How to Thrive in the Key Performance Moment 

 June 28, 2021

You’ve been there. 

Minutes prior to the big moment that has the potential to shift your business. At the free-throw line with no time on the clock, down by 1 point. The moments leading up to a difficult conversation with your teenage child. 

The key performance moment comes in many ways. It’s not simply for the professional athlete or sales executive. 

These moments happen intermittently, all day long. 

We just often fail to recognize them… that is… until we are in them.

When this moment comes, are you prepared? 

The purpose of this article is not to – in any way – bash the benefits of mental preparation and self-talk. However, when you find yourself in the key performance moment, simple self-talk or mindset work does not have the capability of changing your physiology in real time. 

In other words, you simply cannot be preparing while in the key performance moment. 

Heart Rate Variability training has been a form of preparation used by the U.S. Navy Seals, professional athletes, speakers, and many more for a long time. 

The goal is to train your autonomic nervous system to respond appropriately to the circumstance or environment. Able to realistically determine whether there is a real threat or only one that is perceived. 

This is achieved, in part, through diaphragmatic breathing.

In this practice, you literally train a subconscious system – the autonomic nervous system – to become conscious. 

Now breathing, typically a subconscious act we do all day every day, without realizing, becomes a conscious effort – ending up in a symphony of coherent responses in the body and brain. 

Without going too deep in the weeds, diaphragm breathing is simply breathing through your stomach rather than your chest. This allows more oxygen to come into the lungs and then into the brain. 

When your brain has the oxygen it needs to produce energy, it will function how you want it to. When it does not get enough oxygen, it will not function how you want it to. 

Simple as that. 

But, aside from the brain benefits, through diaphragm breathing, you train your heart to work coherently with your lungs, so that, in the key performance moment, a few deep breaths will cause you to be in a state of clear, unadulterated focus, ready to execute. 

So, rather than relying on mindset training or self-talk, take it to the next level by implementing diaphragm breathing and begin thriving in your key performance moment.