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.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

For videos see: Counselorssoapbox YouTube Video Channel

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking, and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders, see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter.

Ways to Prevent Burnout.

By David Joel Miller MS Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Burnout.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Solutions to keep you from being the victim of burnout.

The stress of life in this century is increasing the number of people reporting burnout. Several factors are at play here. The time spent in formal education has increased dramatically. Many people today graduate from school ready to begin their work career already buried in student loan debt. The available jobs on planet Earth have shifted from working with plants in agriculture and things in manufacturing to working with people. Life itself has simply become more stressful. Before you experience burnout, here are some things you can do to protect yourself.

Get adequate sleep.

One of the first signs of burnout is feeling physically and emotionally exhausted. It’s tempting to believe you can stay up late and still be productive the next day. Eventually, you will develop a sleep deficit, and your ability to cope with stress will decline.

Avoid alcohol and drugs.

Alcohol and drugs may make you feel better in the short run, but when they wear off, you will be more depleted than before. Using drugs and alcohol to cope is a sure way to accelerate your journey to burnout.

Maintain friendships and social connections.

Having positive friendships and social support buffers you from stress. As life’s demands increase, people are tempted to reduce their social connections. Having a support system will help you get through stressful times. Time spent with friends is not a waste of time which could’ve been productive at work, it’s an investment in maintaining your ability to cope with stress.

Avoid perfectionism.

There are a few things which require perfection or near perfection. If you allow the quest for perfection to spill over into areas where it’s not needed, you increase your stress level possibly to the breaking point.

Scheduled downtime, don’t over schedule yourself.

Machines can’t run and 100 hundred percent of capacity, neither can humans. Cramming your schedule full of work and the rest of your time full of frantic leisure activities can exceed your physical and emotional resources.

Use relaxation tools, meditation, deep breathing, etc.

Don’t wait until after your burnout, to learn stress reduction techniques. Simple relaxation tools can lower your level stress and keep you physically and emotionally well.

Take your breaks.

When times are stressful, it’s tempting to try to keep up your productivity by working through lunch and skipping breaks. Temporarily this may increase what you get done, but over the long haul, your productivity will decline. Ultimately neglecting self-care results in exhaustion which leads to burnout.

Learn to say no.

Avoid taking on projects and responsibilities you don’t have the energy and resources to accomplish. Failure to say no results in becoming overwhelmed. After your burn out someone else will do your job and probably they will say no to excessive demands. Setting proper boundaries can help you continue to function effectively over a much longer period.

Practice disconnecting; you can unplug.

Leaving work at the job is important. Avoid taking work home with you whenever possible. When you’re spending time with family or friends, be fully present with them. Don’t continue to think about work during your leisure time.

Make self-care a priority, eat well, exercise.

Make taking care of yourself your top priority. Believe that you matter. Create a life in which you thrive by eating well, sleeping and getting healthy exercise. Pursue the things that interest you and invest some time in self-improvement.

Improve your job skills, so you have options.

Avoid getting locked into doing the same work over and over. Keep your options open. Continuing to improve your job skills and learning new skills gives you additional options. Being able to move from one position to another or even from one company to another keeps you from getting trapped. Having other options reduces the chance that you will stay on the job past the point of burnout.

More posts about – Burnout.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Three David Joel Miller Books are available now!

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.

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.

Sasquatch. Wandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive? The guests had come to Meditation Mountain to find themselves. Trapped in the Menhirs during a sudden desert storm, two guests move through a porthole in time and encounter long extinct monsters. They want to get back to their own time, but the Sasquatch intends to kill them.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, and many other online stores.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.