dealing with pressure

Dealing With Pressure: What If I Don’t Have What It Takes


“What if I don’t have what it takes?”

Ever asked this of yourself?

I have. Multiple times.

In fact, it’s the question that introduced me to the world of coaching. At the time I was managing my own small digital agency. I had about 10 clients and could not stop wondering whether they would be better served by someone else. Whether I was charging them too much money. Whether my knowledge justified what I was charging.

A couple of years later I founded BetterMan and the same question popped up. This time at a higher level. Do I have what it takes to be a leader? Do I have what it takes to take BetterMan to the next level? To compete with the greats?

Personally, I think it’s a great question to ask.

Why?

Because it gives you the space needed to sit down and take stock of your resolve, mindset, abilities, knowledge, and skills.

This question has 2 elements to it. Macro and micro.

Macro
At a macro level the question is whether you have what it takes to elevate your game, to deal with stress and pressure. It’s not a question of ability or skill but rather of mindset and composure.

“Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragements and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.” Thomas Carlyle

At a macro level, whether you have what it takes or not is completely up to you.

  • Are you willing to suffer for that which you desire?
  • Are you willing to persevere when you feel that you are moving, but not getting anywhere?
  • Are you willing to fight back when the world knocks you down?

 
Unfortunately (fortunately) the only way you will strengthen your resolve and will is by going through times that test them. But see it like this.

A test of your resolve also builds it. Your ability to cope gets twisted, pulled apart, bent until cracks start to appear. When you stay strong those cracks are filled. Reinforced. You come out stronger.

Think of it as Accretion for the mind.

This suggests that you should not merely ‘go’ through tough times. Use them. Fortify your mind.

Micro
At a micro level we are talking about your ability and skill. There should always be a gap between what you think you can do and what you can actually do.

I am not talking about gross incompetence. I am talking about believing in yourself and your ability to figure things out. To learn and acquire new skills as needed.

“Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ’em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.” ― Theodore Roosevelt

How do you then go about acquiring those skills?

Easy.

Accretion.

You identify which specific skills you need to acquire. You identify the core competencies required to master that skill. Then you get to work.

You layer hours of deliberate practice. You layer hours of focused effort. You layer hours of intention.

Do this and then tell me that you still doubt in your ability.

Life is pressure
No matter how glorious life can be in certain moments. Pressure is always lying beneath the surface. The bigger you lay your claim for success, the more you want out of life, the more pressure you will experience.

Saying yes to greatness, means saying yes to the pressure.

Those who deal with pressure effectively will go on to do great things.

Mark my words.

Acta non verba,
Erik

Erik Kruger

Erik Kruger

CEO at BetterMan
Founder and CEO of BetterMan. Obsessed with making men unstoppable. Currently completing my Masters in Business and Executive Coaching.
Erik Kruger

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39 comments

  1. Great read at a perfect time for me.
    I’m writing FCP II exams this week. I’m up to the challenge.

    1. Erik Kruger

      Glad you found it helpful. Good luck for those exams.

  2. Thanks Eric. It is as if you are writing this article just for me. I am experiencing some doubt in myself at this stage and your article gives me that strength I need to persevere.

    1. Erik Kruger

      What was your biggest take-away?

  3. Excellent and well written article. Also exactly what I needed: I have a job interview in 2 hours for a job that I spontaneously said yes to. Now I’m finding ways to execute and deliver. The “saying yes to greatness means saying yes to pressure” quote is very apt at this point – I’m definitely feeling the pressure, but I know I can use it to my advantage if I apply accretion, like I’ve proven for the last 12 months. 🙂

    Keep up the good work Erik!

    1. Erik Kruger

      Nail that interview, Jacques. Come tell us how it went and if the article helped. 🙂

  4. Great article indeed,saying yes to greatness means saying yes to pressure. At work I got a promotion on something great and it comes with too much pressure

    1. Erik Kruger

      Yes. More responsibility, more pressure. You either fold or rise.

  5. I have asked the question many times ” do I have what it takes” and then gone in the wrong direction. Great article to help me the next time the question arises to make the correct decision

    1. Erik Kruger

      We all ask it. Use it as a tool for self-awareness.

  6. Great article, thanks Erik. Life is pressure and saying yes to greatness in life means saying yes to pressure. We need to learn to master composure and clear mindset when we experience pressure.
    Capability requires hours of deliberate practice, focused effort and intention. This is exactly what I need to hear in order to improve my game.
    You’re really making willing men unstoppable.

    1. Erik Kruger

      Thanks, Kabelo. Great comment!

  7. Thank you, great article and just what I needed.

    1. Erik Kruger

      Thank you, Chayce.

  8. Agreed, any pursuit of anything worthwhile is challenging, this I where patience is the key to perseverance and faith. This is time to lay down the pride and speak up in prayer and draw alongside people who have valuation l input into your life and push on and on, the lesson and results do turn out for the good in the end.

    1. Erik Kruger

      Patience and perseverance. Amen to that.

  9. This really came at exactly when I am experiencing great pressure. Everything seems a bit out of control and I find that I tend to place the blame on myself most times even though I know not all of it is on me. I am under immense pressure at the moment but I push myself to focus on how to gain success in what I am currently doing and there are challenges ahead that seem too big to tackle but I want to believe that I do have what it takes to overcome them!

    1. Erik Kruger

      You are on the right track, Ntsane. When everything feels out of control, focus on that which you CAN control. Even if it’s small.

  10. Hi Erik, thanks for the article. Starting a new job next week and looking up for the challenge. I was a bit skeptical that I would deliver, Do I Have What It Takes???? After taking stock I realize that YES I CAN. Not only to deliver, but also to learn more.

    1. Erik Kruger

      Taking stock is incredibly important! The question should not frighten us, it should inspire us. Good luck for the new job.

  11. This is a superb article and it really resonates!! I have always been told of the ability I have but never really convinced myself. I have learnt from one “mistake” already and its time to change my thinking! This all helps but some more pieces together. Thanks Erik!

    1. Erik Kruger

      Thanks, Marc. Try to make it as simple and concise as possible. No need to complicate things. Let’s rather be practical and strategic in our approach.

  12. Thanks Erik. Awesome article. Definitely food for thought.

    1. Erik Kruger

      Thank you, Ash.

  13. Thanks for another great article, Erik. Your morning emails and the messages included are becoming a daily ritual added to my “start-up-and-grind” process so please keep it up. Looking forward to being able to work more closely with you in the near future.

    1. Erik Kruger

      Thank you, Richard. Happy to be fueling the Domination Machine.

  14. Great article. I have asked myself this many times. This surely now gives me something to use as motivation next time I ask myself this. Your morning email really inspires and motivates. Time to change my way of thinking. Thanks for making men “unstoppable”.

    1. Erik Kruger

      Thanks to you, Dawie. It’s interesting how the same question that can drive you into the depths of despair, when reframed, can become a powerful tool.

  15. At a great time when I felt the more I gave, the more the pressure. With all pointing that I am winning, the pressure keeps mounting. Now I know I am on the right track. Thanks

    1. Erik Kruger

      You are, Theko. Pressure makes you stronger. Embrace it.

  16. I am involved in so many projects at work.I often get asked how I manage to cope. Your daily email’s help me to focus,plan effectively and execute. Thank you.Keep it coming!

  17. I have been working on changing my flat to a private chilling self catering holiday space for any guest visiting Durban I am making progress but finance is keeping it slow but I see the difference by far.

  18. I love this article, it speaks volumes to me as I just today applied to be a team leader at my current job where I’m a sales consultant.

    I take it that I have always been making progress and by moving to a managerial position, I will get to gain experience in leadership and development which is so exciting for me.

    This is the yet another step closer to my future dream bring that of running a brand that makes a difference everywhere. Like virgin group.

    Thanks Eric, just added some more momentum to my week .

    Acta non verba

  19. Great article and exactly what I needed this week to motivate me! Thank you

  20. Pump up and ready forr pressure thanks Eric

  21. This is just what I needed, starting a new management job this morning and this question has been on my mind alot lately. This is the reason why I signed up on this group. Thank you for the wise words

  22. Talk about content with context.
    This post speaks to your mind, and your soul.

    A great read indeed.

  23. This was a great read, thank you. Exactly what I needed when I needed it most. Inspirational.

    Keep up the good work.

  24. May I add a quote from the great Gary Player: I got so strong I felt like a giant…..When I stood on the tee with Arnold and Jack, I was tiny compared to them. But I never believed they were bigger than me. So the mind is so fascinating.

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