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Did you know stress helps you perform better? The anxiety you experience before taking an exam for example, none of us like the feeling, probably leads you to achieving a higher grade. Or, butterflies in the stomach before an interview most likely help you sell yourself and contribute to you getting that job.

Our accomplishments, though, rely on us experiencing the right amount of stress.

Two psychologists, Robert Yerkes and John Dodson, discovered in 1908 a relationship between stress and performance. The Yerkes Dodson Law shows how no or very little anxiety means less achievements. As nervous tension increases, effectiveness improves. However, extreme anxiousness reduces productivity.

 

Yerkes Dodson diagram

Even if you are not familiar with the Yerkes Dodson Law, you have most likely heard people say it’s good to get outside your comfort zone.

This concept is often applied to career development and business, as in 6 ways pushing past your comfort zone is critical for success, or 5 Ways to Get Outside Your comfort zone and revolutionize your business.

However…

IT’S NOT LEAVING YOUR COMFORT ZONE THAT MATTERS, IT’S ARRIVING IN YOUR PERFORMANCE ZONE THAT’S IMPORTANT.

 

 

 

  • I have run in many, many road races over the years. Never fails that the morning of each race I experience a bit of anxiety and stress. I have always believed this helped me perform better. Now I understand why.

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