If you were to wear a portable heart monitor that printed out a profile of your heart activity over the course of the day, you’d discover something interesting: your arousal levels look like a mountain range: They spike and dip many times over.
What happened was, you got a little bit torqued up, and then – when you solved that problem or defused that little conflict – you relaxed.
Tension and release!
The cycle is unavoidable. And in fact it can actually be pleasurable. It’s why many of us watch scary movies and ride rollercoasters and go on blind dates.
But here’s the problem: You have to face the discomfort of the tension before you can get the payoff of the release.
The pain is right now, while the payoff is in some indeterminate future. The pain is closer, more “available,” as psychologists say. So we may be inclined to avoid it. And just play it safe. Avoiding the pain is worth forgoing the pleasure.
But you know what? That’s no way to live. The tension is where we grow, and the joy of release is what makes life worthwhile.
So a great way to embrace the tension-and-release cycle is (you know where we’re going with this)…
For many of us, the prospect of getting up and speaking in front of strangers evokes at least mild tension. In fact, it’s almost fair to say that if there’s no element of tension in your public speaking, you could go bigger with your topic or delivery or even go on a bigger stage.
How does this relate to your career and life? Think interviews and presentations, or situations when you’re persuading and inspiring others to think, believe and act for the greater good.
Vancore Toastmasters is a perfect place to experiment with that tension safely.
This club is so supportive that it’s actually pretty easy to take that first step, into the low-level tension.
And when your time’s up, and you sit back down, having faced the fear, you won’t believe how great you feel.
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