Learn how pressure can lead you to become a strong, shining diamond in the rough!
By: Ava Kesler
Understanding Where the Pressure Comes From
Life will constantly be throwing hurdles at you. You will have to deal with multiple outside forces, teachers, deadlines, expectations- these all build up and force us to feel a certain way. Sometimes, we don't have as many of these pressures, especially on summer break, when we are free to do as we please. As a result, we feel more happy and relaxed, and dread the school months.
Looking at it From the Inside
So if we feel more relaxed when we are on our own agenda, how do we deal with the deadlines that others inflict upon us?
We must learn to look at life from our perspective.
Instead of saying, "My essay is due tomorrow!!"
Say, "I am turning in my essay tomorrow! :)"
This gives you much more control of the situation, and makes you psychologically more inclined to carry out your tasks.
For example, today I had a huge history assignment that took me forever to finish! It was really exhausting and left me completely drained, not only from the tedious research itself but also from the pressure I was under to turn it in by tomorrow. I was also demotivated to finish it because the directions were rather vague, and I felt like I was doing too much unnecessary work.
So to deal with this, I reminded myself of how hard I've worked on it so far. Even though all of my research might not have been required, I already put in the extra work, and what matters is that I have grown from it.
I tried to look at the situation with me being in control. I am doing the research and the work, and I am the one turning it in. The exact time that I turn it in, while it has to be by tomorrow, is still up to me. Whether I submit it at 7am or 8am is completely under my control, not my teacher's.
This gave me the motivation to work on it. No longer did I feel bogged down to submit by the date set by my teacher, but I felt like I was the one who was setting the rules for myself.
The Power of Perception
What we can all learn from this is the power of perception. Regardless of what I thought about the assignment, it was still due tomorrow. The directions were still just a simple sentence, and my teacher was still just my teacher.
However, my performance quality largely changed for the better when I warped my perception.
By looking at the task from a different standpoint, under a different light, I was able to convince myself that it really wasn't as bad as I was making it out to be. As a result, I was left only with the assignment at hand, and any negative emotions were no longer taking part in slowing me down.
Dealing With the Pressure When it Really Gets Bad
Sometimes, the pressure we are under is too bad to deal with in this way. It can leave us feeling lost and unable to sort out our thoughts.
And here's the thing, that is completely normal! It is absolutely understandable to feel so overwhelmed that you can't even begin to figure out what it is that is bothering you.
The best thing you can do to battle these conflicting feelings, is to just stop what you are doing. Whether that be homework, texting, watching TV, just take a break from it if possible. Find a private place where you are guaranteed to be alone, like the bathroom, and breathe. In and out. You can even get some paper and write down some thoughts to help you figure things out.
Feel free to use this as a template or a guide to help you get started sorting out your thoughts.
I am feeling _____. I have to do _____ because _____. I want to do _____ right now, because _____. These two things are hard for me to balance because _____.
Then, do a serious inner reflection, and decide what to do next. For instance, even if you wrote down you want to go to the movies, now might not be the best time considering how stressed you're feeling. After all, you can't enjoy a good movie if you aren't focused and excited about it anymore. So you could reflect on yourself and decide that it would be better to go home and take a nap (my personal number 1 way to deal with pressure).
And the journey falling asleep might not be the most pleasant, but just know that it is ok. It is ok to cry, to feel bad. Sadness, after all, would not be recognized as an emotion if people did not feel it on a regular basis.
What to do on the Long Term
On the long term, these tips cannot always help in every situation, especially if you feel pressured on a daily basis for months at a time. There may be something in your life that you need to change up. However, since you're already in this emotional conflict, it is better to find a trusted friend, whether that be a parent, neighbor, teacher, or classmate, and tell them what's bothering you.
Here's a little guide you can use if you are unsure of what to say.
Hey, are you busy? I have something on my mind that I need some help with. Lately, I have been feeling _____. I think this is because _____, and I am trying to overcome this, but it is very hard. So far I am thinking about doing _____, but I feel like your opinion would really help me coming up with a solution. What do you think?
Becoming the Diamond
Remember, we all face difficulties with pressure. Every single one of us has, does, and will continue to deal with the outside forces that pressure us into doing certain things or looking a certain way.
We are all on this journey together, but some of us will deal with it better than others. This all comes down to your strength. And believe me, if you have found this article, taken the initiative to do the research, and have read this far, then you definitely have the strength to overcome whatever pressures you are dealing with.
So a little reminder before you go, beautiful diamonds are formed from carbon atoms that underwent intense pressure!
Follow MyMindsMap on Instagram @mymindsmap for more and feel free to direct message with any concerns you may have, about school, life, friends, anything! MyMindsMap is always here for you, whenever you need guidance.