Whether you have plans for your life or not, you’d feel the need to satisfy the basic need for food, clothing and shelter, and by the time these basic needs are met, there is a natural push to meet higher needs.
It is the quest to satisfy our long chain of wants and needs that we put pressure on ourselves. Growing up, I thought I would have everything I wanted in life at 25. I wanted to own an estate in my name, have at least 4 luxury cars, tour some parts of the world and be married with 2 kids. For a fact, my inability to satisfy these desires kept me pressured as I continued to undermine my small wins.
Pressure in manageable doses can energize and motivate you to perform and achieve. Too much of it, however, can tip the balance the other way. The trick is to make pressure work for you, and not against you. The key is to find the “sweet spot” between having too little and too much of it.
As humans, we make plans on how life should go but it could end up sailing us to its shore. Simply put, we could have the best plans in the world, have the finest dreams and even the best execution scheme and things wouldn’t go as planned and then are tempted to mount pressure on ourselves, compare our lives to others and live the rest of our lives thinking about the “what could have been”
Rather than applying this unhealthy pressure, we could get motivated into trying something new or exploring other options!
Philosopher Thomas Carlyle said, “No pressure, no diamonds,“ suggesting that a situation where a person is under pressure could give them a chance to demonstrate their potential.
All pressure is self-inflicted. It’s what you make of it or how you let it rub off on you. – Sebastian Coe
Internal pressures stem from pushing yourself too hard, or from worrying about your ability to meet other’s expectations of you and those that you have of yourself. We set goals for ourselves and give them timelines and we struggle to meet up, but we forget to understand that we are not in competition when it comes to the journey of life. As long as you are making progress, you are also winning.
Most times External pressures come from the people around you, for example, you might be pressured to work in a certain way, or you are given a hefty workload that exceeds your capacity. Sometimes we feel overburdened by others’ expectations of us, or disappointed with the progress we have made on a task.
Health issues, financial difficulties, family responsibilities, bereavements, or a dangerous workplace can all weigh heavily and affect how we behave. In extreme cases, we may even feel pressured to take risks, or to act against our values.
Have you ever worked on a project with a tight-but-achievable deadline, where your knowledge and skill were vital for a successful result you became pressured? Chances are, you would perform averagely at best. There’s a subtle relationship between pressure and performance. When people experience the right amount of pressure, they often perform brilliantly. However, if there’s too much or too little pressure, performance can suffer.
How to Thrive With Pressure
A sensible lifestyle is central to coping with pressure, so exercise regularly. Maintain a healthy diet, and get plenty of sleep. These steps may not be enough on their own, so responding proactively to pressure can help you to manage its negative impact on you. Here are some strategies to help.
- Stay on Top: Pressure is a positive force when you’re in command of the situation. Always start on time. Most times you Lose your sense of control when you are running out of time., and you can quickly feel overwhelmed and anxious.
- Developing self-confidence in yourself gives a feeling of internal control and can boost your ability to monitor and deal with rising pressure because you believe that you are responsible for your success and that you can have a positive influence on the situation you’re in.
- Manage Your Response: With a positive mindset, pressured situations can be opportunities to shine, learn and develop. Use them as your motivation to succeed. Always learn how to restrategize, and always believe there must be another option if the current isn’t working out. Such a mindset can help you to turn negative situations around so that they work in your favour. Always have it in mind that every problem has a solution.
- Be Organized and focused. Prioritizing your tasks gives you control of your workload and enables you to directly manage it when the pressure starts to build.
- Believe in yourself. Pressure often stems from doubting your abilities. Try to appreciate your qualities and work on your self-belief.
- Ask for Help. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you feel under too much pressure. You can ask your boss, your colleagues, friends, family, or whoever is in your support network.
- Forfeit every unnecessary and unhealthy competition or task. Such as trying to appear in trendy luxury items. This triggers the pressure to meet up with its financial cost and so on.
In conclusion, Diamonds are formed because carbon is set under extreme pressure on the earth. Without pressure, it would just be carbon or maybe it would turn into graphite. This implies that certain outcomes cannot result without adversity or pressure in this context. However, we should be careful not to over-pressurize ourselves and maintain a certain level of balance.
Please understand that excessive pressure can trigger the psychological, physical, emotional, and behavioural problems associated with stress. So, being able to deal with it effectively is an essential skill. You need to be in charge and consciously respond positively to pressure.
Have you ever felt pressured? How did you handle it? Do you think pressure is necessary for growth? Let us know all your thoughts in the comments.