Andrew Wittman, right, founder and chief executive, The Mental Toughness Training Center
WHAT DO YOU DO?
We work with law enforcement, military and corporations teaching resilience. People think resilience is about coming back from something difficult but you can be proactive to take control of your thoughts and attitudes while under pressure.
HOW ARE YOU QUALIFIED TO TALK ABOUT PRESSURE?
I was the fat kid in high school that was bullied. Two guys helped me – they introduced me to the warrior culture and how to not live in fear and anxiety. I went to the US and joined the Marine Corps, then became a special agent and protected Hillary Clinton. The stakes are even higher when you have this high-ranking official you have to protect. I then moved to the state department and was training SEALs, Marines and special forces, running missions in the Middle East and Kosovo.
HOW DOES COMBAT AND OFFICE STRESS COMPARE?
We need the same mindset training about how to handle stress because the stress in the workplace is out of control. We took the same principals and applied them to the civilian world. We incorporate neuroscience and performance psychology and mix it in with the good stuff from the warrior culture. When we lay this stuff out, there are a bunch of “aha” moments. Deep down you already know it but now you have a process to apply it.
HOW CAN PRESSURE WORK IN YOUR FAVOUR?
Once you can tap into it, you can use it in any situation. I choose to look at (stress) as my rocket fuel. It makes me focused and is never detrimental. It’s all about perception and how you choose to look at it.