In pursuing our goals, we often have to deal with tremendous amounts of pressure. Here are 20 ways to better cope with this pressure:
1. Focus on the concrete steps needed to reach your goal. Focus on what you have to do to take your mind off the pressure.
2. Do not forget about your body. Do not let your body tighten up. Pain makes it harder to pursue your goals even when you are so focused that you are not aware of the pain.
3. Stick to the way you work best when under pressure. Do not let others bully you into changing the way you work best for their benefit.
4. Remember to breathe when you feel pressure. Your body (including your brain) needs oxygen to function efficiently. When we are under pressure, it is a natural reaction to stop breathing, but do not give in to it. When the pressure is at its worst, focus on your breathing. This will both regulate your body better, and allow you to calm down.
5. Learn about relaxation techniques. There are many technique out there, and they have a different effect on each one of us. Find out what works for you through experimentation, and incorporate that technique into your daily life. This will make it easier to apply the technique while experiencing pressure.
6. Seek out as many opportunities to experience pressure as possible. It does get easier in time, you just need to allow yourself time and practice to get accustomed to the pressure.
7. Being anxious is good. Being anxious can help you perform better than usual under pressure, as long as you are in control of the situation.
8. Prepare to 100% perfection. Prepare thoroughly and only focus on what you can control. The rest will take care of itself, do not worry about it.
9. Good preparation makes you lucky. The more you prepare, the more spontaneous and luckier you are under pressure.
10. Go for pressure opportunities step-by-step. Do not immediately go for the biggest amount of pressure. Just raise the bar a little higher each time.
11. Create your own pressures. That way, when external opportunities come calling, you will be prepared to make the most of them by staying on top of the resulting pressure.
12. Beware of the ‘big fish in small pond’ syndrome turning into extra pressure. Do not quit just because you are suddenly feeling others are getting ahead. They may be getting ahead now, but as long as you keep working hard you are giving yourself the chance to get back on top. Giving up simply guarantees that others will stay on top and that you are out of the race.