Kathryn Ely, Couselor at Empower Counseling and Coaching
Counseling for Professionals

As a professional, high pressure and high stress moments are part of the job. I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by Authority Magazine about how to relieve stress, clear your head and achieve optimal performance in high pressure moments. In the article, I share 3 top strategies for you to actually do this. I also share visualization techniques, how to develop a strong focus, and success habits.

I talk with my clients often about what they value… their “why” for doing what they do. Will power and grit can only get us so far. When will power is our fuel, we ultimately burn out. However, when we become clear on our values, our “why”, that becomes the fuel that keeps us going, energizes us to act toward our values and our goals. So the best way to find focus is to become crystal clear about what you value in life, or your “why”. When your “why” is your driving force, you will not lose steam and will be more likely to focus and follow through. 

One visualization I use to let go of my limiting beliefs is dreaming big. Our minds like to be the first ones to tell us all of the reasons why we can not or should not take a risk. There is a good reason for this. Our minds are protecting us from getting hurt, not physically hurt in this instance, but mentally or emotionally hurt. Our brains are attempting to protect us from the sting of failure. By doing so, our brains can keep us from stepping out of our comfort zones and living big. Our brains can keep us living small. I help my clients fight their limiting beliefs by doing the opposite of what our brain wants us to do—-dream big. 

This actually takes practice. As children we spend our time imagining and dreaming, even playing with imaginary friends who only exist in our minds. We are born creative and imaginative creatures. As we grow up, we are shamed into believing that dreaming is not a practical use of our time, so we quit feeding our most creative side. We quit imagining and dreaming. Instead we apply rules heaped onto us by society and spend our time being logical. What does your brain do with this? Does your brain tell you this is a waste of time? If so, you have proven my point.

I spend time helping my clients let go of the beliefs that limit them and do the opposite-dream big. I have seen dreaming big do wonderful things for my clients. I have seen them realize their purpose. I have seen them realize that the dream they once thought was SO big was actually doable. I use dreaming visualizations myself and I can tell you, it has never been a waste of time. It stirs creativity and positive thinking unlike anything else.

To read 3 strategies to cope with stress and 3 strategies to optimize your mind for peak performance and click here to access the complete Authority Magazine article.


I get it. You’re doing the best you can right now. It seems like the world is plotting against you. While I can’t change the universe’s intentions, I can provide you support as a counselor. I offer services in my Birmingham, AL counseling clinic. Additionally, I offer online counseling in Alabama. I provide depression counseling and anxiety counseling. To help navigate new challenges, I provide counseling for teens and college students. In addition, I offer life transitions counseling and life coaching. To address the unique challenges of the early 20’s, I provide counseling for young adults.

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