Lifestyle: How Do You Handle Pressure?

Just when I think the dust is settling on a few glitches in life, another set of issues have come up, where I am under pressure to make a decision either this way or that. What’s funny is, those who know me enough, wonder how it is I manage to remain so cool and collected while juggling what life is dishing out. Little do they know that on the inside, I am in turmoil, like everyone else, over the choices or the decisions I am making and whether they are the right ones.  Especially when I get the gut feeling either way I decide, it isn’t really going to be the best.  This time however, I decided to go online and see if there is anything helpful or can validate what I believe to be the best of the decisions. Or perhaps help me in making sure I understand there is no right or wrong in a decision, only what I am hoping is the right one at the time I am deciding.

And so these are some excerpts that resonated, from a few interesting articles from here, here, and here. So how do we handle pressure when….

  1.  Faced with a career decision. 

Remind yourself that this is just one of many opportunities. Is this high-pressure situation a good opportunity? Sure. Is it the only opportunity you will ever have for the rest of your life? Probably not.

Let yourself plan for the worst. “What-if” scenarios can be your friend. By letting yourself play out the worst-case outcomes, Weisinger and Pawliw-Fry say, you’re able to brace yourself for them. {more}

       2.  Interviewing for a job: 

 Talk about a time when you faced serious pressure. – Avoid examples where the pressure or stress was due in part to your own shortcomings (i.e. “I didn’t budget enough time ahead to study for the final exam, but buckled down and ended up doing well”). Instead, choose an example that shows how you were able to rise to a challenging occasion. {more}

Where Does Pressure Come From?

There are two kinds of pressure – internal and external.

Internal pressures stem from pushing yourself too hard, or from worrying about your ability to meet others’ expectations of you and those that you have of yourself. You might drive yourself to be your company’s number one salesperson, for example, or doubt your ability  to perform at a speaking engagement.

External pressures come from the circumstances or the people around you – a micromanager, for example, making you work in a certain way, or giving you a hefty workload that exceeds your capacity to deal with it. {more}

        3. Applying the rules to yourself – is probably the best suggestion: 

  • Create an “ideal vision” of yourself by considering your core values  and how well you live by them. Think about the type of person you aspire to be, for example “I want to be calm under pressure,” or, “I want to think positively.” When you’ve created your ideal “you” persona, make it a priority to make it a reality. Work on developing a different trait each day.
  • Plan and rehearse when possible. For example, if you feel pressured by having to deliver a speech, practice by repeating it and then mixing up the content and working through it backwards, paragraph by paragraph. Learn your subject inside out, too, so that you’re able to handle questions and improvise if necessary.
  • Positively visualize how you’ll feel when the pressure has subsided. “Seeing” yourself at that point will help you to successfully get there without buckling.
  • Work on boosting your competencies and skill levels. The better you are on “normal” days, the more smoothly you’ll be able to step up a gear when pressure bites. Sign up for training days, attend workshops and lectures, and grab any opportunities for professional development that come your way. {more}

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