How to Perform Under Pressure Review for #Careerlions Part II
Previously I shared with you the knowledge I gained from How to Perform Under Pressure by Hendrie Weisinger and J.P.Pawliw-Fry. The book, packed with research and the experience of world class performance in sports, was set up in three parts. I shared with you my thoughts on the first part of the book before, regarding the nature and science of pressure. Today, I will share with you a quick overview of the 22 powerful pressure moment solutions you can apply just before and in the heat of the pressure moment. Read on, if you are in for some of short-term fixes to turn down the heat next time your faced with pressure moments.
Pressure Moment Solutions
- "Think of pressure moments as a challenge or opportunity/fun.” - Get into a ‘challenge thinking’ mode. Feeling challenged is a performance steroid. Thinking of a pressure situation as fun and challenging, increases your performance as your body will have more energy and your brain will be able to think more clearly. It is this positive mindset that will help you.
- "This is one of many opportunities." - Thinking that it is a once in a lifetime opportunity definitely is not calming. Considering you will have other chances in the future for sure will help you turn down the heat.
- "Shrink the importance of the pressure moment." - Be mindful by making a list of your list of things most important to you. When there is the moment of pressure, then use this list to put things into pressure perspective. There is no need to make things bigger than they actually are.
- “Focus on your mission.” - Prevent distraction and focus are the best way to achieve each and every milestone to accomplish your mission. Don't focus on the outcome, but on your efforts on staying the moment and doing your best.
- "Expect the unexpected." - Being well prepared will leave you to feel more confident, helping you to perform better.
- “Affirm your self-worth.” - Make pressure situations less threatening by listing your positive attributes and values important to you.
- “Flash back to your previous success.” - When you think about previous successes, your confidence will be boosted for that pressure moment.
- “Be positive before and during high-pressure moments.” - Positivity can help you deal with pressure and perform better. Assume that you will be awesome and the rest ‘hopefully’ will follow.
- “Tune into your senses.” - By tuning into your senses, you can force yourself to get into the here and now. This will help you to depressurize.
- “Focus on what you can control.” - If it is not in your locus of control, forget about it. Literally, there is no point in wasting energy thinking about something you can’t change or influence.
- “Listen to or sing a favorite song.” – Oh yes, there are few things in life that a song cannot fix. As I blogged before, a song is the perfect distraction from your thoughts.
- “Use a holistic word/image “cue” to guide your performance.” - Use a cue to distract yourself, such as Nike’s “just do it”.
- “Practice experiencing pressure.” - When you are frequently exposed, you will be so accustomed to it that it no longer feels the same.
- “Squeeze a ball.” - Squeezing a ball apparently helps you relax during pressure moments. Take out your stress balls!
- “Write out your concerns about the high-pressure situation you are facing.” - We all know that journaling about your feelings is a great way to process difficult situations. Well, so is writing about your concerns when you feel pressure.
- “Put away self-consciousness.” - Self-consciousness can negatively influence your performance. By videotaping for instance, you will be able to put it away.
- “Practice meditation.” – Yes, there is meditation again. There is no way to escape it really. What are you (also talking to myself indeed) waiting for?!
- “Create and practice pre-routine.” - Having a pre-routine will help you get into the right headspace to perform.
- “Slow down your response.” – Reducing your arousal will help you think more flexibly, creatively, and attentively. Allowing you to crush those pressure forces.
- “Regulate your breathing.” – Anxiety deregulates your breathing, speeding it up and forcing you to breath up high in your chest. By consciously slowing down and regulating your breathing, you will be able to actively calm yourself down.
- “Go first.” – So true. This year I had the opportunity to win a book (that I was sure Liona really wanted to read also) by speaking in front of an audience about who you admire. I had in mind to talk about Tim Ferriss (I know that is very shocking, not). In any case, I failed to go first which is usually my go to. Before I knew it, there is this woman talking about her grandparents in the war and some people following her with wonderful personal experiences. There I was, thorn between the desire to win a book, unease with public speaking, and revealing my lack of a personal heart-warming story. Needless to say, I wanted the book and probably ended up looking like an awkward ice queen. Go first, you will not be bothered about distracting thoughts of your predecessor and they will be too busy trying to beat you that it negatively affects their performance. A true win-win. However, a small disclaimer that in your pressure situation this may not be applicable of course.
- “Communicate your feelings of being under pressure.” – This is one of my favorites. Whenever I get nervous, for instance for a presentation or interview, I like to let the others know. It instantly makes me feel more at ease. Even if they will judge me for it, I am sure I make up for it by clearing the way for my precious working memory to do what I had well-prepared to begin with.
Are you ready to pick-up your put these pressure solutions into practice? I sure am. Luckily for me, I was already well on my way. However, it seems that there are plenty of new tricks to put into action that I plan to do. I am sure to put these solutions to use when I recover and return to dancing competitions.