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Internal and External Pressures

You know that old saying about things coming in three’s?


Sometimes it feels like everything hit’s at once!


Does life ever feel like it’s spiraling out of control?


It happens when you feel like there’s too much coming at you all at once. The next thing you know, you’re just trying to keep your head above water, trying to get things done. Work, family… they all come at you, and you think there’s no way to stand up under so much pressure.

Just being alive makes pressure inevitable. Understanding what it is, is the key that you can use to defeat it.


The dictionary commonly defines pressure as: “the feeling of stressful urgency caused by the necessity of doing or achieving something, especially with limited time.” In some people that urgency is fun. They thrive under pressure so that when they feel it, their entire body seems to light up. When under pressure they thrive and get the most accomplished in the shortest time.


For the rest of the world, this pressure is usually something that’s not only uncomfortable but something that produces a variety of responses such as fear, unhappiness or anxiety. The person who is feeling pressured reacts negatively, might suffer health problems and in some cases might shut down emotionally or mentally.


Pressure comes from two sources: Internal and External. While we might blame external pressure for the things that are causing us stress, more often than not, our pressure is internal. What’s the difference? Internal pressure is the pressure we place upon ourselves to strive or succeed. That leavesExternal then as what comes from outside – like from a boss who wants you to get that project done yesterday.


What are some examples of each?


Internal Pressure

· Personal expectations that are frequently impossible to meet

· Internal dialogue is negative

· Inability to cope with a sudden shift in plans

· Perfectionism

· Looking at the negative side of things

· Difficulty in accepting when things go wrong

· A mindset that if you don’t completely succeed, you’re a failure


External Pressure

· Problems in the workplace or at school

· Difficulties in close relationships like with parent or spouse

· Money or financial difficulty

· Being overworked/overbooked and with no time to yourself.

· Problems with kids

· Health issues

· Big changes such as a move, a death of someone that was close, etc.


Whether pressure is internal or external, you can regain control in your life by dealing first with the triggers to the pressure, and then with your response to those triggers. So just because you’re under pressure doesn’t mean you can’t learn to deal with it in positive ways – and to succeed even when feeling pressured.

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Tel: 864-266-2058

mvanpelt@ascentleadershipresources.com

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