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  • marlienligtenberg

Two types of pressure

‘’How can I deal with pressure and expectations at work?’’ This question often comes up in my training- and coaching sessions with young professionals. You have a lot of responsibilities on your plate. And you care about the quality of your work a lot. So, you feel like it’s up to you to prove it all! No mistakes or failures in your book. Your reaction to pressure Because you feel that pressure, you are going to work even harder. The to do’s are endless. So you never get a moment of rest. You are tired and you don’t know how to keep up with this. How can you reduce that feeling of pressure? And feel more relaxed and chill?

A closer look at two types of pressure It helps to be aware of the type of pressure you feel, to reduce the impact of it. There are two types of pressure:

  • Unrealistic pressure

  • Realistic pressure

Unrealistic pressure This is pressure that you think there is, but it’s not proven that it’s really there. For example: you need to prepare a presentation. You think:

  • I need to give 100%. If this is not good enough, I will disappoint my colleagues. They will think: ‘’What a loser. She can’t even deliver a proper presentation. If she can’t do this, what else can she do? How did we even hire her? My goodness, what a failure.’’

If you zoom out a bit, can you see that this is all an assumption from your part? You don’t know what your colleagues think. They never said it to you like that. You THINK that they think that. You don't know for a fact. Tip To reduce this type of pressure, it helps to check with yourself: ‘’How do I know for sure that this pressure is true?’’ Realistic pressure This is pressure that is quite explicit. For example: you are responsible for fundraising a big project with a huge amount of money. The deadline is next week. You have had two setbacks last week, with two investors dropping out. It’s going to be close if you make it or not. You think:

  • ‘’Oh my god, if I don’t perform, I will get fired. Nobody will trust me ever again if I don’t manage this. All my colleagues will look down on me and never give me a project again! I have to fix this all by myself.’’

Tip To reduce this type of pressure, it helps to check with yourself: ‘’Is this thought helping me to perform well? Is it helping me to be resourceful, or is it limiting? What thought helps me to remain calm, and still doing my job?’’ What type of pressure do you feel at the moment? Take an example in your work, where you feel pressured at the moment. What type of pressure do you feel? Is it unrealistic or is it realistic? What can you do to reduce that feeling a bit? A fresh perspective to help you forward If you want help to reduce the feeling of pressure, I can help you with that. Sometimes your head is running in the same circles, and it really helps to talk about it with someone. That helps you forward! If you are up for a chat, book a free session with me here.

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