When heart specialist John M. Kennedy, M.D., of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, stands at the scrub sink before an operation, he breathes deeply with seven-count exhales, visualizing how he wants the procedure to go. "Athletes use these techniques to perform under pressure, but we can all call on them in our regular lives," Dr. Kennedy says. It starts with knowing what kind of breathing works best for the challenge you're facing. Here's what the latest research shows.
"I do believe some people think they have talent," Marjorie Brody,
co-author of the book on networking titled You Can't Do It Alone and
president of Brody Communications in Jenkintown, Pa., tells WebMD. And some do
have the talent to showcase.
"The second group, I believe, are those who don't have a lot of talent
and may know it, but who crave a lot of attention." People in this second
group, Brody says, may think about themselves a lot but, paradoxically, may not
have a lot of pride.
Brody also identifies a third group of aspirants. "I think people try
out on a dare," she laughs. "I don't have evidence of that. But I think
they say, 'What is the worst that can happen? I could not get on TV? I could
get on but be booed off? Hey, I was on TV at least.' They are not into the
vanity part of it."
Following Your Dream
David Brownstein, a certified life coach and president of Hollywood
Coaching, once worked with a client who tried out for a different reality show
to replace a member of the band INXS.
"I think it's healthy to go after your dream," Brownstein tells
WebMD. "If you always wanted to be a singer and you're a secretary, this is
one way to go after it."
Carole Lieberman, MD, a clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA and author
of Dreams Interrupted: Psychological Survival Guide for Coping With
Terrorism, worked with contestants on Big Brother and
Survivor. She tells WebMD that most people who go on American
Idol want a fast track to fame. "Even if you don't win, you still get
opportunities," she points out. "Just being on once gets you seen by
more people than would see you in 10 years of trying to break in."
Do such people have something missing? Psychiatrist Lieberman says she
thinks people who want to be entertainers in the first place often crave love
and attention they did not get in childhood. "I treat a lot of
entertainers. Part of them feels rejected," she says, "so they may
suffer from a repetition compulsion, meaning they keep setting themselves up
for rejection again and again."
However, part of pursuing a dream may be risking rejection. For people on
American Idol, rejection has a face. "Simon may be mean,"
Brownstein says, "but he is not unfair, in my opinion. He gives accurate
criticism, although he lacks a little in bedside manner."