Pressure has serious implications for people, the company they work for or the businesses they engage in.

Considering the fact that pressure from work, as well as stressful work environments, may – to a certain extent may be unavoidable, this article hopes to make a valuable contribution by reeling out germane ways of embracing pressure and coping with stress in the midst of job demands.

To a large extent, the reactions of people as well as their coping strategy either pushes them or pulls them further away from greatness.

Embracing Pressure

People respond to pressure differently. This stems from the fact that everyone is equipped with a choice of deploying alternative methods in responding and coping with pressure. However, it is germane to equally note that to cope with pressure, the mind has to be alert and properly prepared as it sets the stage for the outcome; thus, mental flexibility is required.

The idea of embracing pressure is activating one’s proactive skills, which focuses on accepting the challenge and focusing on delivering despite the odds. It is also the process of focusing on the task at hand and delivering with precision.

Therefore, the first response to pressure determines the upshot or result which will either be excelling or deteriorating.  However, it should be strongly noted that the method(s) deployed when trying to cope with pressure differs from person to person – is not a one-size fit.

Thus, the need to discover what works for you. Suffice it to also state that people respond to pressure and stress differently.

In an interview carried out on the various ways people respond to stress, a woman in her late thirties said:

When I am under pressure, I usually let out an emotional outburst; I cry, I shout but afterwards, I act. This helps me set my mind for the task ahead. Emotional outburst always instigates the drive to accomplish my set goals. To make it simpler, I will say that in tough situations, stress makes me stronger.

Another, a man in his late forties who works in a bank said:

I leverage pressure as building blocks for success in my career. I have learned much more from failure than I have ever from success. How will I unlock my capacity without pressure? Pressure is my push action and seed for results. I have come to notice that pressure shows up to stretch me as such, I do not joke when I a pressured. The resilience starts from my mind.

The response of the duo to pressure and stress simply brings to the fore, the fact that pressure is the key to unlocking one’s capacity for greatness. Therefore, if properly managed, it will either engineer one’s victory, success or downfall.

With specific emphasis on the strategies people employ to navigate through the storms of pressure and stress in one’s job, it is imperative first, to state that there are challenging situations that come with every job but when one makes it a habit to plan and prioritize, navigating through stress will not be cumbersome.

To find out the view of others on this, I organized a focused group discussion with people who engage in different jobs. This group of eight comprised artisans, business people and civil servants.

Firstly, the artisans who fix home appliances noted that planning is an important tool in handling stress for them. Specifically, the young man noted that:

When people call me for jobs, I draw up a detailed plan of the houses I will visit in a day. At the end, if I finish on time, I go home to rest; I do not bother to stress myself, going to do other jobs. This helps me get ahead of stressful situations.

After attending to and meeting the deadlines, I take out ample time to engage in recreational activities like swimming and playing tennis. This really helps my body and mind to come really alive and improve my sleep. Though, I am still learning how manage my time more effectively.

The business people and marketers in the group had the same views. Specifically, one of the ladies who happens to be a marketer said:

I am not stress-resistant; I also go through stress. In fact, when it comes to stress, it is always easy for me to get caught in its emotion especially when I have not met my target for the month.

However, instead of focusing on my feelings, I try to use one of the soft skills I possess which is communication and problem solving to approach my clients.  I innovate better when under pressure because it spurs me to think out ways of communicating in a way that persuades clients to patronize what I sell and what we do.

Thirdly, the civil servant, a woman in her early forties states:

Stress is one of the major factors that motivates me. The storms of pressure help me deliver efficiently. Overtime, I have experienced stressful situations and I can sincerely say that I deliver my best when I am under pressure. I see a lot of people who panic when they are caught up in the wings of stress but honestly, that is not for me. I have trained myself to stay focused on the task at hand”.

This statement brings to the fore Dan Millman’s quote:

We discover our character through decisions under pressure.

Lastly, one of the participants said stress impacts his mental performance; thus, to navigate the storms of stress and pressure, he sets deadlines for himself and also sets a sleep schedule – that is the only way he navigates the obstacle of stress. Particularly, he notes:

I do not use my devices 30- 60 minutes before bed, instead, I meditate. With this, I wake up strong and ready to face the day.

What comes to mind from the responses is that the storms of pressure and stress are always present; however, people determine the extent to which it affects them. It is a natural reaction to a disturbing situation which instigates people to react.

It is equally a motivation tool which enables others to make positive changes and further get things done. Therefore, learning and adopting healthy ways to cope with stress cannot be over-emphasised in recent times.

In conclusion, pressure and stress, especially at work cannot be avoided. However, when under pressure, you can win with your mind. Trying to make a living creates daily stress; however, when approached appropriately, success is assured.

In all, choices differ in the way people navigate stress and embrace pressure. You are the major determinant of your greatness; thus, your choice in managing pressure and stress can either push or deter you- It is either a push or pull factor… The choice is yours to make!!!




Born in the late eighties, Ihuoma is a writer and columnist who lives in Kaduna. She attended ABU Zaria where she bagged a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre and Performing Arts. She is passionate about writing especially in the area of child upbringing. This is evident in her books titled “Heed!” a drama and “Family Moulding Whither Choices and Outcomes “. In her spare time, she plays volleyball and tennis.

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