Every day there’s something that’s going to place a demand upon you. It might be your boss, who’s just assigned you a new project. Or it could be the pressure has come entirely from you, as you set yourself a goal to build some new habits that will change your life in some way or another. But while pressure can be good, giving you the impetus needed to set things in motion, it can also be very stressful.
What we need to remember then, is while pressure is inevitable, how you react to it is entirely up to you.
How can you keep performing well while under pressure?
1. Keep in mind that you don’t need to take every pressure as a threat. The minute we decide that some horrible thing is going to happen if we don’t succeed, then we start performing badly. That is where a person starts second-guessing themselves, making decisions in haste. It’s exhausting and not even successful. The key then is to look at the pressure as a challenge instead. Challenges become opportunities and tend to bring out the best in us, instead of the worst.
2. Plan for disaster. By having a worst-case scenario on standby, you’re ready and prepped should you need it. That not only reduces the pressure that comes from unpleasant surprises but also takes the pressure off in working out a plan of attack.
3. Take control of what you can. Leave the rest. This approach works in two ways. First, having control in any situation reduces pressure in that situation. But by also letting go of the things you can’t change, you lessen the impact of the pressure you feel that’s connected to those items.
4. Create a routine to help deal with the pressure that comes from performing. Presentations don’t have to be terrifying. Take a few moments beforehand to center yourself and find your calm in a short ritual. Breathe deeply. Do a couple of stretches. Mentally rehearse. A few minutes spent before you go on will take considerable pressure off.
5. Share the burden. Pressure doesn’t have to be a thing that you experience alone. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the pressure, then talk to a trusted friend or colleague about it. Not only does this take the pressure off, but you have the added benefit of someone else’s wisdom to help put the situation back into perspective.
Remember, dealing with pressure requires a certain amount of positive effort on your part. The good news? The payoff is well worth it.