Survival 101: How to thrive under pressure

 It's common to think of pressure as a bad influence on our lives. It makes sense. Unreasonable pressure can be a significant source of stress and agitation. But every problem also raises crucial issues that test our moral character, leadership style, and way of living: Do we have the courage to act in the face of such pressures? Do we have the courage to put up our best effort even though we may glaringly fail? Do we possess the necessary skills to handle life's stresses? In my experience, finding a manner to answer "yes" to each of these questions unequivocally is crucial.


Playing it safe won't help you avoid pressures if you want to succeed in life and as leaders. To win, we must enter the ring, lean into the blows, and exert every effort possible. Life has taught me one thing: pressure can be beneficial. It can help you improve, succeed in your endeavours with integrity, and engage more fully in living a full life. Read this article to learn how to thrive under pressure. 


How to thrive under pressure - 5 proven strategies 

Pressure doesn't always have to be perceived negatively. By shifting your perspective, you can start to view pressure as an ally that can be harnessed to your advantage. To succeed under pressure, consider the following points:


Pressure makes us better. 

The proverb "necessity is the mother of invention" is true. Then we can also say that pressure is the mother of performance. This is valid for all professions, whether you're a tennis player, a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, a painter, or a parent. Even if we are outstanding contributors who work very well under ideal conditions, when difficulties arise, we are obliged to use all of our knowledge and resourcefulness. Because it's usually believed that the only way for us to develop is to force ourselves into new circumstances or perspectives. Hence the proverbial saying, "Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone."


It saves time.

Following Parkinson's Law, "task expands to occupy the time available for its completion." The likelihood that you will take all day to complete a task increases if there is no deadline and you have the entire day to complete it. You might do it on time if the pressure is on and you only have 30 minutes.


Pressure challenges us to stay honest. 

Because pressure forces us to think creatively and solve problems quickly, it improves us. But if we compromise our morals or resort to shortcuts, it won't help us become better. In other words, if we lie, cheat, disobey the law, or violate our morals, we won't grow. It's too simple to do that. And when something is too simple, it doesn't help us get better. So, if we view pressure as an actual test of our capacity for quick thinking, innovation, and success, we should view it as an opportunity to do so within the parameters of the given "rules"—whether they are rules we have imposed on ourselves by our code, or whether they are more general rules set by a third party.


It makes us focus.

It forces us to focus on the one item that has to be done at any given time. It compels us to put distractions aside and complete the task at hand. And since we are concentrating so hard, we also do the task effectively. Sometimes it takes a lot of time to complete anything, like a piece of art. But there are occasions when complete concentration improves your performance.


Pressure helps us engage with life more meaningfully. 

If we don't embrace all facets of our leadership and life path, including the ups and downs, we won't be able to feel the rush of great success. If the "downs" don't challenge us in some manner, the "ups" could seem less exciting. A famous Truman Capote quotation states: "Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavour." This tells me that we can never appreciate the results of our effort entirely unless we say "yes" to the difficulties placed in our way and keep going even when it's complicated. If we repeatedly choose the easy path, we consistently rob ourselves of the satisfaction of having struggled and succeeded. We also miss out on the lessons that failure may teach us.


It preserves our interests.

If you have a project that will take six months to complete, you probably start to hate it after three days or so. We've all had those moments when we want things to be finished. You will achieve more if you set out a day to work on it with great attention. That said, not every project can be finished in a single day. It is good to establish benchmarks for long-term projects or the items you plan to complete in a certain amount of time. This lowers the boredom factor while fostering a sense of success along the path to a long-term objective.



Deciding to "go for it" when it gets tricky is a tremendous honour and thrilling experience. We always get better (even when we lose), and we show people they can rely on us to charge into the arena and fight the good fight, no matter what. 

Meanwhile, start to see pressure as a way to improve as you go about your week's activities. 

Facing difficulty? Accept it and practice thinking of solutions rather than issues. 

Having a deadline to meet? Set a timer, break it up into small bits, then attack it quickly and forcefully. 

Bored? Set a deadline for yourself so you can take a break and do something you like. You could be pleasantly surprised by how much you are capable of doing quickly and under pressure.

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