While some Olympic athletes have their places secure others are going through trials. Actually they’ve been on trial for a long time. Just about every day.
Imagine coping with the pressure of being on trial every day doing your job. Every day. How would that pressure be?
Loving the pressure
Pressure is all around and comes from many places. For many it’s constant. Most people experience it in their jobs. So learning to deal with it, use it and even love it are all really helpful in order to perform at your best.
Strategy 1. Deal with it.
This strategy means accepting that pressure is part of life and of doing what you do. This strategy means finding ways of coping with pressure, like keeping perspective, talking to others about it and keeping it at bay. It’s about managing pressure and coping with it, especially if it’s getting a bit much.
Strategy 2. Use it.
This is about using the pressure as a positive stimulus. So this could be using it to make sure you prepare thoroughly, using it to make sure you’re choosing your optimum mindset and using it to make sure you’re gathering the support of those around you. You’re accepting the pressure and ultimately seeing it as a positive thing.
Strategy 3. Love it.
This strategy means embracing pressure and even creating it for yourself. Putting yourself in challenging environments to deliberately stretch yourself because you know you’ll learn and grow as a result. You could be creating pressure through the targets your setting yourself, the standards you’re setting yourself or through the conditions you’re putting yourself into. All to help you perform better.
Elite performers will use all of these strategies at times and in combination. Pressure is so much a part of what they do – it’s relentless in its nature – that they have to and they become very good at it. They do feel pressure, but they’ve ways of coping with pressure and exploiting it.
So how would it be to imagine that your daily performance was part of your ongoing job application. Imagine, if you like, you’re in a never ending probationary period. Of course you’re gaining knowledge, skills, experience and confidence every day but you’re still applying to continue your job in the future. And you’re imagining this scenario on purpose to help you not to punish yourself!
And then ask: would you employ you?