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Wednesday, November 29, 2023



I am lucky enough to write this article in Marseille, waiting for the South Africa vs. Tonga match to start. As the crowds are gathering outside, I can’t help but think about a mantra often discussed in sports: “Pressure is a privilege”.
In the world of sports, the phrase "pressure is a privilege" has become something of a mantra. It's a concept that transcends the boundaries of the sports stadium, resonating deeply with professionals across all industries. As I reflect on this idea, I'm struck by the profound wisdom it imparts and its relevance to our personal and professional lives.
Pressure, in all its forms, often feels like a burden. It's the weight of expectations, the fear of failure, and the relentless pursuit of excellence. But here's the twist: Pressure isn't a curse; it's a privilege. Let's explore why this mindset shift can be a game-changer.

Pressure Signifies Responsibility: When you're entrusted with high-pressure situations, it means you're in a position of responsibility. Whether you're a team leader, an entrepreneur, or a professional in any field, the pressure you feel is a testament to the trust placed in you. It's a sign that you're the one people look to when the stakes are high.

Pressure Spurs Growth: The crucible of pressure is where growth happens. Think of a diamond; it's created under immense pressure. Similarly, individuals and teams often achieve their greatest breakthroughs when faced with challenging circumstances. Pressure pushes you to stretch your limits, learn, adapt, and innovate.

Pressure Builds Character: How you handle pressure speaks volumes about your character. It's easy to be at your best when everything is going smoothly, but true character is revealed when the going gets tough. Embracing pressure means embracing opportunities to demonstrate resilience, composure, and grace under fire.

Pressure Breeds Success: Some of the most iconic moments in history, sports, and business have occurred under intense pressure. The ability to perform when it matters most is what sets champions apart from contenders. Pressure isn't an obstacle; it's the crucible where success is forged.

Pressure Drives Innovation: In the business world, competition and market demands create pressure. This pressure fuels innovation as companies strive to stay ahead, develop better products, and provide exceptional services. It's a driving force behind progress and evolution.

Pressure Connects Us: Shared pressure can foster incredible bonds among teams and colleagues. Facing challenges together, supporting one another, and celebrating victories born from pressure create a sense of unity and camaraderie that strengthens teams and organisations.

So, how can we embrace the privilege of pressure in our professional lives?
Cultivate a Growth Mindset: View pressure as an opportunity for growth and learning. Embrace challenges with an open mind, knowing they can lead to personal and professional development.

Prepare and Plan: Thorough preparation is key to handling pressure effectively. Meticulous planning can reduce anxiety and boost confidence, whether it's a high-stakes presentation, a critical project, or a significant decision.

Stay Calm and Composed: Practice mindfulness and stress-management techniques to maintain your composure under pressure. Focus on the task at hand rather than the pressure itself.

Seek Support and Mentorship: Don't be afraid to seek advice and support from mentors, colleagues, or peers with experience dealing with pressure. Their insights can be invaluable.

Celebrate Small Wins: Acknowledge and celebrate your achievements along the way, no matter how small. This can help you maintain motivation and confidence during high-pressure periods.

Remember, pressure is a privilege that comes with responsibilities, growth opportunities, and the potential for great success. Embrace it, harness its energy, and let it propel you to new heights in your career and life. The next time you face pressure, remind yourself that it's not a burden; it's a privilege.
[Submitted by Estea Rademeyer]

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Estea Rademeyer

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