PRACTICE EXPERIENCING PRESSURE
Feeling pressure is uncomfortable for most people. Pressure moments are loaded with stress and anxiety and distressful feelings. We naturally avoid distress, so we try to avoid pressure moments.
The logic of this pressure solution is the opposite. Since high-pressure situations are inevitable, you might as well get used to the feelings of pressure, so that you are able to perform at a high level in spite of pressure. In psychological terms, the goal of this solution is to desensitize yourself to the discomfort of pressure, so that it has little effect on you. To do so, you need to train yourself; you need to practice under pressure.
The goal is to put yourself through the same conditions — or worse — that you’ll face when you have to perform for real. While you can’t completely replicate the stress and pressure of real-world situations in a practice setting, training under pressure conditions can improve your ability to perform closer to your capability in high-pressure moments.
If you’re preparing for a presentation, challenge yourself to make your points coherently in a shorter-than-expected time frame. Add more pressure to your practice by handicapping yourself — no notes and a blaring television.
A manager told us that his daughter complained that he was putting too much SAT pressure on her. He told her, “Sweetheart, I’m helping you. This is baby pressure compared to what you get in the real world so you better get used to it.”
This is an excerpt from Performing Under Pressure.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
JP Pawliw-Fry is co-author of the New York Times bestselling book, Performing Under Pressure. He is keynote speaker, and the founder of IHHP, a global research and learning company that specializes in helping organizations and leaders leverage the science of emotional intelligence and performing under pressure. The research and strategies presented in the book, keynotes and in HHP’s training programs have been leveraged by numerous Fortune 100 companies, including long-term relationships with Johnson and Johnson, PWC, Goldman Sachs, HSBC as well as Olympic medal winning athletes. (Co-author: Hendrie Weisinger.)
Co-authored by our own J.P. Pawliw-Fry, Performing Under Pressure will introduce you to the concept of pressure management, offering the latest science on how your brain responds under pressure, and many empirically tested strategies to help you overcome the sabotaging effects of pressure. For this book, we undertook a multiyear study of over twelve thousand people to answer the question: what is it about the top 10 percent of these individuals that helps them handle pressure more effectively and be successful? The book has been featured in featured in Forbes, INC., The Financial Times, Training Magazine and many more, and is a NYT and Amazon bestseller. Order your copy on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Audible or Apple ibooks.