure-less

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I’ve studied how pressure affects performance and the best way to manage it for over 20 years. In the process, I ‘ve interviewed elite athletes, Navy Seals, successful entrepreneurs, ER doctors and nurses, hedge fund managers, air traffic controllers and many other individuals who can perform their best in pressure moments more often than not. Thee individuals do not rise to the occasion as conventional thinking would be; rather they do their best by depressurizing—lessening the pressure of the moment. Here’s a baker dozen plus 1 of tactics these pressure—less people do:

1. They apply a positive mind-set. Pressure-less individuals perceive their pressure moments—situation in which they have something at stake and the outcome is dependent on their performance—using words like opportunity, challenge and fun. This allows them to approach the moment with confidence instead of trepidation.

2. They believe they get second chances. Pressure –less people believe no matter how important the presentation, sales call, audition, game or match, other opportunities will come their way. Because they believe they will get many second chances, they can relax and avoid “do or die “thinking /feelings that intensify pressure feelings.

3. They are control freaks. Pressure-less people stay focused on what they can control in the moment. This allows them to avoid distracting and worrisome thoughts that distort their thinking and disrupt their performance.

4. They practice a mindset of excellence. Pressure-less people realize it is pressure increasing to always try to be #1 or beat the competition and they know it is unrealistic to think you can always be Top Dog. Instead, their mindset is to focus on developing their own excellence. Being your best is more important to them than beating others so competitive pressures are lessened.

5. They use positive imagination. Pressure-less individuals consciously engage in imagining themselves in all sorts of successful situations. Scoring a winning touch down, being a Hollywood Star, making a contribution like curing cancer, being a world peace leader, might border on fantasy but they serve the function of creating positive feelings and emotions, like confidence and enthusiasm, two enemies of pressure.

6. They share pressure feelings. To make sure they don’t burst from pressure, pressure-less people disclose their feelings of pressure to others. They have learned, unlike those that bottle up their pressure feelings and just forge ahead, that sharing distressful feelings helps alleviate them and more often then not, helps generate solutions to tackle the pressures they are facing.

7. They distract themselves from distraction. Whether it’s taking a test, interviewing for a job, making a putt, or a critical decision, pressure-less people stay focused on their task. Rather than become anxious about the outcome of a negative performance or be distracted by the positive gains of a successful performance, they stay in the moment so their memory, attention, judgment and performance are not comprised. They do this in a variety of ways such as tuning into their senses and remembering their mission is to do their best.

8. They walk like a champ. Pressure-less people already know what science now touts as neurological fact: your posture and gait affect how you feel. Pressure-less people have some marine in them—they stand up straight and walk with a confident swagger.

9. They celebrate micro successes. Pressure-less people boost their confidence by recognizing their small successes and by doing so, fuel their enthusiasm and belief that they will accomplish their goal, two factors that reduce feelings of pressure and keep them motivated. They implement this strategy by being process-oriented, not outcome oriented. A success is a good interview and continually having good interviews will eventually land a job is their logic.

10. They regulate their arousal. Pressure-less keep themselves calm and as a result, never panic in a pressure moment, not even when an unexpected glitch occurs. Consciously tuning to their breathing in the moment and practicing disciplines such as relaxation training, Yoga and meditation on a weekly if not daily basis provides them with the skill of keeping their heart from zooming and butterflies out of their stomach.

11. They prepare for the worse. Pressure-less people can think on their feet because they are in the habit of anticipating possible glitches that might occur. They solve these glitches before they occur and mentally rehearse scenarios to practice their execution, paying particular attention to the consequences of their response and like a chess game, how they will continue to respond. If when the glitch occurs, the pressure-less person still feels in control and is able to attend to task completion.

12. They flashback their successes. Pressure-less people experience less pressure because they know they have been successful in similar situations. In pressure moment, they frequently flashback on a specific time they performed well under pressure. The visual image and the positive thoughts it evokes surges them with confidence and relaxes them too.

13. They affirm their worth. Pressure-less people experience less pressure because they feel they have value even if they fail in the moment. This feeling prevents them from being “overly attached” to the outcome, a pressure intensifier. Pressure-less people frequently remind themselves of their positive attributes that are independent of their job. Doing so prevents them from defining their worth in how they perform. Pressure-less people frequently remind their children that they are great kids and proud of them independent of how well they perform in school or other activities. Their kids feel less pressure too.

14. They march to their own beat. Pressure-less people use their own values and interests to navigate the. They are more concerned with living up to their own expectations and following their own dreams then trying to please others, a source of pressure for most.

If you want to be a pressure-less person, you now have 14 things you can do to help you achieve your goal.

check out the new E-Workshop, Performing Under Pressure: http://pressure.hendrieweisingerphd.com

The World’s Most Expensive Sunglasses

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You might think a pair of Chopard Sunglasses at $400k a pop is the most expensive shades you can wear but you’d be far, far wrong. And if you think it’s a pair of DG’s 2027model, you’re wrong too—they’re $17k cheaper than the Chopards. As for those who guessed the most expensive to be the Shiels Emerald Sunglasses, you’re really wrong. They are only $200k.

The surprising fact is that the most expensive pair of sunglasses is also the most common pair, and I’d bet a small fortune that each and every one of you and those you work and live with wear them just about every day. That’s ironic considering that most people’s chance of seeing a pair of Chopards up close and personal is if Leo or Julia wear them in a movie or a TV close up of Giselle looking through them watching her husband play in sunny California.

What are the worlds’ most expensive sunglasses? They’re branded Cognitive Distortions, and like all sunglasses, they have lenses that color your perceptions of the world thus influence how you feel and act. Here’s a brief catalogue description of the three top sellers and what each offers you:

The Magnifiers: If you’re looking at a molehill—it will seem like a mountain. You’ll see things in full -blown color, often red. Five minutes late to the restaurant becomes a disaster ruining your evening. A substandard presentation will be elevated into destroying your career. Little Things Become Big Things would their commercial’s tag line.

The Destructive Labelers: Their special feature is they cause you to see small imperfections or traits you don’t like in others as representing their entire persona negatively. If your boss or friend isn’t supportive, you’ll see them as a jerk or a poor friend. If your partner makes a request or two, you’ll see them clearly as a “nag.” Wearing a pair of DLs blinds you to all the other times when these terms would be far from accurate. Because our behavior is motivated by our perceptions, you start treating these people as your perceptions label them. Interpersonal warfare is often the result. You’ll See Bitches & Bastards is their branding line.

The Imperatives: These are very popular and for good reason. Wearing them makes us feel confident that we are always right. You always know what others “Should do” and since your way is always the right way, you have no need to see things from their perspective. You also know how you “should” always act so if you see yourself violating your should, you can count on getting a lecture from yourself about what you should have done. One tip—if you like to seeing things in color—these glasses are not for you because their rigid frames make everything black and white. The World Should Be Played By Your Rules is how Don Draper would pitch them.

As to what makes them the most expensive glasses in the world? Consider their price tag. If you wear magnifiers, you pay with frequent and needless bursts of anger, daily feelings of frustration, pressure, and big doses of anxiety. If you fancy a pair of DLs, you’ll be in constant conflict with others, arguing daily, show little appreciation to others and typically be sour. If your fashion is Imperatives, you’ll pay by being in perpetual conflict with others and have a lot of visits with guilt. Anger, frustration, pressure, anxiety, conflict, arguments and a sour outlook at life—that’s an ultra expensive price to pay.

No wonder the CD tagline is: You can’t afford to wear them.

follow me @presuretweets

The Myth of Pressure —it will get you in trouble!

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Do you know people who always seem to do their best under pressure? The people who rise to the occasion, or think their best when the clock is running. If you are like most people, especially a sports fan, you can probably think of many CLUTCH players; the ones who come through when the game is on the line.

In the film, The Natural, that was Roy Hobbs. Boy, after hitting the homerun to win the championship game, you think, “Wow, he was really clutch!” Well, guess what? What you just saw is actually fiction. In the novel of the same title – he struck out. That is reality.  The fact: NOBODY does better under pressure, not even elite athletes.

Many studies by economists and sports statisticians demonstrate that, contrary to conventional wisdom, even the most elite athletes do NOT rise to the occasion. Rather, they maintain an their consistency. Derek Jeter had a lifetime batting average of 310. That’s a Hall of Fame number! And in the pressure intense postseason, he ALSO had a 310 average. He did NOT rise to the occasion, he just didn’t choke.

How about your creativity? The MYTH is you are more creative under pressure. Advertising executives, and comedy writers like Judd Apatow, the creator of  Hangover & Trainwreck, would tell you the truth: creativity DECREASES when you are under pressure.

You think you produce more under pressure when you have a deadline? Well, you do. But the fact is, the quality typically stinks. A classic study of over 12,000 people by Harvard Business professor, Teresa Amabile, showed that while people BELIEVE they are more creative under time pressure, they are IN FACT less creative when fighting the clock.

And what about your character? It is often said that pressure brings out the best in us. Yet, top students, elite athletes, and successful people cheat and lie under pressure; that is HARDLY their best.

By acknowledging the MYTHS of pressure, you REDUCE feelings of pressure because you stop trying to rise to the occasion like Roy Hobbs to prove yourself when you are under the gun. Trying to prove yourself while under pressure only intensifies feelings that you HAVE to produce. Remembering that you can’t do better than your best, you just focus on doing your best which is often good enough.

When you realize you don’t become more creative and productive when under a deadline, you will be more apt to plan accordingly and then you can do your best.

Knowing that pressure can lead you down an undesirable path, you’ll be more likely to think through the consequences of the decisions you make under pressure, thereby minimizing reckless actions.

For sure, when it comes to pressure, it pays to know fact from fiction!

To learn more, enroll in the empowering e-workshop: http://pressure.hankweisingerphd.com


Confidence Up!

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What if you are one of the many people who did not have a “confident upbringing” and get shaky every time you have to perform under pressure? How would you ready yourself for an upcoming pressure moment, like giving a presentation to your senior managers, auditioning for a play, making a sales call to a potentially huge client, or having to present and defend your graduate school thesis?

Over the last twenty years, I have had the privilege of working with many successful people in all sorts of professions. Athletes, Navy Seals, company presidents, top sales professionals, all individuals who have mastered the skill of readying themselves for a pressure moment. And I’ve made two observations.

Number ONE: they have a procedure or method to prepare themselves. And number TWO: more or less, they all use the same strategies. Follow this procedure to build your CONFIDENCE to perform for an upcoming pressure moment:

FIRST, Practice, Practice, Practice: This is the mantra of successful people preparing for a pressure task. Elite athletes practice more than the others. That is why they are elite, not because of their natural talent. You probably don’t have to practice for 10,000 hours to give an excellent presentation, but you do have to practice until you feel you are ready.

You CAN’T feel confident giving a sales pitch if you don’t know all the details of the product you are selling. Think about questions you might be asked and practice answering them. If possible, ask a friend or co-worker to listen to your presentation and have him or her rate how you come across on a scale of one to ten. Ask how you can be more effective and build suggestions into your practice. Then practice some more.

SECOND, Rework Basics: Now that you know your stuff, mix up the order of the material. If you had three key points, practice giving them in reverse order, or start with the second. Mixing it up will reinforce your knowledge of the material. If you are studying for a multiple choice test, give yourself essay questions that would incorporate the information you have to know.

Practice in unorthodox ways. When your taking a shower, or when your walking through the supermarket, mentally practice your introduction. Taking this step to heart will make you feel even MORE confident. Practicing in unorthodox ways develops your fluid intelligence, the ability to adapt to novel and unexpected situations.

THIRD, What if?: Anticipate, Anticipate, Anticipate. Increase its power for pressure reduction by building it into your practice. Never assume smooth sailing. There is always the unexpected.

Make a list of each and create your “emergency procedures.” The more thorough you make and internalize your procedures, the more in control and naturally confident you will feel. Many airline pilots would vouch for this practice component.

Fourth, Practice in a Confident Pose: Associate confident feelings with your pressure task. Do this by practicing your task in confident poses. In effect, you will condition yourself to FEEL confident when you perform the task. In turn, the confident feelings you evoke will make you more adept in performing your task.

Fifth, Visualize your performance: For this component to build your confidence, you need to take your time. In color and with special effects, visualize yourself performing your task. For maximum benefit, include all details in the scenario: what you are wearing, how others are dressed, and the size of the room. The more details the better. Include a few of your unexpected events, and visualizing yourself going through your emergency procedures.

Sixth, Repeat the process frequently: Remember the mantra: practice, practice, practice! Hard work pays off. You still might not get the high marks you want, but feeling confident, you will feel proud that you performed your best.

To learn more about how to instill yourself with Confidence, check out: http://pressure.hankweisingerphd.com

follow me @pressuretweets

Use Your E-Apps!

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So many apps you have! It is hard to refute that we live in a world of apps and technologies that give us INSTANT solutions – where to meet someone, where to eat, movie times, closest bathroom, cheapest pair of shoes. Apps help us in the moment.

Well, I’ve discovered a new set of apps that will help make your days more enjoyable and more productive. I call them “E-Apps”, the practical application of scientific knowledge about enthusiasm for the purpose of making yourself instantly enthusiastic. The best part is you don’t have to download anything, because all of the apps are hardwired into YOU in the form of your natural tools. E-APPS simply combine your natural tools to make you enthusiastic.

The more you use E-APPS, the more enthusiasm you will feel, the more you will enjoy life, and the more productive you will become. And remember, enthusiasm, like all emotions, are contagious. So your enthusiasm will SPREAD to those around you.

Here are 7 E-Apps that you can easily download into your self. Laugh Frequently – Use this app at least 6 times a day!

Make Happy Faces – Use this app when you wake up, when you walk into a class or your office, and when you’re walking down the street. You’ll get happy faces right back.

LOL-Use this app at least 10 times a day.  Think of funny experiences and jokes to turn the app on.  Smiling makes it easier to use.

Positive Reminiscing – A good app to use to feel enthusiastic with your partner and family.

Sound of Music – Sound carries emotion so use enthusiastic sounds to jazz yourself. Listen, sing or hum your favorite enthusiastic song. Use before presentations or at the beginning of team meanings.

Clap it Up – Come on, Let me hear it. Faster! – Use right before you do a “boring or mandatory task,” before a presentation, interview, or when confronting a difficult task.

Dance Steps – Show me a person who feels their dancing on air, and I’ll show you an ENTHUSIASTIC person. Enthusiasm is the result of dancing, but you can also use dancing to CREATE enthusiasm. Give yourself some enthusiastic movements before a pressure moment, or when you get out of bed. You’ll find a step or two ups your mood.

Positive Reminiscing-Think of past positive experiences, especially funny ones.  Great for creating family and relationship enthusiasm. Often creates feelings of joy which only make you feel more enthusiastic.

Remember Your Purpose for everyday enthusiasm, and to prevent yourself from being dragged down, use this app every morning and before you go to bed.

Remember, these apps are free so you can use them as much as you want!

To become enthused, enroll: http://pressure.hankweisingerphd.com


How Aquaman Rules The Shark Tank

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It’s not a coincidence that Aquaman and I both have blonde hair. My father, Mort Weisinger, co-created Aquaman in 1941 and he co-created me in 1948.

Before I was born, Aquaman’s father, who my Dad made a famous scientist (a projection of what he would have been if he was a scientist instead of a writer) discovered an ancient city in the depths where no other diver had ever penetrated, the lost kingdom of Atlantis. He made himself a watertight home in one of the palaces and lived there, studying the records and devices of the race’s marvelous wisdom. From the books and records, he learned ways of teaching his son to live under the ocean, drawing oxygen from the water and using all the power of the sea to make him wonderfully strong and swift. By training and a hundred scientific secrets, his son became Aquaman, a human being who lives and thrives under the water.

Around 1959, when Aquaman was doing swimmingly well, my father built a pool in our backyard. While most of our neighbors thought it was to enhance our lifestyle, perhaps because it was next to our clay tennis court, it was really his version of Atlantis for the purpose of teaching me Aquaman skills, the ones that would be necessary if I were to do more than swim with the sharks. These would be the skills necessary to rule the shark tank.

Like Aquaman’s father and long before Mr. Miyagi taught Danielson the importance of “mindful” breathing, my Dad taught me the importance of regulating my breathing. Apparently, he noticed that his many artists and staff writers would have trouble breathing when he was giving them an onslaught of criticism because they brought in a poor story or didn’t draw Lois Lane or Jimmy Olson to his specifications. By making swimming to the bottom of the pool to fetch coins, and swimming the length underwater and above water fun, I learned the art of regulating my breathing, and with it, a sense of control irrespective of whether I was in shallow or deep water.

For my underwater swims, he never gave me goggles. “A little chlorine isn’t going to blind you,” he told me. Goggles, he thought, would narrow my vision and thus see only what is directly in front of me.

Aquaman has better vision than sharks, I was taught, because he has peripheral vision that allowed him to see all the creatures of the sea, not just those directly in front of him. Seeing the big picture increases options in the water and out. And seeing every creature makes for better leadership. I often think that if Jaws had peripheral vision, he’d be alive today. He could have maneuvered himself more effectively, making it more difficult for Sheriff Brody to target him.

Under pressure, most people narrow their attention to the extent of losing sight of important “peripheral information” and that often results in making bad judgments. Sharks look straight ahead, the reason some fish instinctually swim next to them, not in front of them. Many companies have learned to succeed by staying on the outskirts until sufficiently strong to make their move.

Perhaps Aquaman’s greatest ability was his skill of being able to communicate with all creatures, no matter what their school. Be respectful to shrimps, strategic with crabs, assertive with sharks, friendly to dolphins, and of course, criticize all of them productively are some of aqua-communication lessons my father’s Aquaman taught me that I have since passed on to hundreds of Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and professional organizations.

My father also used our backyard Atlantis to teach me the value of speed. Aquaman never worried getting caught from behind—his speed kept him in front of all those that might threaten him, including the giant squid. In pressure moments, many people tend to freeze, paralyzed by anxiety and fear. The result is hesitancy, a failure to perform. It is easy to fall behind and be swallowed up by others when you are indecisive and lose focus of your goal.

I have crystal clear memories of how my dad integrated goal focus and urgency: “Hurry up and put the pool chairs away, get out of the pool right now and do your homework, run in the house and get me a towel, go put the chlorine in right now.” At these times I hated Atlantis but I must confess it taught me the importance of being action oriented, anticipating and being pro-active. My dad always forgot to bring out a towel so, anticipating his need, I would bring out several. That saved me a trip back into the house. And I made it a point to put the daily chlorine into the pool before dinner-time, and that saved me a trip that might occur when I was watching a Yankee game or “The Three Stooges.”

Inevitably, the summer would end and Atlantis would be shut down. Aquaman was gone. Then, in late October 1960, my Dad gave me a present—an archery set, complete with rubber tipped arrows and a bunch of targets made out of cardboard. That winter, he taught me a valuable lesson: If you want to be successful, you have to arm yourself with “arrows” for any situation—you have to have trick arrows, just like The Green Arrow, another character my father created.