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Thrive Under Pressure

Pressure isn't scary, it's actually empowering

a man holding the world on his shoulders

Do you thrive under pressure, or do you crumble? Here’s how to thrive:

Situations of the highest pressure are partnered with a one-of-a-kind trust, a trust that is not earned but is unequivocally given.

A firefighter saving a life has this trust, a CEO of a company has this trust, a surgeon performing an operation has this trust.

And this trust is one of the most energizing things you can have in your possession - the comfort, confidence and power it provides is unmatched anywhere else in the world.

Here’s a story:

As an ice hockey goalie, pressure was the name of the game and I lived for it.

a girl ice hockey goalie
that's me!

I played on an all boys team my first two years in high school, so the pressure was even more intense.

One night, we were playing our rivals on home ice. Earlier that season we had lost to them on their ice, so this time around our rink was filled to the brim with students and parents and was quite literally standing room only.

I was on a high. All of these people, whether they knew it or not, had put their undying trust to win the game in my hands.

My team could suck all night long, but if I was on my game - we couldn’t lose.


Well, that is exactly what happened. The game was back and forth all night long, but I was on fire. I was thriving off the pressure, energized from the trust and support of (almost) every single person in that ice rink.

I made save after save after save, and we ended up winning the game 1-0. I still remember it like it was yesterday, the buzzer going off and being completely swarmed in celebration.

The next day during homeroom, there was a sizzle reel of clips of the game on TV that the entire school of 2500 students watched. After that, I was hooked on pressure.

The Takeaway:

In that game, I wasn’t worried about messing up and if they would believe in me or trust me if I did because I already had their faith and trust. Doubt never existed because there was no basis for it.

How can you access that trust? Here are some tools:

  1. Recognize you have it. When you are in a position of high pressure and high trust, recognize that you exist there. It’s not a matter of getting to the position anymore because you are already in it. You’ve made it. You have it. Embrace it.

  2. Practice builds expertise builds trust. A first year med student won’t be handed a scalpel in an OR, they need to build the expertise first. Once the expertise is built, the scalpel is handed over, the trust is given. Build your expertise to thrive.

  3. Visualize the outcome. Don’t get stuck thinking about the pressure, get busy thinking about winning. Manifesting a winning outcome and the feeling that comes with it gets you laser-focused on that outcome, prevents you from looking back at potential failure, and brings ambition and action to the surface.

Pressure can be a goldmine to success and achievement if we are able to navigate it.

So, next time you’re in a high pressure situation ask yourself…is it scary or is actually empowering?

Shifting your perspective may just win the game.

Joy comes from adventure today. Time to shake the world.
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