hard question 008 - where does pressure come from?

"Where does pressure come from?"

It's one of the questions we most love to ask people we meet - as it gives us an insight into how they view the world and their level of ownership over themselves and what's happening to them

Personally, do you feel it from your external environment? Your teachers, parents, friends, family, society? Do you feel as if the weight of the world is on your shoulders and you must perform?

Or perhaps it’s all internal for you… you’re placing these expectations and demanding something of yourself - and with that comes the pressure

But the truth is, all pressure is internal. As we’re the ones who let the pressure from external sources get to us… we’re the ones who let those expectations inside our heads and inside of us - when we could just as easily choose to decide to not listen to them

Basketballers know this best. A free-throw is a free-throw. They’ve shot hundreds of thousands of them. And it’s the exact same type of ball, the exact same feet away from a hoop that’s the exact same height - the only thing that changes is their environment. They could be shooting in their own backyard, or in the Staples Centre in front of 30,000 people…

The pressure comes only if they decide to let it in. Pressure from the moment of the game, the expectation of the crowd and their coaches + teammates… it’s the exact same free-throw they’ve shot hundreds of thousands of times before - so nothing changes

Know this, the pressure you feel is something you can work out the root cause for

Actionable Tips + Questions:

  • Sit with it the pressure and ask “where is it truly coming from?”

  • And when you identify the external source (i.e. your parents), as why you’re feeling the pressure to live up to their expectations… what is it that you’re internally feeling that causing this pressure?

  • Is it the fact you think they’ll be disappointed and not love you as much should you not reach those heights? If so, that’s ludicrous, as your parents will love you as long as you give your all to any given task - that’s all anyone could ever ask of you

Nick Maier