How to Thrive Under Pressure

The Giants won the World Series this week.

Game 5 of the World Series
Game 5 of the World Series

It was an amazing thing to witness actually living in the city, and I was lucky enough to go to game five. After seven grueling games, ending with an exciting win that lit up the city (literally, in some areas), the Giants showed us that even under great pressure, you can come out as a champion.

The big win got me thinking about performing under pressure and how that translates into the business setting. Unless you have nerves of steel, we all feel pressure from time to time in our jobs. It comes from our managers, peers and even ourselves and it’s what constantly pushes us to perform and grow.

However, some of us can cave under pressure.

Giants' Fever
Mad Bum Under Pressure

Sometimes it’s hard to rise to the challenge and prove to everyone that you can accomplish a task, especially when no one thinks you can handle it. Feeling under pressure is stressful, it can even make you give up. But the next time you feel like you can’t take the pressure, instead of throwing your hands up, make it a point to prove to yourself and others that you can get the job done and even exceed expectations. Here are a few sure-fire ways to get you motivated when you’re under pressure:

  • Look sharp: When I know I have a big day ahead of me, I make it a point to look sharp. When I put on a pair of heels and a nice outfit, and actually do my hair, I feel unstoppable. Spending extra time in the morning to look professional and put together makes me feel more confident and in control.
  • Press play: On your way to the office or during little breaks throughout the day, listen to a few upbeat songs that you know will pump you up. There are certain go-to songs I listen to that make me feel like a true bad ass. Giving yourself an extra boost can help you stay energized to be productive throughout the day.
  • Amp up: Have confidence in your skills when you’re under pressure. When I get tossed a challenging assignment, I try to move past the feeling of stress as soon as I can and move into a state of ambition. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a minute to remind yourself that you can do it and then set a plan of attack to get the job done.
  • Get organized: When you’re getting a lot of pressure from your boss on a project, create a list of to-dos and deadlines. Make calendar reminders that alert you when you need to focus on a certain aspect of your assignment and set goals for the end of the day. Staying organized in a high pressure situation will make you more efficient and it will most likely yield great results.
  • Reward yourself: Give yourself something to look forward to after a long day. I like to plan a happy hour or dinner out when I know I’m going to have a long day. It makes me focus and work harder, knowing that I have a prize waiting for me. The promise of a reward can give you the motivation throughout the day to make things happen.

    The big win!
    The big win!

It’s been an amazing few weeks of baseball. The Giants have shown the city and the world how to thrive under pressure and come out on top. You can do the same in the workplace. If you can get yourself in the right mindset going into a project, you will come out on the other side as a winner.

How do you thrive under pressure?

Giants' Victory Parade
Giants’ Victory Parade
Posey in the Giants' Parade
Posey in the Giants’ Parade
Mad Bum Ending the Parade
Mad Bum Ending the Parade

6 thoughts to “How to Thrive Under Pressure”

  1. What can I say that you haven’t already said in your blog. Spot on! Just when I think you’ve said it all you pull another gem out of your hat. You clearly have experience and insight beyond your years. Thanks for your advice and inspiration. I just hope the message is getting out to those that need it most. With my 40+ years in the work force (and still going strong by the way) I really can’t add to your list of things to do when dealing with job stress and tasks that seem unsurmountable at the onset. In your examples you are turning the stress into your weapon against it. What a concept but you know it works.

  2. Go Giants! What a privilege for you to have been apart of history, and didn’t those guys play their hearts out. True professional’s, and wonderful roll models for all of us. They sent us all a true message. Stayed focused, work hard, and realize your dream. We all have this capacity, we just need to tap into it. I loved this blog, keep on writing and inspiring!

  3. Great message Lindsay!
    An additional way to Amp Up is to think of all the energy that stress takes out of you. Like you mentioned, “it can even make you give up”. That’s truly powerful.
    If we take all that negative energy and focus it on positive self-talk (I know I can do it! Especially in these heels/ this suit!) and the goal to be achieved it will make the organizational process more fun and that much more rewarding when the task is accomplished.
    I’m starting to feel pumped too!

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