Animal Instinct: How to Hone Winning Skills for Career Success

Tap into natural urges toward competition and triumph with these steps

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Many astute business professionals have relied on their personal beliefs or feelings to guide them in making decisions. Although the results of following your instincts can be a toss up, it could lead to extraordinary results. Brazen Careerist details how you can tap into those natural instincts and hone them to help you advance in your career.

Understand Your Inner Animal to Get Ahead
Coates calls it the “winner effect:” The excitement of competition and success prompts your body to produce testosterone. That influences your brain to make riskier decisions, and for a while you keep winning bigger and bigger, smashing through targets like a charging rhino.

In the end, of course, overconfidence turns one of those optimistic gambles into a failure. You kick yourself (how did you fail to see it coming?) as cortisol floods into your bloodstream, making you anxious and miserable.

You try to protect yourself by avoiding further risk, which means you miss out on worthwhile opportunities until your hormones level out and you regain your confidence. If this had a name, I guess it would be the “loser effect.” But don’t worry; you can turn it around!

Once you know how your hormones affect your judgement, you can consciously correct for these effects and keep your business decisions on a more even keel:

  • When you’re feeling cortisol-stuffed and risk-averse, remind yourself to look rationally at any trade-offs you’re considering. If the benefit is high and the risk is small, maybe you should give it a chance!
  • Remember that asking for help when you need it is a sign of professional strength, not weakness. Don’t let a cortisol downer isolate you from your support network.
  • Understand that a little bit of testosterone and risk does you good, making you more productive and successful at work—as long as you’re not overdoing it.
  • When you’re feeling on top of the world with a testosterone high, remember that it’s a long way down! Rein in your risk-taking urges a little and consult with colleagues or friends to find out if they think your plans are genius or just plain nuts.
  • Notice when your hormones are being manipulated to influence your decisions. Brands like The Sales Lion and Shark Tank, for example, aren’t named after large predatory animals by sheer chance; they’re designed to appeal to the testosterone in an ambitious entrepreneur like you!

Read more at Brazen Careerist

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