‘Love pressure, its nothing but the shadow of great opportunity’
This week’s blog is all about that thing so many of us love to hate – pressure. We all have to deal with tight, tense situations where we feel that uncomfortable sensation of endless pressure bearing down on us, with its ever-present companion, the crushing jaws of defeat, ready pounce on any error we make. Be it in the form of an exam, a sporting event, a job interview or any other difficult scenario we find ourselves in, pressure and how with we deal with it can so often have a huge impact on our performance. The difference between those who succeed and those who fail in the face of such tension may well just lie in their interpretations and perceptions of the pressure.
How often do you hear the words ‘he crumbled under the pressure’ or ‘they couldn’t handle the pressure of the occasion’ and countless other phrases to that effect? Such crumbling is one of the unfortunate outcomes for those who fail to prepare adequately and have not seen pressure in a positive way. After reading Michael Johnsons book, Slaying the Dragon, this week (which I would 100% recommend to absolutely anyone), my perceptions of what pressure is and what it can do for you have definitely altered. He talks about seeing pressure as nothing but ‘the shadow of great opportunity’ and actually, think about it… he’s spot on really!
I’d been feeling under a lot of pressure latelymyself; to do well in my upcoming exams, to finish my coursework assignments, to find a job for summer and oh yeah, get my leg to work properly again! I know I’m not alone here as it’s a really stressful time for so many people around this time of the year and we all can feel under insurmountable pressure at times, but I think if you can start to see it as ‘nothing but the shadow of great opportunity’ as Johnson says, things can really start to seem so much more worthwhile and can really motivate you to get working on all those things you need to do to be successful. By thinking, not about what might go wrong or what failure might lead to or how you can’t afford to stuff something up, and instead viewing strenuous situations with a positive outlook of how you can benefit from doing well, how you can showcase yourself and just what you might be able to gain from them you can really set yourself up for potential success. And when something doesn’t turn out quite as you’d hoped for, you just have to regroup and find yourself another window of great opportunity in future, this time ready to succeed and being aided by the strength gained from past failures.