Relaxation informs focus. I've heard track coaches tell runners not to run with clenched fists, instead running "as though holding a potato chip".
Players need to find their optimal amount of "arousal". Getting too "high" diminishes performance.
Many players listen to music to adjust an internal "set point". In Performing Under Pressure, Weisinger and Pawliw-Fry discuss this among other regulators. Turn nervousness into excitement. Break large tasks into small ones. Develop your "COTE of armor" - confidence, optimism, tenacity, enthusiasm.
Professor Sian Beilock describes how acknowledging worries can improve performance. "Dr. Beilock also has found that “pausing the choke,” such as taking a break to meditate or to take a walk during a stressful situation like an argument, can calm us."
Hard work isn't enough. You can work hard at a menial task and have minimal chance for advancement or opportunity. We need to combine clear vision, skill-building, persistence, and effective time management to grow our careers. Journaling also contributes to success.
Modify core values.
Time is our ultimate resource. Are we investing in ourselves or spending time?
Are we maximizing our attention, awareness, and relationships?
Is excellence our practice or posturing?
Ask better questions of ourselves. Michael Useem in The Leadership Moment suggests four questions for self-examination:
What went well? (Even in failure, we find positives. "I took a loss in that trade, but I managed position size and took a small loss.")
What went poorly? (Why did that evolution fail?)
What can I do differently next time? (Was it preparation, personnel, execution, bad luck?)
What are the enduring lessons of the activity? (What did I learn from the process and outcome?)
Ego and biases can prevent us from seeing ourselves and the world clearly. We choose whether to review our processes objectively. "Work smarter and harder."
STS action and momentum for the 1.