Success is Messy

focus under pressureEntrepreneurs, by nature, are risk takers. That’s true even if you don’t see yourself that way. As a business owner, you’re doing something that most people simply talk about. It’s hard work, and you’re willing to do what’s necessary.

Sometimes, however, things don’t go as planned. It gets messy. Those instances test your commitment. Maybe you wonder, “Am I really cut out for this?”

Those tough moments require tenacity, perseverance and emotional skills. Do you maintain focus under pressure?

How you respond when things start to fall apart matters. When you witness someone else succeed, although they’re not more talented than you, you question why them. They respond differently to adversity, leaning into the challenge rather than call it quits.

The champion mindset

We witness elite athletes do this all the time. And, admire their tenacity. If you’re an athlete, then you know what I’m talking about.

Basically, a small margin exists in the physical abilities between elite athletes. It’s a matter of one point, one shot or a fraction of a second to claim the winning title. The winners respond to adversity differently than all the other athletes.

Elite athletes and growth-minded entrepreneurs share similarities. What works for athletes applies to you, and your business. Read the post. #getpaidwhatyoureworth Click To Tweet

Why am I talking about athletes? Because elite athletes and growth-minded entrepreneurs share similarities. What works for athletes applies to you, and your business.

Thinking shuts down

Overwhelm, especially under high pressure circumstances, affects everything you do. Without the proper skills your higher level thinking shuts down. Even the simple decisions feel difficult during those moments. That’s when you become reactive, doing things against your better judgment.

Imagine remaining focused and decisive rather than cave into the overwhelm.

Here’s how to focus under pressure:

  • Pinpoint the Challenge. What type of pressure causes overwhelm? Start to gain awareness about which events disrupt your focus.

  • Pressure Response, What do you tell yourself when you feel overwhelmed? High pressure moments can easily shatter your confidence. A reactive response causes your thoughts to magnify the problem. Do you know the circumstance that caused your perspective to shift? Even highly successful entrepreneurs sometimes crumble under pressure.

  • Perception. The rules and stories we unknowingly create influence our response. As a result, an unexpected circumstance triggers a specific response. You already know about fight, flight or freeze. Which is your go-to response?

Typically, you’re not in a dangerous situation. Your brain, however, can’t discriminate between losing a client and getting chased by a tiger. As a matter of survival, it causes you to respond as if you are about to become lunch for that tiger.

focus under pressureOverwhelm is an emotional response. It’s similar to an athlete choking under pressure. Elite athletes practice to maintain focus under pressure. As a result, they learn to quickly assess a situation without emotion. The ability to remain neutral, and slightly detached, is a game-changer. You learn to act, not react, under pressure.

  • Pattern. Honestly assess your typical response to pressure. Look for patterns. Sometimes it’s obvious to everyone but you. During high pressure moments, do you check in and figure out your next steps? Or, do you check out to reduce the overwhelm? Decide if you’re satisfied with your typical response. If not, we can discuss how it’s possible to change your response.

  • Prepare a plan. Now that you’ve done some digging around it’s time to plan. Who do you need to become to maintain focus under pressure? It’s an interesting question most entrepreneurs rarely ask themselves. 

Don’t wait for the next challenge. Like athletes, prevent caving in when the pressure is on. Train for the way you’d like to respond when things get messy. Prevention requires less effort than intervention. But, it’s not the popular choice.

  • Performance Coaching. You’re the best investment that you can make in your business.

    Athletes get coached from the very beginning. Whereas, many entrepreneurs are fiercely independent. So, they figure it out themselves because they don’t like asking for help.

    Success happens from the inside out. Your mindset influences everything you choose to do, or not do. Often you’re unable to recognize some important clues, because you’re too close to the problem. As a result, it’s frustrating, costly and time consuming.

  • Power Play. Develop a response strategy for challenging moments. Figure out how to remain calm and focused under pressure. Of course, practice is the final step.

Don’t leave your mindset to chance. Improve your ability to bounce back when unexpected challenges arise. What skills do you already possess that can help?

Learn from your previous experiences.

  • focus under pressureWith pen and paper, list the problem and your response.

  • Describe the new response that you’d like to develop.

  • Write which thoughts cause you to lose focus under pressure.

  • Identify what you are willing to do differently to change your response.

  • If you can’t think of anything, then think of someone else you know who remains calm under pressure.

  • Observe what they do that is different from you.

  • Now list what you noticed about them that you could model.

Create a new response to pressure

You’re able to rise up and overcome any challenge that comes your way. Continue to gain insight about your response to pressure. Develop a new response. Gradually you’ll remain composed where you used to unravel.

Do you lose focus under pressure? You know it’s a weakness and do your best to cover it up. Your mindset influences everything you do. Imagine what would be different if you maintained focus, even when unexpected challenges arise. If you are reading this and ready to uplevel your mindset, then connect with Loren for a complimentary strategy session.