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Apply Pressue

my authentic me Jan 10, 2022

Are you one that pushes yourself too hard? Or do you tend to be the one that errors on the side of caution? Personally I am one that has spent most of my life pushing myself until I break. Most of us are on either end of the spectrum.  We either do too much or not enough. 

One thing I have learned in the last few years is that we must have balance in all areas of our lives.  That includes knowing how much pressure to apply.  We must learn to push ourselves harder when need be.  As well as when to give ourselves space and grace to stay still and release the pressure.  

There are seasons when applying more pressure is necessary. I always find it interesting to know how some people achieve such great levels of success. I try to understand their habits and approaches through reading books and articles about them. The one thing I often see is that successful people push themselves to points of discomfort.  I found one major difference in what I had been implementing throughout my life compared to others that were just as successful or even more successful then I was.  

Where I would push until I would break, they push until there is a level of discomfort.  It came down to bending in discomfort or breaking in pain.  Minor adjustment, but big difference in end results.  I realized that although you should push yourself to your limits (otherwise how else would you know what you are capable of) you should know to stop there.  

So if you are that classic over achiever like I was here are some tips to find that balance that you desperately need. 

 1. Write down thoughts and feelings.

You might not be much of a writer or blogger but, writing down what stresses you out literally gets these toxic thought out of your head and on paper.  And seeing it verses thinking it can put things in a clearer perspective. 

2.  Say no and yes intentionally 

I often see people say yes to things they absolutely don’t want to do. Your friends invite you to a movie, but you know you need to save your money for that last bill… but you also don’t want to tell them no and the stress hits the fan. Saying no gives you the opportunity to say yes to the things you can and want to do. 

Here’s a simple three-step model:

  • Acknowledge what the person is asking by repeating it back to them. This tells them you are listening.
  • Give a short explanation of why you are refusing their request. Try not to go into story mode, make it simple.
  • Say the word “no.” Try to stay away from the wishy-washy words like well, maybe, um, perhaps, possibly, kinda, etc., as these words seem unsure, which could express to the requester that you are guilty and may want to say yes.

3. Ask yourself what advice would I give someone else in this same situation?  

This separates the problem from yourself in strategic fashion. This divide may clear up cloudy thoughts. There is no doubt we are our worst critic.  Asking yourself this question will lead to you giving yourself space and grace to just be.  That is a powerful and wonderful gift. 

4. Ground yourself 

For those whose stress levels spike instantly, grounding is a fantastic technique that can help you refocus on the present. Give this a try:

  • Name 5 random objects around you that you can see.
  • Name 4 things near you that you can touch.
  • Name 3 things you can hear.
  • Name 2 things you can smell.
  • Name 1 thing you can taste.  ( By Jacob Kountz )

5. Implement some time for self care

When is the last time you took a day for just you?  Maybe go to the beach, spa, or a movie.  Self care is an essential part of finding balance when it comes to applying pressure.  Pampering yourself is telling all entities of your body that it’s time to relax, let go of what’s been bothering you, and saying yes to just being. Be intentional though!  Do not go to a friend’s party because it is on your to do list.  That is not taking time for you to relax and regroup.  Make it something that you enjoy.  Something that will take your mind off of the grind. 

In order to keep yourself growing, you have to learn new things or try new things. This could be as simple as picking up a new hobby, visiting a different restaurant, or reading books. Growth will naturally happen when you do things you haven’t done before because it causes you to be more aware of your situation. It gets you away from complacency. 

Pushing yourself to try new things will mean you have to figure situations out. Those experiences of meeting different people, seeing new places, and learning something new will add to your overall development of being a human being.  Pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone is often where the magic happens.

If you are one that has a difficult time applying pressure because you are quickly overwhelmed by the journey it takes don’t fret.  It you are on the other end of the spectrum where you never really bother to step out of your comfort zone that is ok. There are tools that I teach my clients who also display this mindset.  

Some key component are to: 

1. Prepare in Advance For Hard Things

One of the benefits to pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone is that it can help you prepare for hard things that you can’t control. By training your mind to get through hard things you chose to do, you can push through mental battles, difficult circumstances, and unexpected things in life. Start small and work your way up.

2. Take baby steps

Start off stepping out of your comfort zone with something small. Maybe you have always wanted to go back to school, but thought it would be too overwhelming.  Start with one class and move your way up.  Know and learn that baby steps are still steps to success. 

3. Don’t set concrete deadlines

It is ok to have a deadline, but remember that it can be altered if needed.  Don’t put a period where there should be a question mark. Sometimes life happens and we miss a target date. That is ok.  Look at your deadline as a timed guideline. 

4. Find a mantra

I know it may sound cheesy, but it works. Start mentally saying some short, rhythmic phrases to yourself until you have a few that work for you. You don’t have to tell anyone what they are, or even that you’re using them. 

5. Break things down into daily goals

 It goes back to the same concept as baby steps.  Sometimes breaking down a huge goal into smaller tasks is less overwhelming. You can see things at a micro level instead of the macro level. 

 In the end, no matter what end of the spectrum you are on it is vital that we come to center.  To find balance so we may live a healthy and successful life.  And most of all to become the best versions of ourselves that we can so we can not only be blessed, but be a blessing to others.


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