046 - why nerves are a good thing

Nerves. Those butterflies in our stomach that make us feel as if we want to throw up... We associate the mentality that these nerves, these butterflies, this energy, is a bad thing - but what if it's a great thing... 

What if nerves are a powerful thing that you can learn to harness and use to your advantage to perform at your best - just as Michael Jordan did...

Here's the thing, nerves are natural and they're always going to exist. All the greats still get nervous, jittery, and butterflies before big events. MJ would always get nervous in the dressing room before games - he knew this and accepted it, and worked to redirect the energy these nerves brought into his games

Like fear, he never sought to NOT EVER be nervous - he aimed to tame it and direct it into that which he was doing. So if you get nervous prior to a game, FANTASTIC, those nerves are good as it means this thing you're about to do means something to you. Use them, channel them, stay on top of them and don't let them get on top of you. Those nerves are excitement, energy, and a positive thing - they're not a negative unless you choose to see them that way

So the next time those nerves begin to form in your stomach, welcome them and throw a smile on your face... Know that they're here to help and it's an excitement forming inside of you, and then channel those nerves into your performance out on the field or court

Actionable Tips + Questions:

  • When I currently get nervous, how do I respond? Do I worry, get anxious, and let them control me, or do I control them instead?
  • What can I say to myself, or do, in times of nervousness that will help me channel those nerves positively and use them to my advantage?
Nick Maier