“Pressure makes diamonds”

Even in a life of routine and control, its inevitable things don’t always go to plan.

This is when the mettle of a person gets tested – will they lose their nerve?  Their temper?

…Or will they stay calm and calculate their next action?  How do they handle this pressure?

People are animals of impulse, letting emotions dictate how they handle a situation.

This can be damaging to reputation and many are not aware how much their emotions take control when faced with adversity.

How can pressure be utilised to your advantage?

Here are 3 Tips to Develop your Resilience to Pressure

Breath, recalibrate, deliver

Imagine you’ve got the biggest presentation of your life, 200 attendees from across the country listening to you in a webinar.

Every small detail has been perfected, you’re not going to blow this chance, but then… the webinar technology fails.

The attendees begin to get impatient – inside you’re panicking, upset and even angry with yourself.

This really happened to me!

Luckily, I’d just read about the ‘breath, recalibrate, deliver’ method from the book SAS: Who Dares Wins.

When under pressure:

  • breath – pause for a moment, focus and don’t let the emotion dictate how you will react
  • recalibrate – think through what is happening and review your options to handle the situation
  • deliver – carry out the reframed approach to the situation

Using this approach, I calmly apologised to the attendees, began troubleshooting and resolved the problem to start my presentation.

This approach is not an instinct; therefore, reinforcement is required – every morning I reaffirm this idea and say to myself

“If something doesn’t work out today remember – breath, recalibrate, deliver”

I introduce the breath, recalibrate, delivery method in my post: Handling pressure: Lessons from the SAS.


Forgive yourself

When you lose control of emotions, you’ll naturally feel disappointed how you reacted.

This is where learning to forgive yourself is important.

If you’ve hurt someone else from an outburst, this makes forgiving yourself harder.  The best approach is to speak to those impacted and apologise, this is the first step to moving on.

Dwelling on mistakes too much will create a negative loop where you continue to fail under pressure again and again.

Whatever happens don’t let mistakes consume you, learn from them instead.


Let the situation make you stronger

With hardship comes growth – those who try to live without pressure typically react the worst when something does go wrong and many of their ‘issues’ seem like nothing to an average functioning adult – they have poor resilience.

Situations of chaos can be utilised to our advantage – don’t avoid difficulties, embrace them and become a stronger person.

Reflecting on pressure can help you learn how to do better next time and regular exposure to adversity will help build resilience resulting in a calmer approach handling stress.

When it all goes wrong, see the positives in the situation and how it can be utilised to be better at the task.


Keep calm, keep controlled

In the scheme of control, as individuals we are fully empowered how we chose to react and what lessons we can learn by putting ourselves under pressure.

I hope these words inspire you to think with greater care how you react to bad situations – you can own these instances by exerting self-control, forgiving yourself when you don’t and develop your resilience to challenging situations.

This article was originally published for Tribe Media under the title Be Cool – Develop Resilience To Pressure.  Slight modifications have been made to the original content.

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11 thoughts on “3 Tips to Develop your Resilience to Pressure

  1. Really Great advice James. It is so hard to keep calm when technology fails or something else fails. Gosh it has happened so many time with us, that it has become part of the course. I mean what can you do!

    I noticed you have a MailChimp account. Can I ask how does that work for you? With regard to people following your blog and then joining your email list ? And how do you use your email is t? I want to create an email list but can’t see how to differentiate it from, follow my blog and join my email list too? I hope this makes sense. Would appreciate your advice.
    Ps I have pined this on my business Pinterest – I hope you get some view from it.

    Regards bella


    1. Hi Bella,

      Firstly, thank you glad you enjoyed the post and shared on Pinterest 🙂

      Regarding MailChimp –
      I wanted the mailing list as I desired building up a list of contacts off WordPress, although people can subscribe using the follow button, that just sends people the blog post, whereas I wanted to create a more personal message to subscribers.

      I did actually remove my ‘Follow blog’ link to encourage people to subscribe, but I got people saying they couldn’t see a link to follow my blog, so I brought it back.

      When people follow your blog, this is wordpress users only and I don’t get access to their email to include in the mailing list. So they just get blog updates through the reader, rather than my newsletter content.

      As you can see I just keep pushing the mailchimp newsletter at the end of every post.

      It also has advantages when you use other social media, to help keep non-WordPress users in touch by encouraging them to join the mailing list.

      I hope this helps, I will probably write something a bit more on this as a future post if that would be of interest?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Monthly works well for me as it doesn’t pressure to get something out there. I’m on some mailing lists which send something daily which I think is a bit much (always worth remembering this goes to peoples personal mailboxes).

        Key things with mailchimp. You setup your mailing list this gives you the various functionality to join the list.

        Then there is the ‘campaign’ section where you can create emails to send (can create joining email if desired). This is pretty simple – like writing a blog pretty much. You just have to select the mailing list it goes to and you send a test email to see how it looks.

        Good luck with it!

        Liked by 1 person

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