“Pressure doesn’t exist. We create it for ourselves.” – Derek Hough, professional dancer

After Stanford’s last second win against UCLA recently, coach Shaw was asked how his players battled through the pressure to claim victory.

He calmly responded, “Pressure is imagined. It’s not a real thing.”

Dont buy-in to the pressure principle.

I’ve agreed with coach Shaw’s answer for years, and teach the same concept to my clients. The world has defined moments of consequence as “pressure,” rather than what they truly are: Moments of opportunity. Your heart pounds, pores sweat, and mind races trying to win the game, close a business deal, or seconds prior to giving a speech. You’ve been conditioned to believe these are pressure filled experiences, creating a (far too often) negative mental response.

Be courageous enough to step outside conventional thinking.

Instead of focusing on the perceived “pressure,” reframe your mental state to concentrate on “response to the challenge.” Eliminating pressure from your vocabulary will also eliminate the fear of an unwanted outcome.

Making this shift will create a mindset of positive action. It’ll start the momentum of intentional forward movement, rather than living in a fear state of “what-if,” that pressure creates.

Don’t confuse the real type of pressure with the imagined.

Pressure turns coal into diamonds and allows your vehicle’s tires to remain inflated. Let’s not align this type of real, physical pressure with the imagined kind too many people live with.

It got heated!

I recorded a wave on Anchor about this exact topic, which spurred an amazing thread of back-n-forth opinions and disagreements.

The concept of pressure is so deeply rooted in our daily lives and subconscious, that when I challenged it’s validity, people had a difficult (almost impossible) time wrapping their minds around my claim that it doesn’t really exist.

Check out the awesome conversation and debate we had HERE. I’d love your opinion.

Remember …

The next time you’re in a situation where your heart’s pounding, palms are sweating, and mind’s racing, reframe your focus — you’re not in a pressure moment, you’re experiencing a moment of opportunity.


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