April 15, 2020,

Pressure can come our way unexpectedly. If anyone should know, it is the entire world caught in the grips of a brutally unprecedented pandemic.

Other scenarios abound.

There is a massive car accident up ahead.

You are caught on the freeway in a traffic jam and you need to get to work within 15 minutes but with this traffic it could be thirty.

Pressure.

A family member runs a red light and gets photo tagged. You now have an unexpected additional bill totaling over $500 and you are already are about $300 behind for the month.

Out of nowhere, your company is out sourcing your customer service job overseas. Your head  may be on the chopping block. In addition to your mortgage payment, you just bought a new car.

There are plenty more examples of pressure that can come your way.

How can we handle it?

Here are some thoughts on the subject from various sources.

At entrepreneur.com they suggest, “We all must learn to perform under pressure to be not only successful, but effective. Instead of focusing on the pressure of the moment, focus on what you already know, on the content and on the skills and knowledge that put you at the forefront in the first place (not all at the same time, of course).”

Nice suggestion.

The informative business team at inc.com add, “Train yourself to be calmer by tackling negative thoughts head-on. Put each situation in perspective by stopping the alerted, frantic worries, and instead reminding yourself: This can be handled. This is not the end of the world. First, I’ll do X. Then, I’ll do Y… and so on, until you’re feeling empowered.”

Makes perfect sense.

The creative team at mindtools.com additionally surmise, “A sensible lifestyle is central to coping with pressure, so exercise regularly, drink alcohol moderately, maintain a healthy diet, and get plenty of sleep. These commonsense steps aren’t enough on their own, however. Responding proactively to pressure can help you to manage its negative impact on you.”

Looking at the total picture seems very sensible.

As you probably have surmised, here we are focusing on external pressures that come your way. Internal ones or those pressures we have placed upon ourselves is a fascinating discussion for another time.

What we are looking at here is what happens after you are caught in a pressure cooker situation.

“The pressure of adversity does not affect the mind of the brave man… It is more powerful than external circumstances.”…Lucius Annaeus Seneca

An analysis of how to handle pressure would be incomplete without absorbing the thoughts of the great minds at psychologytoday.com who speak about performing under pressure, “Star performers have the strange gift of making their job seem devoid of stress, even effortless.

The truth is a great deal more complex. In reality, performance anxiety never goes away. The only real difference is that successful performers are good at handling it. If they are smart, they make sure that they are well rehearsed so that they are unlikely to feel crippling anxiety during the performance itself.”

We always love to look to film and one that hits the bullseye is Side Effects.

fciwomenswrestling.com femcompetitor.com, fcielitecompetitor.com, Open-Road-Films-photo-credit

No pressure. Listen up.

Side Effects is a 2013 American psychological thriller film directed by Steven Soderbergh and written by Scott Z. Burns. It stars Rooney Mara as a woman who is prescribed experimental drugs by psychiatrists (Jude Law and Catherine Zeta-Jones) after her husband (Channing Tatum) is released from prison.

After her husband Martin completes a four-year prison sentence for insider trading, Emily Taylor drives into a wall in an apparent suicide attempt. Jonathan Banks, her assigned psychiatrist, prescribes a series of antidepressants, but none work. Jonathan contacts Emily’s previous psychiatrist, Victoria Siebert, who suggests an experimental new drug, Ablixa. The drug seems to help Emily but gives her sleepwalking episodes as a side effect.

One night, Emily stabs Martin to death while sleepwalking. Jonathan fights for Emily’s acquittal in court. She pleads insanity and is declared not guilty on the condition that she stays in a psychiatric hospital until cleared by Jonathan. The publicity destroys Jonathan’s reputation, and his colleagues assume negligence on his part.

Well, well, well. Talk about pressure for Mr. Banks.

As psychiatrist Banks begins to reflect on his plight, things are not adding up.

What we loved about the film and Jude Law’s incredible and insightful portrayal of a shrink who doesn’t shrink back under severe pressure is how at first he does what most therapists should do.

Emotionally detached, analyze his situation.

Next, based upon that analysis, what are the clues suggesting to you as to what is really going here?

Once you draw certain conclusions, what creative action plan can you come up with to get yourself out of a crisis situation where you can lose both your practice and family?

If you watch the film how he cleverly fights back is absolutely brilliant.

“There is a lot of pressure put on me, but I don’t put a lot of pressure on myself. I feel if I play my game, it will take care of itself.”… LeBron James

He bends but he doesn’t break under the pressure.

The exceptional reviewers at the legendary rogerebert.com website add, “The early scenes of “Side Effects” are fairly spellbinding as Soderbergh quietly but effectively puts viewers into the anxious, jagged mindset off someone who feels out of sync with the world around her and helpless to do anything about it. At the same time, he and screenwriter Scott Z. Burns (who previously collaborated on “The Informant!,” and “Contagion“) offer a cuttingly satirical glimpse at an overmedicated world in which doctors serve as paid mouthpieces for pharmaceutical companies and everyone has a recommendation for some pill or another that will presumably smooth over pesky traces of everyday existence.”

We gleaned that too.

So that it doesn’t get lost, what impressed us most here was the story of a man under a great deal of pressure with no supporters, a very common life experience when things go wrong, who becomes very analytical and methodical in solving his problem.

Therein appears to be the key to handling an unexpected pressure situation that has been thrust upon you.

View yourself as a detective instead of a victim.

Take steps. Analyze data. Be creative in your solutions.

By doing so, when pressure comes your way, you’ll have the confidence to know that based upon past experience, you can develop a plan to effectively handle it.

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Opening photo fciwomenswrestling.com femcompetitor.com, fcielitecompetitor.com, Open-Road-Films-photo-credit

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/246963

https://www.inc.com/rhett-power/12-proven-ways-successful-people-deal-with-the-pressure-to-perform.html

https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/coping-under-pressure.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Side_Effects_(2013_film)

https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/side-effects-2013

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-human-beast/201301/the-secret-performance-under-pressure

https://fciwomenswrestling.com/

https://www.fcielitecompetitor.com/

https://grapplingstars.com/

https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/pressure-quotes