Intense pressure is good for us. It pushes us to new limits and uncovers a beast inside that wouldn’t have shown up otherwise.
To deal with intense pressure, we have to put ourselves into a mindset that we can’t be defeated. We must think as though nothing can stop us, and even if it does, it won’t be for long.
As someone who writes, markets, and serves in the Army, I’ve been faced with intense pressure my entire life — and they were all by choice.
No one forced me to write or join the army, but I put pressure on myself to perform successfully because it’s important. By the end of this article, you’ll have three methods to handle intense pressure.
1. Stop working and analyze your situation.
When faced with pressure, the first thing you may think you should do is act.
In reality, taking a step back and analyzing the situation is going to go farther because you put the proper planning in place and all that’s left is executing.
For example, before I start one of my essays or presentations, I prefer to create an outline or watch motivational public speeches to get a sense of the message I want to give and how I’d like it to be received.
Action is amazing. But you might run into roadblocks that hinder your progress, and at that point, you have to improvise on the spot.
2. Learn how to improvise and adapt to last-minute changes.
The military taught me a lot about adapting to last-minute changes and making it work out regardless of the situation.
You could do step one, have the best plan in place, and everything falls apart at the last second, but you can’t crumble under pressure.
Evaluate a few possible outcomes of your project or assignment and map out a plan of action should these undesirable events occur.
For example, if you have a group presentation and one of your members is sick, be sure to review the entire PowerPoint so that you know the material inside and out and can act on the spot.
3. Set high expectations, but don’t dwell if you don’t exceed them.
Most people are incredibly hard on themselves because they feel like they need to be perfect.
None of us are perfect, but we do have plenty of strengths that we should pay more attention to. Dwelling when something doesn’t go as well as planned is an opportunity for growth the next time around.
I see failure as a lesson well-learned. For example, whenever I take my army PT tests, I shoot for a score of 300, and if I fall shy of my goal, it’s not the end of the world.
Instead, I look at why my core wasn’t strong enough, why my arms couldn’t perform the entire duration of the test, etc.
Set high goals and standards for yourself because if you expect anything less of yourself, you’ll forever be mediocre.
It’s not easy to deal with intense pressure. Some people like me enjoy pressure and will do anything to confront it rather than run away.
Utilize the three tips I listed in this article to help you the next time you feel overwhelmed.
At the end of the day, we need to think, always be prepared, improvise, and set high expectations.
If you don’t feel pressured, you aren’t pushing yourself hard enough. We can all improve on our weaknesses, and that’s by applying pressure on ourselves. We must step outside of our comfort zones.