My teenage daughter has mastered the “lastminute.com” concept. A more diligent, organised and conscientious person you will not find, but she is increasingly driving us mad by leaving everything to the last minute. What frustrates us the most, is that she pulls it off every time and performs at her peak when she seems to be on a verge of collapse. You see, she’s worked out that she thrives under pressure. The trick is to use the pressure in a positive way, without it turning into negative and damaging stress. And isn’t that true in business too?
What makes you get off your butt to get something done? Sometimes it’s the carrot, and sometimes it’s the stick. Sometimes you have the drive and motivation to do things, and sometimes you need pressure from outside sources to force you to do it.
Pressure is a situation in which there are negative consequences if you do not perform a task successfully. Sounds threatening… but pressure is not always a bad thing. It is often the driving force for change and growth in your business, which is why it is important to master being able to thrive under pressure versus cracking under the pressure.
It’s a mental game that relies on a positive mindset.
View the situation as a challenge rather than a threat. If you are operating out of fear in a threat state, your body tenses, the delivery of oxygen to the brain is inefficient and your ability to focus and make decisions is hindered. Viewing pressure as a threat undermines your self-confidence, elicits fear or failure, impairs your judgement and spurs impulsive behaviour.
A “challenge” reflects a positive mental approach to pressure situations, an opportunity to do something great. When you get excited about a challenge, you stimulate the delivery of essential oxygen to the brain to help you concentrate, make decisions, and have control over your thoughts and emotions.
Try to focus on the positive consequences of getting it done rather than the negative consequences of failure. What will you and the business gain from the successful implementation of the task? Think back to past successes, and believe that the positive outcome is achievable.
When you talk to yourself, remember, a vast amount of research shows that telling yourself NOT to do something (Don’t mess up / Don’t fail) increases the likelihood of doing it. Think positively about what you should do, can do and will do to be successful.
Overthinking – or analysis paralysis – can destroy our ability to perform at our full potential. In fact, overthinking while under pressure can cause us to fail when performing tasks that we’d normally consider to be relatively easy.
In a pressure situation, you need to devote every ounce of energy into the task at hand and focus on your performance and nothing else. It’s this focus that makes pressure such a powerful driving force. If you’re so busy worrying about how you’re going to perform, you’ll waste essential brain power. In these situations, it’s good to develop tunnel vision to focus on the task rather than the outcome. Successfully executed tasks will lead you to a successful outcome.
Without pressure, we wouldn’t have diamonds. A business coach can help you with work the pressure rather than against it. Let’s talk…