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Whether he’s rushing hundreds of yards on a football field, dancing for millions of viewers on Dancing With the Stars, or being the youngest-ever commencement speaker at Liberty University, Rashad Jennings knows a thing or two about performing under pressure.
However, he reveals that he doesn’t view or experience pressure the way most people do. Jennings says: “There are two sides to pressure. Pressure can break pipes and it also can make diamonds.” Moreover, when faced with a challenge, Jennings chooses to embrace the pressure, put in quality work, and celebrate the small successes along the way.
Below, Jennings shares five tips any person can use to keep themselves cool, calm, and collected in high-pressure situations.
For the full interview and more discussion, check out the above episode of #BizChats.
1. Remember that attitude is everything
“Attitude is everything and is always is going to continue to be everything. You know, you can’t really control every situation that you find yourself in. You can’t control if you’re at a job, how somebody may treat you specifically. The only thing you can control in life is how you respond, and how you respond is with your attitude. You’re either going to have a positive attitude, or you’re either gonna have a bad attitude. You’re either going to think about other people, or you’re going to think about yourself. In being smart and wise in each situation in trying to find the most peaceful way out is always going to be the wisest one.”
2. Anxiety starts with outside situations
“. . . which is very factual. No matter what happens in life externally, it needs permission to enter your heart and soul. No matter what happens in this life externally, it needs your permission to enter your heart and enter your soul. So again, it goes back to how you respond to situations, and having a strong filter. I say this not for a hand clap, but this is just something that I find myself in a lot. I’m 32, I’ve never drank alcohol a day in my life, I never smoked a day in my life, but you’ll always find me having a good time. I’m always going to have a smile on my face. Just because I’m doing all of these things doesn’t mean I have to let external [things] change my heart and change my mind. Be you.”
3. Control the moment
“I think a moment is special. A moment is defined between a beginning and an end — each moment has one; a very beginning and a very end. Inside of those moments a lot of people get defined by their actions, by their successes or their failures. You control how you’re defined. Don’t ever let somebody define you. You can make a moment count or you let that moment count you as a statistic. Each moment that you get, classify it. You create your own moments, nobody else can. You have your own time scale of deeming what’s important to you and defining yourself.”
4. Know you’re in the right place
” . . . at the right time, too.” I believe as a human being, we’re going to go through some obstacles. I see my life as a practical way of looking at a GPS system. There’s a goal, there’s an endpoint. Wherever I’m at right now, the goal is never going to change, and every time I get off course, that ol’ Siri comes to re-navigate you. You just have to re-navigate you every time to get to that place. So if your goal is set and you know what it is and you’re public about it and the people that are around you can keep you accountable to it, you are going to find yourself at the right place at the right time. I think it’s critical to keep an accountability partner though to hold that statement true.”
5. Stay positive
“Don’t nobody want to be around no dump all day long. Don’t nobody want to be around somebody that’s negative and gossiping every two seconds about somebody or can’t wait to call somebody say what went wrong. Be the positive person. Be that person that people want to call when something good happens. When they’re down, they need a pick-me-up. Be the thermostat, not the thermometer. You set the temperature and you make everybody else around you change because of your positive energy. One thing I will never in my life let anybody take away from me is my smile. I’m optimistic, I’m always going to keep a smile on my face, and that’s ’cause I keep God in my life.”