We all face pressurizing situations on a daily basis either at work or home that challenge us physically and emotionally. However, working under the right amount of pressure can actually motivate you and bring out your best. The trick is to make the pressure work for you and not against you; otherwise, pressure can lead to burnout, anxiety, and a decrease in performance.
There are two kinds of pressure – internal and external.
Internal pressures are those that you set for yourself. These can look like – you pushing yourself to achieve a particular goal or worrying about people’s expectations of you. Internal pressures are beneficial when they help you reach your goal, but can be a burden if you let the pressure overpower you.
External pressures are those set by circumstances or other people and are usually out of our control.
It is important not to let external pressures deter you or let internal pressures overwhelm you.
These are three ideas you can use to thrive under pressure:
1. Are you in control?
A useful method to help you thrive under pressure is to develop an internal locus of control. A locus of control is the degree to which individuals perceive that an outcome will result either from their own behavior (internal locus of control) or from forces external to themselves (external locus of control). If you develop an internal locus of control you will believe that you are responsible for your own success, as opposed to blaming external factors for your failure. This will help you take on more ownership to finish the task.
2. What is your sweet pressure spot?
There is a relationship between pressure and performance. A study by Yerkes & Dodson proved this relationship with their inverted-U theory. According to this model, your peak performance is achieved when you experience moderate levels of pressure. If you experience too much or too little pressure your performance will decline.
While this graphic is very idealistic, in reality, there are few other variables to consider:
1. Your Skill Level (The higher your skill levels are, the easier it will be to cope with pressure).
2. Personality (If you are able to have a positive mindset in the midst of a pressurizing situation, your sweet pressure spot will definitely broaden).
3. Trait Anxiety (This refers to how anxious you get under pressure. The less anxious you get, the higher you will be able to thrive under pressure).
4. Task Complexity (The more complex the task, the higher the pressure you are likely to face).
Having a higher level of skill, a never giving up attitude, and self-confidence can equip you to deal with a pressurizing situation effectively as well as increase your sweet pressure spot.
3. Do you need external help?
We don’t always experience the right amount of “moderate” pressure that will help us thrive in a particular situation. However, with the right kind of help, you can narrow in on the core issues that you need to work on to make the pressure work for your benefit. Do you need to be more emotionally intelligent? Are you struggling with a negative mindset? Do you have a habit to blame external factors for your situation?
We at Ergos Mind, address these core issues in order to help you thrive under pressure in any situation. We have an online learning platform called the “Circle of Personal Excellence (COPE)”. This platform has webinars and resources to help you grow in personal excellence. To know more click here.