This is an excerpt from the book I am writing called, “Living Your Purposeful Life”
How do you deal with pressure? Does it knock you down, prevent you from moving forward, a paralyzing fear? Or, does it make you perform better?
For me it depends on the situation. I have been in many situations where I have had customers call me to fix something, something critical, and I have no idea how I am going to fix it, but I also know that I am their only hope. In most of those situations, I am able to rise up and find a solution for the customer. Even when customers are pissed at having the issue, I have no problems getting them to settle down and work on the resolution of the problem. It goes back to basic customer service, sometimes the customer really just wants to know that you care about them, more than they care about getting the problem fixed and I can always show them that I care about their problem.
There are times when pressure stops me in my tracks and prevents me from moving on. As I sat down this morning to write, I was feeling that pressure. The pressure to produce some content that would be good for my book. The pressure to produce something to go on my blog this week to attract attention to the fact that I am writing a book. Attracting attention to me is a fear unto itself.
Funny, because for the past few weeks that I have been writing and posting information stating that I am writing a book, I have gotten nothing but wonderful and surprising comments from my readers and yet, this morning, I am feeling the pressure.
It was easy to write this book when people did not know I was writing a book. Yes, there were a handful of people who knew I was writing a book and they were all very supportive of me and my process. Plus, all I had to do was report to them that I was writing for the amount of time that I had told them I was going to write. They did not read my writing to see if it was any good, so no pressure to perform.
It is interesting that today, I am feeling the pressure of writing, writing something that will be part of my book, something that might be posted on my blog to tell you, “Yes, I am working on the book.”
Well, how did I deal with it? First, I got myself where I was supposed to be writing. Right now, I am writing in Starbucks. I went to Starbucks, ordered my Tazo Chi, sat down, and opened up my computer. I could have stayed home and come up with excuses, because it is a pretty cold morning and I am tired, I could have crawled back into bed and kept warm.
Second, as the pressure began to mount, I closed my eyes and took a few deep breaths and brought myself to the present moment. As I got present, I realized that all the fear I was feeling was because of something that “might” happen in the future. The fear around “what are they going to think - about what I write or if I do not post something?” “Going to think. Going is in the future, nothing that I can do about that right now. So, I just kept breathing.
Third, I leaned into what could I write about. I had no idea what I could write about and as I leaned into it, I felt the pressure and felt that I should write about the pressure that I am feeling. How was I dealing with it and see where the writing goes.
You can see the outcome of the writing and judge for yourself. I feel that the writing has flowed from me as the writing should flow through me. Was it one complete flowing work? Of course not! There were times that I had to stop and breath to get me back into the present moment as I started to drift into the future and I needed to pull myself back to now, because now is all that I can control. I can not control what you are going to think about this writing, all I can do is be present now and do the best I can now.
In the beginning of this section, I talked about how I was able to deal with customer issues, but after writing about pressure, I know that I was able to deal with customer issues because I was present to the issue. I was in the now when I worked with them. I do remember getting messages from the customer that they were having an issue and not wanting to call them back, because I “might” not be able to help them. I “might” not be able to fix their problem, but I always called them, because they needed me and knowing that they needed me was more important to me than the fear I was having about fixing the problem itself.
It is also interesting to note that many times, I needed to see the issue in the present moment versus just taking the customer’s description of the problem. For some reason, seeing the problem in the now, helped me find a resolution to the issue and not always right away, but by always being present to the issue.
So, when you are faced with pressure, what is causing the pressure? Is it thoughts about the future, or are you in the moment doing the best that you can? If you are not, stop and take a moment to get yourself to the right place, in the present moment, and feel into the moment and see what comes to you.