Recently I described my experience trying to fly a simulated aircraft during training.  As I described it wasn’t pretty and I hoped that the instructor would be merciful and put an end to the sim session.  Instead he calmly said, “fly the plane,” and I was left with no choice but to continue.

When we hit crisis points in our lives, especially in our business, not giving up is the first key to surviving and thriving.

This is a lot easier said than done!  Often when we are pushed to our limit everything inside screams at us to just give up.  And sometimes we do, unfortunately.

Even amid crisis we have a powerful aid that can help us through.

In my sim session, in addition to skill and determination, I had the assistance of a professional pilot sitting next to me.  Did he do anything overt to help me?  Did he encourage me?  Did he give me suggestions of any kind?  No, he didn’t do any of those things.  What he did was sit there and watch.  I think that was among the reasons I made it through.

See, I didn’t want to screw up in front of him.  I didn’t want him to think less of me as a pilot for giving up even though it was just a practice session.  The social pressure of his sitting there watching me was a huge motivator, and I needed that.

All of us have people constantly watching our performance.  We have employees, family, business partners, clients and others who are paying attention.  When we become aware of that, then of course we want to be seen at our best.  That in turn, helps us to be our best!

Most of the time we aren’t consciously aware of the watching, but it’s happening.  When we become aware we can feel pressured, uncomfortable or even resentful.  Or we can turn it to our advantage, embrace it, use it and grow.  It’s a bit like coaching.  No athlete ever performs their very best without help and coaching.  It’s hard for entrepreneurs who are at the head of an organization to receive coaching, but this social pressure, that is very real, can serve that purpose for us if we recognize and embrace it.

I’ve trained in a simulator by myself and with another pilot.  It’s much easier by myself, but I perform much better when there is someone else sitting there.  I encourage you to see the watchers, embrace them and let that drive you to be better!

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