I know the Series has been over for 10 days now, but I have to call-out a terrifying moment from the 7th and final game – a moment that I’d bet almost everyone has experienced in one way or another.
The “collapse” that I’m referring to was not that of any player, coach, or fan. It was the collapse by Rick Wilde, the Chevrolet executive that muffed his MVP Award presentation speech. When he took the mic, he was sweating and panting…which was a sign of his nervousness and what was to come. He tripped himself up in his first sentence, and continued from there to muff one sentence after another, even the ones that were written on the cue cards he had in his hand (when was the last time you saw a presenter of such an award use cue cards). It was painful to watch Rick, I felt for him as he collapsed under the weight of this big moment for him and Chevrolet.
In speaking with friends in the days after, we all speculated on what caused Rick to be so out of sorts. Did he not have time to prepare, hadn’t he given a million presentations throughout his career? Who knows, though I do know that he would not have been hand-picked to represent Chevrolet and their millions of dollars invested in the World Series if he was not a very capable public speaker. So what happened?
I think Rick perceived the moment to be bigger than himself…than his ability. He surely felt the pressure to deliver – which he had no doubt felt many times before, though I doubt he had ever delivered on a stage with tens of millions in the audience. In that way, this was a new experience and magnificent opportunity, and I believe Rick wanted very badly to do well. Rick did not handle pressure. Hasn’t this happened to you too?
We psych ourselves out, not up…and what we fear may happen, does happen. In pressure moments with lots at stake, we all have self-doubts. We are human and imperfect. And if we allow those doubts to dominate our mind, we’re very likely to experience the result we fear. So what to do?
Make a decision to change your thoughts – “Change The Channel”, as I call it, when the thoughts that are playing inside your head don’t support/serve you. Don’t sit idly and listen to that negative mental chatter – choose to think the opposite – how great you are going to do. Choose to see your butterflies as signs of excitement and anticipation of a positive experience/result. This is exactly what I do and how I advise my clients to do. See everyone as wanting you to do great. Don’t you think the MSBL Commissioner, Chevrolet, and the MVP himself wanted Rick to nail it? Of course!
So the next time you are in a position to grow, to risk, by taking on something of a bigger magnitude than you have ever experienced, remember to “Change The Channel” when your self-doubts begin to flare. You have the power to think whatever you want, so choose the thoughts that stoke your confidence, that calm your nerves, and that allow you to be as big or bigger than the moment and to enjoy the experience. If you find this difficult to do, let’s talk.
Tom Pearson – Personal Success Coach