Ways to perform well when you’re under pressure.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Performing well under pressure.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

How do you perform when you’re under pressure?

Are you one of those people who are at your best when under pressure? Or are you one of those people who choke when the pressure is on?

People who perform well under pressure have developed the right mindsets, attitudes, and skills. Challenges don’t derail them; they energize them. You too can learn to perform well under pressure. Here are some of the techniques that will help you do better when the pressure is on.

Giving yourself as much time as possible reduces the pressure.

Some people delude themselves into believing that the way to get something done is to wait until the last possible minute. They tell themselves that they perform better under pressure. Unfortunately, what many people do when the pressure is lower their standards. Students who wait until the night before the paper is due can get an essay written in a very short amount of time. They also often do poorly and then use the lack of time as an excuse. Start as soon as possible on any new project. That allows you to correct mistakes. Build some extra time in your plans for those tasks, which ended up taking longer than you expected.

Practice skills beforehand reduce the pressure.

When under pressure, humans tend to revert to their usual way of doing things. To be able to make use of skills you are learning, you need to over-practice those skills until they become automatic. The better prepared you are for the challenge, the less stressful it will be. If you have thoroughly practiced a necessary skill, your muscles will remember it and perform that task automatically.

Use positive affirmations to reduce stress.

Putting yourself down will damage your performance. People who believe in themselves do better. Positive affirmations shouldn’t be a matter of lying to yourself. Tell yourself you can do it, and you probably will be able to. Tell yourself this will be the best performance anyone has ever done, and your brain will know you’re lying and try to sabotage you. Positive affirmations are a way to psych yourself up and maximize your performance.

Developing a positive stress mindset improves performance.

Viewing the task ahead as stressful makes it more challenging to accomplish. Looking for opportunities to grow and develop improves your performance. People with a positive stress mindset are energized by opportunities rather than being exhausted by them.

Tell your inner critic to shut up.

The evidence from psychology tells us that self-criticism is rarely helpful. Everyone has an inner critic telling them they can’t do this, or they’re not good enough. Some people are so used to listening to the inner critic that they find daily life stressful. Other people have practiced ignoring that inner critic enough that they rarely hear the inner critic’s voice anymore. The time for evaluation of what you have done is after everything is over, not before. Don’t start making excuses before you even begin the project.

For more on this topic see this article.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Six David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Dark Family Secrets: Some family secrets can be deadly.

What if your family secrets put you in danger?

Letters from the Dead The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead?

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

SasquatchWandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive?

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

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