When I think of performing under pressure I immediately think of Michael Jordan; and I grew up a die-hard Utah Jazz fan, so that’s not an easy thing for me to say. But it seemed like whenever a critical play needed to be made, Jordan delivered (which was an unfortunate reality during my childhood). Above I included a YouTube video of Jordan’s top 10 game winning shots, which is still somewhat painful for me to watch all these years later, especially number one (even though we all know that Jordan pushed off).
So what is it that helps people be able to perform well under pressure? Why do some seem to thrive under pressure, while others seems to shrink? While I don’t claim to know the full answer to that question, below is a clip from Simon Sinek with on interesting theory:
I think what Sinek is saying can be directly applied to the pressures we may face in the work place, whether it’s trying to close a big deal, give an important presentation, etc. According to Sinek, changing our mindset from “feeling nervous” when we start to feel our heart race and palms get sweaty, to “feeling excited” instead can make a subtle but important difference in how we ultimately perform in those situations. My challenge to you is to try and consciously make that switch in your mindset the next time you’re in a pressure situation and may start to default to “I’m feeling nervous.” Thanks for taking the time to read!