As we become more and more successful in our careers, our stress levels tend to increase. The higher we climb up the corporate ladder, the more responsibility we take on and each of those responsibilities holds more weight than our previous ones. The pressure to perform weighs on us and we feel as though all eyes are on us. Our team is looking to us for the answers and at times the pressure can feel suffocating.
When you are in a leadership position, stress and pressure will always be a factor. Some people are naturally able to shake off the stress, put their worries to the side and get down to the task at hand. Others are not as fortunate and their performance can really suffer from all of the pressure. People who are otherwise perfectly talented and capable can become completely disabled by the stress and pressure of the job.
The good news is, performing well under pressure is a skill that can be learned. By conditioning ourselves through exposure and using some simple techniques, anybody can learn to get the job done, and do it well, no matter what the circumstance.
- Reframe your thoughts. Instead of thinking of the task at hand as threatening, think of it in a different way. Don’t view it as a threat that you need to “get through”. Instead, view it as a challenge that you are going to tackle, overcome and grow from.
- Share the load. Talk about your stress with someone else. Just getting your worries off your chest will make you feel 10 times better. Sometimes we make our stress worse than it is by thinking about it too much. Bouncing it off another person gives us a chance to gage the reality of the situation and also gives us the opportunity to get advice.
- Don’t stifle the pressure. Don’t hold everything in, or you will be bursting with stress and nerves which will greatly impede your performance. Take a few moments to write down all of your concerns. Write down everything that you’re worried about and then write down solutions to those possible issues. Just getting those worries out of your head and coming up with potential solutions will take a huge load off your shoulders and free up your mind to focus on the task at hand.
- Give yourself a pep-talk. We all need some encouragement once in a while. When you feel the pressure is becoming too much, it’s time to talk yourself up. Remind yourself how hard you’ve worked to earn the position that you have. Think of all of your previous successes and all of the times you have performed well under pressure. Remind yourself that anxiety is just a feeling and that you can gain control over the situation and kick ass at your job!
- Focus on the moment. Now that you’ve let go of all of the noise in your head, focus on the things that you can control. Focus on what you’re here to do and be present in the moment. Don’t allow intrusive thoughts to creep back in. Focus on the sights and sounds of the moment to keep yourself present. Remind yourself that you are in this position for a reason, you know exactly what you’re doing and take control!
Sometimes the stress of our jobs can be really overwhelming, but we can’t allow the pressure to inhibit our performance. Performing under pressure is a skill that can be developed with exposure and patience, and with some practice it will become second nature!