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The Champion Forum Podcast

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TCFP217: Turning Pressure Into Potential

Thank you for listening to The Champion Forum Podcast with Jeff Hancher! If you want to grow and accomplish something significant, you will feel pressure. Pressure is normal! Still, many people try to avoid pressure instead of managing it to produce greater personal growth. In today's episode, we'll talk about how to harness pressure and use it to your advantage instead of letting it crush you.

The Difference Between Stress and Pressure While we all face stress and pressure in our personal and professional lives, there is a clear distinction between the two. Stress refers to the situation of too many demands and not enough resources to meet them. Pressure is a situation in which you perceive that something at stake depends on your performance's outcome. Stress can lead to adverse health and career outcomes, but pressure can be a positive motivating factor when appropriately channeled.

Q: Have you ever misidentified pressure as stress? Describe that situation. How could you have changed your mindset to serve you better? Have you ever been stressed because you did not manage pressure well? How would you do things differently today?

The Science of Pressure During times of pressure, our bodies react by releasing stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones prepare our bodies for a fight-or-flight response. Many people give up and flee from whatever is causing them discomfort or try to fight through it. Either way, your body's goal is to remove the pressure. However, strong leaders learn to embrace pressure rather than fight or avoid it. If you don't allow yourself to experience pressure, you reduce your expectations and never find out what you can accomplish.

How to Respond to Pressure Change Your Mindset The first step is to change our mindset. Instead of seeing pressure as something negative, you can view it as an opportunity for growth and learning. When you're under pressure, you're forced to stretch yourself and push beyond your limits. By reframing pressure as a challenge rather than a threat, you can approach it with a more positive and productive mindset.

Q: What is your current mindset toward pressure? Is that mindset serving you? Why or why not?

Keep Perspective Reflect on the significance of what you're doing. It is better to try and fail than to never try a all. Even when it means experiencing pressure, demonstrating your abilities benefits others. Don't keep your gifts to yourself! People will benefit from your knowledge or skills if you are willing to step out and be a little uncomfortable.


Develop Gratitude Be thankful for the opportunity to influence others.

Commit to Doing Your Best Deciding to give it your all makes a big difference in what you can accomplish. Eventually, embracing pressure with a positive mindset will come more naturally.

Take Action The question is not if the opportunity will come but if you will be prepared to seize the opportunity. Instead of letting pressure paralyze you, use it as a motivator to take action toward your goals. Visualize the possible positive outcomes. Close your eyes and take a moment to see yourself being successful. Use this image to motivate yourself to commit to personal growth even when you don't feel like it.

Q: Have you ever felt pressure because you were unprepared? What could you have done differently? What action can you take to be prepared for a new opportunity?

Seek Support No one was created to lead alone. Don't be afraid to seek support when you're under pressure, whether from friends, family, a mentor, or even a consultant. Putting your challenges into words can help you gain perspective and develop new solutions. Support and encouragement from friends, family, or other professionals can be invaluable when feeling overwhelmed.

Q: Who has been a support to you during times of pressure? How has their support helped you get through difficult times? Are you comfortable sharing more of what you are going through with them? Why or why not?

Application Activities:

  1. If you find yourself overwhelmed by a situation, try breaking down your tasks into smaller, more manageable steps. This process can help you feel less overwhelmed and more in control. Another technique is to set realistic goals and deadlines. You can stay focused and motivated even under pressure by creating a clear target to aim for.

  2. Mindset is a huge part of turning pressure into potential. One way to manage your mindset is by starting a daily gratitude journal. Instead of focusing on the things that are easy to feel grateful for, try asking yourself how you can be thankful for the pressure you are under and your opportunities. Then, when you are feeling pressure, you can read through this journal and gain perspective on the value of what you are going through.

  3. People often struggle to push through the discomfort because they cannot visualize what success looks like. Take a few minutes to close your eyes and visualize what success will look like


when you overcome this obstacle. How does it feel? What benefits will it have? What will it look like? How will you look when you are successful? How will others see you?

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