My son just started grade 5. As expected, this milestone has brought with it, a tidal wave of emotion for me because grade 5 was the year that changed my life.

Mr. Wright was my grade 5 teacher. It didn’t take him long to determine that I desperately needed some additional support academically, but even more importantly, psychologically (to help me with my anxiety issues). We determined that Mr. Wright believed that my mom had been placing an exorbitant amount of pressure on me to succeed. My mom, on the other hand, believed that it was actually Mr. Wright who had been placing that pressure on me. Long story short, they met…heated words were exchanged and when they emerged from that meeting, they both wondered how it was even possible for a nine year-old child to have put so much pressure on herself to succeed.

Luckily for me, there were some wonderful child psychologists that were there to help kids just like me…I think that there were even a couple scholarly articles written about me and my anxiety issues.

They gave my problem a name: “Generalized Anxiety Disorder”. They taught my family and I how to deal with my issues and ultimately, help me grow into the best version of myself that I could be.

Fast forward 30 years.

Should it come as a surprise that the same anxiety riddled child is now the Instructional Designer responsible for designing and developing IHHP’s classroom based training called ‘Performing Under Pressure: Doing Your Best When it Matters Most’? I think God has a tremendous sense of humor…I also believe that there are no coincidences in life.

Before today, nobody at IHHP knew about my intimate relationship with anxiety. It’s not something that I usually share this freely. But I am sharing because I think it matters. I think that you need to know about the relationship I have with anxiety and pressure. It’s a part of my everyday life, and it’s not a topic I take lightly.

I have a deep understanding about pressure, and I know it is very real.

Despite everything I already know about this topic, I didn’t create the content for this training program.

Instructional Designers don’t typically create the content themselves. They dig it up. They interview, watch, listen, explore and read mountains of research data.

That is what I’ve been doing since I joined IHHP last month – working with founder, Dr. JP Pawliw-Fry, and Bill Benjamin (partner at IHHP) and the experts on our Executive Team.

This information has captivated me.

It’s new.

It’s innovative.

As I embark on the various stages of preparing this courseware for our clients and partners, I can promise you this:

  • I can see with absolute certainty where this training program will help individuals identify how pressure impacts thinking and actions
  • I can also see where this program will teach people how to overcome pressure

The information that is being prepared for the Performing Under Pressure: Doing Your Best When it Matters Most training is cutting edge, and it is truly remarkable.

I know how anticipated this courseware is.

I wish this information would have been available when I was young. It would have made my journey so much easier. One thing I can say, however, is that I can and do apply the concepts today.

By immersing myself in the book, the Keynote addresses and the course material, I have learned so much about depressurizing in moments where I normally would have faltered. The book, Performing Under Pressure: The Science of Doing Your Best When it Matters Most, presents twenty-two pressure solutions derived from research and years of clinical expertise in corporate, educational, and health care settings.

Some pressure solutions influence the way you think about pressure moments; others immunize you by directing your focus to specific mental imagery, and others serve to depressurize by managing your physiology. The book and this course will teach you how to free yourself from ineffective past pressure responses. When feelings of pressure arise, you will learn how to cue yourself to employ one or more of the pressure solutions and successfully handle pressure moments.

In addition to the twenty-two pressure solutions, you will also learn (as I have) long-term solutions by applying a COTE of Armor (Confidence, Optimism, Tenacity and Enthusiasm) that you can read about in the book. You will learn how to apply these four solutions and develop a COTE of Armor for yourself that you can use for the rest of your life to counteract pressure moments. You will be able to utilize the same attributes used by the most accomplished individuals, those who enjoy the greatest mental and physical health, are engaged in positive relationships, and experience the most joy in life. The book and Keynote addresses are available to you right now.

I can’t share any more details with you about the course right here and now, but I believe with 100% certainty that once we do launch, the information presented in this course will change lives.

It’s already changed mine, and I can’t wait to share it with you!

I wonder if I could tell that little girl (me) who was entering 5th grade, that one day, she would play a part in helping others perform better under pressure. Would she have believed me?