At 150 miles above the earth, one skill trumps all: not panicking!! Or, better said: staying cool under pressure.
Up there, panic means almost certain death. Succumbing to it is to make mistakes, override systems, disregard procedures and react impulsively. Thinking clearly goes out the window, and the survival brain kicks in to run the show.
Panic has its root in fear. Fear is a survival instinct that fires off stress hormones (epinephrine/cortisol) to make us more alert to potential and real danger.
That fight or flight response hard-wired into us has truly served us throughout the millennia, but if left unchecked, it can really get in the way of our Results.
This fear response is typically fired off as a result of uncertainty and unfamiliarity in our environment. The first American astronaut to orbit the earth, John Glenn, spent almost a day in space keeping his heart rate under a hundred beats per minute. As Ryan Holiday put it, he was a man not only at the controls but a man in control of his emotions.
His panic had been trained out through repeated exposures to the unfamiliarity that space represented. And like Glenn, our repeated exposures to the unfamiliarity of uncomfortable conversations systematically increase our tolerance for stress and uncertainty.
This conditioning, in turn, makes us more effective Funding Pros – whether its prospecting, closing, asking for referrals, etc. Nassim Taleb says: “real strength lies in the domestication of ones’s emotions, not in pretending they don’t exist.”
Under the pressure of conversations or sales cycles that start to go sideways, its too easy to get emotional, react impulsively, and say something that ultimately loses you the deal (and all that time you invested into it).
As obstacles show up, emotions will flow. Focus this energy on solving problems, not reacting to them.
To get back into the driver’s seat, cooly engineer solutions, and close tough deals, we must first understand and anticipate our hard-wired response that kicks on when uncertainty shows up:
Survival Brain (how we Generalize, Distort and Delete)…