Under pressure

Pressure.

You know...that intense feeling that pushes down on you until you finally get the thing you're supposed to get done...done.

Like, say...oh, I don't know...writing a blog???

The thing is...I like a little pressure. 

I didn't always appreciate this, however. As a result, I employed  a number of strategies to get things done without pressure...including beginning the work as soon as I knew it needed to get done...well before the deadline!

You know that expression...

"work expands to fill the time available?"

Well...

I literally became the poster child for that expression during my experiments with time and deadlines and pressure.

Not good.

Like many of my clients, I had a lot of thinking around the fact that I seemed to relish a bit of pressure.

Thoughts like: 

"I am such a procrastinator."

"If I were better organized, I would have had this completed ages ago."

"I could have done a better job if I had started earlier."

But here's the thing:

Can I really know if any of those thoughts aretrue?

Nope.

They are just thoughts.

My thoughts.

Created in my mind.

And yet...they can be so powerful in shaping my reality...

who am I kidding...

they are the ONLY THING that shapes my reality.

As such, my thoughts have created realities that are...

uplifting for me

and

limiting for me.

The key is to recognize the difference.

Perhaps this difference is best illustrated by a story I was told a few years ago. It involves two well-known musical artists who perform before large crowds of adoring fans.

Asked to describe what it feels like just before they are about to go out on stage, the two performers had virtually the same description:

I get these butterflies in my stomach. This pressure. My body gets all jittery. My breathing changes. I can feel the nerves - like I'm about to be sick to my stomach.

Despite this description, however, they had very different thoughts about performing on stage.

One hated it and interpreted their feelings as proof of anxiety and stage fright. The other loved it and interpreted their feelings as proof of excitement and eagerness. 

The performers differed only in what they made their feelings mean.

They differed in their thinking about their feelings.

Fascinating, non?

Our thinking creates our reality.

And when we see that...really see that...our whole world shifts.

These days I catch myself...and my thinking...most of the time.

My feelings are a clue to what I'm thinking...and that I'm thinking.

So as I sit here and write this blog...the clock ticks away and the deadline looms heavy...a little too heavy.

I could feel the pressure...if I wanted.

All I'd have to do is think it.

Meh...maybe next time.

I'd rather write.

** I just learned this morning of the death of David Bowie. May he rest in peace. 

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