More than one way to skin a cat

Written by  on May 3, 2005 

When we are put under pressure, all sorts of interesting things happen, but the one effect that causes us the most difficulty is the fact that we cannot see a straight forward way to deal with what we are confronted with. We seem frozen to the spot, caught in a place where there is no way to move.

Think about it. If we were able to come up with a few options, decide on a good course of action and follow it through, we would have the situation handled and be home in time for dinner.

But that is pressure for you, it clouds the mind and we get caught…’, ‘It could almost be called writers block for the pressurized. Once you are in that situation, there seems to be no way to go. All you can see is the danger with no way of dealing with it… and don’t you just hate the happy jerk that comes in and offers his advice on the matter…

Does it help?

Not one blasted bit!!!!

In fact, all you want to do is scream.

Now it’s all very well to be told to be positive, not to worry about it, or make it go right! That’s fine and dandy for the person who is NOT in your position. If you were able to do something about it, you’d be doing it… and still this happy jerk is there, in your ear hole with all this perfect advice… NOT!!!

A few times before, I have mentioned that we always seem to end up doing the same thing. Each time we do this, we expect that it will turn out different. It never happens. What worked one time back in the dim dark ages seems to be the solution we always hold on to. The truth of the matter, though, is that it hasn’t worked since way back then, but still we try.

We need to be able to take a fresh look at what’s going on in front of our face, right now, not based on some far off time when we were very young. While we continue to focus on a group of situations it all becomes too much. Take this instance right now and what do we have. It’s much more manageable just dealing with this one thing (there’s that jerk again with the happy advice… “Go Away!”)

So what do you do, huh?

All this advice and help on offer, but you don’t seem to find any that fits… don’t worry; it happens to a fair few of us. It just depends on the pressure exerted.

Families are a great resource for this pressure. It’s like we have an inbuilt pressure cylinder that pressurizes as we meet up with family and the more family, the greater the pressure. Families are also a great source of advice, all of it quite firmly based on everyone else’s idea of how you should act, not yours. As long as it fits their agenda, they are happy, but where do you fit?

This is where you need to be innovative. Don’t wait till next time you get caught in the middle of the pressure cylinder. Now is the time to sort out some strategies and then practice them in front of the mirror or in front of a wall. This type of practice will amazingly click in when the pressure goes on. The words come back to you. You start to deal with the situation in front of you, with the knowledge that you have practiced it thoroughly.

Every sports team, athlete, swimmer, boxer, runner, any sport whatsoever, practice. They practice their moves, keep themselves fit, become familiar with their role. It’s considered the done thing, and yet, we ordinary individuals, all sit around doing our work without so much as even thinking of drilling or practicing pressurized situations. So if practice makes great sports teams, then there is a fair chance that practice could make us more capable of dealing with the real event. It’s different than what you are currently doing. It’s innovative and it works.

If you wish to see how much work goes into being a stand up comic then have a read of this question and the long answer on Jokes and Comedians

Jokes and Comedians?

What happened?

I thought we were talking Pressure and dealing with it?

Well that’s just the point. Think innovative. Stand up Comics deal with the hardest audience of all… Your family is the second hardest (now I am joking.) The fact is, preparation and practice will make you better at dealing with the pressures you are faced with. The above page will show you just what can be done to improve. Become familiar with you!

This pressure isn’t only restricted to families, either. Working situations, friendships, in fact, life, all fall under this same type of pressure you can face. Trying to practice for every single situation is virtually impossible but practicing in general will bring about a new confidence and familiarity with pressure itself. You start to gain an intimate knowledge with the subject and that, in itself, allows you the luxury of knowing that you will be on top of the subject when it presents itself.

I should point out that families aren’t necessarily the place where your pressure will come from. The point for everyone of us is to isolate where the pressure is for us and to deal with it in a controlled and safe environment by drilling, practicing and running through various scenarios until we become at ease within ourselves. Don’t let up just because you are bored saying it to a wall. This action may just give you the edge in that pressure situation where you keep your head while everyone around you has lost theirs.

So there you have it. There are some other points to be aware of. Dealing with these pressure situations can create some confusion around you. Remember that the people around you expect you to act the same way you always have. Its human nature and its also something we all inadvertently do… make up our own mind about what way this pressure should be dealt with, even if it has nothing to do with us. So be aware that the jerk with the advice will still let it be known that he has some great ideas. It will be up to you as to whether you take this advice on board. Your own experiences will give you the answer here!

As you deal with your pressure, you will start to see just exactly how others are dealing with it in their own way. Unless they too, are being innovative and dealing only with the present scenario, you will be able to see that they are suffering under this pressure and this, in turn, makes their decisions debatable.

Suddenly you become aware of the whole area and find that you are not only dealing with the pressure exerted on yourself, but also clearing up the pressure for those around you too.

It is also important to move away from criticizing anything you personally do. Even if you make a mistake, learn from it, apologize, if necessary, but don’t resort to personal attacks on yourself. Beating yourself up also devours your confidence. There is absolutely no need or reason to do it.

It also gives others a lack of confidence in you. Most of your problems around you can be attributed to you and your view of yourself. A strong assertion and one I am willing to argue for!!! People feel at ease around people who talk in a positive manner (and I aren’t talking about this freaky “I am the best” type of positive. A calm exterior creates an ease that infiltrates everyone. We can all recall instances of some calm person walking in and saving the day.

It’s that cool head while all around you people are losing theirs.

I know, I know, I mentioned that before, shows how much importance I place on it!

Oh, and of course, practice!!!!

Until Next Week

Cheers… Bill

Bill Gray

Bill is a Business Coach. Working with Individuals, Businesses and Organisations to create better environments and to develop and enhance business ”potential”, into successful business practices.

Sydney, Australia

Ph +61 413 949 521

Copyright ©Bill Gray billgray.biz All Rights Reserved 2005.

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