How-to complete a task under pressure while others watch

Inner-Strength Training Tip #6: Embrace the pressure

Nail-bitter! This topic may seem too simple. But it’s not…

There are days where others put this heavy pressure on me when I’m trying to explain something.

I’ve had to learn how to work around it and as usual, that requires looking inside for the strength.

If you resonate with this topic then you know how hard it is to do a task when someone is watching.

The situation:

You’re at work…. When you’re thrown into a situation where you need to:

A. Explain a process to your co-worker; or

B. Listen and answer a customer’s questions; while others look on.


External pressure from others; the need to answer quickly or else you’ll seem “stupid” or like you don’t know; a touch of anxiety; nervousness; intrusive thoughts; inability to focus on the question because you’re focused on people around you.

The turnaround:

People like to listen when they should be doing their work.

So, when you’re asked to explain processes or fiddle through a system remain confident in the tone of your voice and your demeanor. Sometimes people read the tone of voice rather than listen to the actual words that are said.

If they read your tone as confident then the environment is set-up for a successful outcome.

If the tone of your voice is nervous or second-guessing yourself then they might find it hard to believe what you are saying.

For a while, I found it hard to concentrate on explaining a task when I knew others around me at their desk were listening to me.

I also found it hard to physically complete a complex task that required I needed to think through the process (like using Excel formulas) because in my experience people would jump in and try to help me.

In reality, I just needed a few seconds to think through my process to get to the answer.

Does that ever happen to you?


The hardest part about navigating a system or doing what needs to get done is having to perform under that external pressure. And if someone wants you to crack under the pressure then their energy will be a dead giveaway.

Or, if to gain control of a situation some people will interrupt you and answer the question for you. They can also add more a statement on the back of your answer to again maintain the appearance of control.

Embrace and enjoy

In Ryan Holiday’s book, “The Obstacle is the Way,” he stated that through any challenge we should flip the obstacle on its head.

Because then it isn’t so intimidating. To add onto that Bruce Jenner famously said that “Growth is directly related to the amount of insecurity you feel.”

Picture this

When you’re faced with a situation that requires you to perform. Instead of cracking under pressure. Enjoy it! Hold that pressure on your shoulders like you’re doing it for a living, honey.

That is how you can bust through the fear, anxiety and some insecurity that the situation and external qualifiers put on you.

If you have to fake it a little that’s ok. The main thing everyone is looking for is confidence.

Each time the spotlight hits you, remain confident and in control. You know the answers, so don’t spend too much time second-guessing yourself.

If those trying to pull you down see that you’re in control of the situation they are less likely to interfere and you will shine brightly.

Do you find it difficult to perform or explain a process, etc, when other people put external pressure on you?