Monday, September 5, 2016


Performance creates pressure

Preparation takes hard work

Sharpening takes intentional practice

Improving takes conditioning

Athletes are familiar with these terms.  They are passionate about their sport, and they play to win.  Athletes don't play casually.  They want to taste victory - they want to win the championship!

Why is it that in our work place many times we show up casually, going through a check list of work that needs to be done, hoping that lunch time will come quickly? Why is it that when we feel pressure to perform, we respond with excuses or complaining that the demands being put on us are too much, they are unfair? When we run in to obstacles, or when the goals seem un-reachable, do we just throw our hands up in the air and give up easily?

I know your work place has it’s share of frustrations.  I know that there are parts of your job that you are not too excited about.  And when the boss brings goals that you must hit, you immediately feel pressure to perform.  In your mind, the last thing you need is more PRESSURE.

On the contrary, I want to challenge your thinking and tell you that PRESSURE is exactly what you need.  Pressure to perform, pressure to do what it takes to win, to hit your goals.  

You see, athletes USE pressure to push them.  Athletes understand that pressure is a necessary part of helping them to achieve their goal.  An athlete will push through the training, will learn new skills, will feel uncomfortable in order to perform effectively on the field.  An athlete will accept their coach shouting at them and confronting them to get better, to correct mistakes, and to not give up.

Certainly, there can be too much pressure…for sure… particularly if the pressure comes from negative thinking like self doubt and judgement.  Certainly, you need to self evaluate to see if you have rested well, if you have filled up in healthy ways through great relationships, through getting encouragement, through just having fun and play.  

But most of us see any pressure that comes at work as negative, as attacking us personally.  Rather…think like an athlete.  See your work as your mission, as the place where you can accomplish great things.  When the pressure comes, use it to make you better.  Respond to it by evaluating, planning, preparing, and then work hard! As my kids would say “kill it!"

Remember, It’s not about perfection, it’s about progress.  

It’s not about comparison, it’s about personal improvement.

Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t reach as high as someone else.  But, on the other hand, don’t give yourself a pass when the pressure comes to perform.

At the beginning of your work week, get your mind in the right place.  Prepare yourself mentally that you are going to start each day by:
  1. evaluating your past performance
  2. plan to work on the right tasks that will yield the most success
  3. prepare by sharpening your skills
  4. start working really hard toward hitting you goals - now! not later, not after you read through e-mails or talking to your co-worker

Push yourself.       Lean in.            Focus.  

Do your reps.        Get better.       Get faster.  

Work like an athlete.  Use the pressure to perform better! You will kill it!!"