Stress and Motivation: How Pressure Affects People Differently
We’ve all been there. The deadline is looming and we’ve barely begun to work. We all recognize that feeling in the pit of our stomach as we settle down to work. But does pressure have to lead to stress? And what does stress actually do to our motivation and focus?
In my personal life, I just dealt with a lucrative offer to consult on behalf of a an established company. I didn’t like the contract that was proposed and they didn’t want to change it. There was a bit of pressure to sign, both from them and honestly — at home. It can feel suicidal to say no to money sometimes, but my gut kept saying no. In the end, I passed and I believe we parted in good faith with a commitment to respect each other moving forward on our own paths.
In this case – I credit timely, honest communication. I consider myself to have an extremely high level of ethics in business and I knew I could not abide by what was in print. So how can pressure effect and motivate you?
We know for a fact that stress from psychological pressure effects our bodies. It leads to higher blood pressure, anxiety, and a host of other symptoms. It also makes it really, really hard to concentrate on the task at hand. If you’re feeling pressure at work, and it’s leading to stress, then you probably aren’t at your most effective. You might be missing deadlines or making mistakes, or even worried yourself sick and had to take a personal day. All of these things can be caused by stress from psychological pressure.
A tool for me is to take the stress out on a physical level. I went mountain biking! Burning 2700 calories in a 2 hour ride was just the trick to settle down and execute. That led to the next section…
But with good coping skills, pressure doesn’t always have to lead to stress. It can positively affect motivation, too. When you’re feeling stressed, you should try to practice positive thinking, self-distraction, or one of many other techniques that can beat stress and help your focus.
Motivation under pressure is an excellent skill to have, but like other skills it takes practice to get better. This website is full of positive suggestions and helpful hints for getting better at handling stress caused by pressure. The most important thing you can do is learn to cope, because with positive coping mechanisms we see stress melt away, and in its place there are a host of positive benefits of working under pressure.
If you find yourself in want within this area, hit up our Course Catalog for help.
Performing Under Pressure
When you’ve mastered your stress levels and learn to perform under pressure you might notice a few things. You’ll keep a cooler head in difficult situations, thinking clearly when others around you are flailing wildly at the thought of some terrible outcome. You’ll notice that your leadership skills improve, and that people turn to you in a crisis. You might also see that you perform better under pressure, because of the positive coping mechanisms that you’ve mastered.
People who perform under pressure are in huge demand in every industry. Whether you’re at the office or behind a counter, performance under stress will lead to promotions and positive feedback. Every employer on Earth wants to find someone who can keep a cool head under pressure, and with a little bit of practice and some positive habits that someone could easily be you.