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How to take the pressure off and succeed


We live in an increasingly pressured world, where ‘success’ means everything. We feel the need to be seen achieving or developing by our peers, online as much as offline. The people who surround you professionally all seem to have a personal brand that people can recognise and respect. They are extensively qualified and quickly moving up the ranks, and you feel stuck. So how do you take the pressure off and succeed?

What is ‘success’?

Be honest: are you truly jealous of somebody’s success, or just jealous of the fact they claim to be successful? There doesn’t seem to be much of a difference between the two, but learning the difference is key to taking the pressure off yourself. Success is defined by you, and what you consider to be attainment in a given area of your life, be it your family, career or a personal project. [Success is a ritual: 10 habits to achieve it]. When you’re jealous of somebody’s success, you’re jealous that they are achieving something that you want to achieve. When you’re jealous of somebody claiming to be successful, you’re jealous that you don’t feel that way about your own successes. Think carefully about what you want in life and focus on it. Don’t worry what other people are doing, because your only rival is yourself. Eventually, you might feel like celebrating as much as they do every time you improve or reach a personal goal.

Why pressuring yourself to succeed is bad

Putting pressure on yourself is a key symptom to anxiety issues [5 key triggers of anxiety]. Anxiety is the enemy to creativity and engagement – you become so concerned about failure, you forget to even try and succeed. You create imaginary boundaries based on what you interpret around you, from industry competitors to the tone of voice of your manager, and continually tighten them every time you fall short of the mark or make a mistake. Anxiety can build to a point where you stop trying, beaten by the negative internal voice [21 things you need to do to avoid negative thoughts] rather than by an actual obstacle. It can also prevent you from thinking clearly as the pressure builds up, causing you to make mistakes anyway.

How to overcome pressure

You need to learn to trust and release. There’s only so much you can achieve in a given day and only so much of an outcome you can control. Accept your responsibilities, and more importantly the things that aren’t your responsibility. [How to stop the inner critic and make friends with the inner coach]

Another key skill is stop overthinking. By organising your tasks and goals and only allowing yourself to focus on them one at a time, you can concentrate better and not get overwhelmed by every part of your job, from the well-being of the company to your future prospects. You ultimately only have the present day to work and do something productive with.
By not overthinking you also allow for time to give you the answer to questions you can’t answer yourself at that moment. It is impossible to know everything at once, and sometimes you need patience and trust to know you’ll know the right thing to do at the right time.[5 methods to stop overthinking] For more advice on how to manage overthinking, low confidence and the inner critic, sign up to our site today.

The ultimate way to take pressure off is to stop pressuring yourself. Success is achieved in silence and makes noise for itself – you will not need to bring attention to it. As hard as it is to be faced with successful people left, right and centre, you need to believe enough in yourself that you will join them in celebrating one day. Focus on the present moment and work hard on what you can, and success will come.


Photo Credit: Copyright: alanpoulson / 123RF Stock Photo


This article was contributed by Pink Moods.

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