Feeling Pressure to Perform? Give Yourself a Break
Golf, to me, is one of those sports which carries a great pressure to perform. At the professional level, you have fans surrounding you in judgmental silence. Since I am not much of a golfer, when I play, I could feel that pressure to perform, or, I could ignore it and just have fun. There is a correlation between playing that sport and what we do in our daily occupations.
Let’s take the case of Tiger Woods. He has had challenges of many types in the last 3 years, but after the first 3 rounds of the 2015 Masters, he was in contention for the win. Then came hole one. The announcers mentioned that of all the holes Tiger has played at The Masters, the first tee shot was the most difficult.
And I could understand. Talk about pressure to perform! Tiger is still one of the 3 or 4 most recognized golfers in the world so can you imagine stepping up to that first shot of the day? Today, the last day, Tiger hooked the shot into the 9th fairway (the hole that is parallel to the 1st hole fairway), not exactly where you want to be. He is such a good golfer, and had done that SO many times at Augusta, that he knew how to recover and saved par on that hole.
Following in Woods’ footsteps, 21-year-old Jordan Spieth, in his second Masters tournament, not only ignored pressure to perform but set a record for being the first golfer ever to be 19 shots under par (average) for the tournament on his way to winning it.
How does that same pressure to perform effect each of us? I can tell you that I very much enjoy having a bunch of incredible small business entrepreneurs, standing around, with notebooks and laptops in hand, watching me create a demographically perfect marketing plan for a couple who own a small company together but who rarely get a chance to get away for a few days to recharge and reactivate their sales (small plug there for our upcoming Small Business Breakthrough Bootcamps). That was not always the case. We have now done multiple dozens of bootcamps though, and it was not always the case. The first couple of bootcamps I felt plenty of pressure to perform.
I think, though, many of us put too much pressure to perform upon ourselves and when we hit the occasional bogey (that’s one over par, a little worse than the expected average) we let it bother us for far too long. So what IF you didn’t make that sale? Do you need more of the exact right kind of clients? Take a step back, breathe, and get back to your plan. What about pressure to perform? Do you need help getting rid of that pressure to perform? Or getting more sales?
UPDATE: When Tiger Woods came out of nowhere, almost literally, to win the 2019 Masters, it broke a fourteen year attempt to be on top of the Masters leader board again. Those years had given him a sense of perspective. His quote was “When I tapped the [final] putt in, I don’t know what I did, but I know I screamed. To have my kids there, it’s come full circle. My dad was here in ’97, and now I’m the dad with two kids there.” The pressure was finally off. Tiger Woods had never stopped trying.
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