How do you handle pressure? This is actually a big question because most of us don’t really know and there can be some big clues in there around how we self sabotage and why.
There’s a couple of ways to look at this.
What behaviours do you exhibit when you’re under pressure?
And how much of that pressure is self imposed and why?
So let’s start with the behaviour piece of the puzzle because that’s what started me wanting to do this episode.
You know I love calling out certain behaviours and trying to reframe it for the people on the receiving end but also make the people doing it maybe think twice next time!
I put a lot of the unkind, underhand, douchey behaviour that you unfortunately see some people do, whether this is in business or at work, as a direct reaction to pressure.
An ego response. Think of it as an I will harm to avoid being harmed vibe.
I will lash out to protect myself first.
I will make someone else look bad to make myself feel better. Notice the distinction between look and feel there…it certainly never makes anyone LOOK better!
As an example, you’re feeling the pressure on a launch, or to hit a certain level of revenue, so you might go steal someone’s clients, or badmouth them to others. I call it trying to stand on someone else’s head to make yourself taller.
Unfortunately it happens a lot. Which makes me super sad.
Thankfully I haven’t heard of it happening to me yet (that’s not an invitation thank you…plus you know i’d just call it out as your drama not mine ha!) but I see it happen to my friends all the time and I’ve also been on the receiving end of people bad mouthing others too. Does nothing for the vibe and you’re just left thinking….geeez if they’re saying that about them what might they say about me!
There’s lots of ways and different strategies that we use to handle pressure but we need to look at them for what they really are, which is internal protection mechanisms. Adaptive responses from childhood or our early experiences.
This is one of the reasons I often liken the online business world to school. It really is wounded inner child stuff being played out on the internet everywhere you look! It’s behaviour we might have used at school and sometimes it’s as if we haven’t learned.
For some people the adaptive response might be to hide and avoid or numb out, some it might be to stand on someone else’s head to make themselves taller, it might be to pile on MORE work thus reinforcing the idea that perhaps you’re not good enough by creating yourself a near impossible situation where you’re juggling too many plates.
I can be very guilty of that one because I’ve learned I can handle a LOT so I’ll keep taking more on and I need to be aware of it and catch myself in it.
Hence why I have 8 qualifications, a full rebrand and website build, app build and launch, 6 month mentorship programme launch with 2 other people…i’ll tell you more about that soon, 3 new presentations to create and trying to get the positive pants planner sorted…all happening at the same time. Because I know I can handle it. Doesn’t mean I should. But it DOES mean I have to balance that with some serious rest and relaxation. I can do that because i’m aware. I have choice and agency. That makes a very big difference.
So what are your strategies. No judgement. Just curiosity. How do you handle pressure?
It’s worth noting that It can also sometimes feel as if the lack of pressure itself, causes pressure.
Which leads me onto the next point. Pressure itself as a self sabotage strategy.
We can be addicted to chaos.
We also may have been rewarded by putting pressure on ourselves when we were younger, think back to exams and revision. Did you cram at the last minute and work your butt off and get good grades and therefore praise from your caregivers? Did you make a connection that the way to get results was to work that way?
We might have piled the pressure on and it all worked out great, thus reinforcing that as something to be repeated into adulthood.
It may be that there’s an unconscious belief that if we’re NOT busy and under pressure then it means we aren’t successful, or people might THINK we’re not successful, and therefore not good enough, and therefore unworthy of love.
We do like to go to some deep places in our unconscious programmes don’t we.
If we don’t cach ourselves in these patterns of behaviour…ooooh we can get ourselves in a pickle.
We can reach burnout.
It might backfire and then the very thing we feared (not being liked) becomes reality because we’ve been caught out in bad behaviour.
Pressure may show up as perfectionism. Comparison. Overworking. Avoiding. Dissociating from our feelings.
What do you notice?
How do you recognise pressure in your body?
Alternatively it’s worth noticing how you feel when you’re NOT under pressure. What does that look like for you? Are you able to relax? Or does it make you feel twitchy and anxious?
The important thing is to create the initial awareness. You can’t do anything about a pattern you aren’t aware of.
Start to notice what you do when you’re under pressure. Do you create the pressure yourself? Is someone else creating it?
When do you remember first feeling pressure? Can you think of a time in your life when you didn’t?
What might the pressure itself, or the behaviour be allowing you to avoid?
What does it make you want to do?
What DO you do?
Think to yourself, what am I protecting myself from right now?
It may not seem like it’s that important but the ramifications for not figuring this stuff out can be BIG. Personally and professionally.
Having curiosity and awareness means you can do something about it and create a different outcome.
Fran Excell, Subconscious Success Mentor – Helping Business Owners Overcome Stress & Self Sabotage at www.franexcell.com
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