Episode Transcript

Hello everybody, and welcome back to another episode of the G.R.I.T. – Give, Recognize, Implement, Time® Podcast. I am Steve Nathenson, CEO and founder of Strive For More. And today I want to talk to you about the pressure of needing it now. And specifically, how do we alleviate that pressure. Right now, today we are in a society, ripe for wanting it now. Instant gratification, having everything at our fingertips, on demand, smart phones, one or two day delivery from Amazon. We have a society where everything is very accessible and as we create greater accessibility, greater speed of getting things instantaneously, it also feeds into that everything that I do needs to happen now. But when we feel that way, we put unnecessary pressure on ourselves. Because as we’ve talked about before on this podcast, we don’t change instantaneously as human beings. Change takes time. So does organizational change. So do projects. Everything that we want is achievable, but it takes time to get there.

And when we put pressure on ourselves, it creates stress, it creates a sense of overwhelm, it brings us down, this negative downward non-serving spiral of thoughts, feelings can come out and behavior. Maybe I’m short with people, maybe I’m just stressed out and I can’t focus, and I’ve been trying to write the same line in this email for 10 minutes and I just can’t seem to get it done. And it builds up, all that tension within us from this pressure. And you’re not alone in this. This is a very common theme that I find with the people that I work with. We put pressure on ourselves to be successful. We put pressure on ourselves to rise [inaudible 00:02:16]. We put pressure on ourselves to advance our career, to achieve everything now, to put more on our plate, because I want this, I want that, I want to achieve all of this and I want it now. I want it all at once. All of these things are very common, that can create an unnecessary amount of stress on us. But there is hope because there is a way to alleviate this pressure.

When we talk about time in GRIT, this is a big, big component of it. Because when we put this pressure on ourselves, we feel like it has to happen now. I need it immediately. And there’s this time element. Now, one of the tricks that I’m going to share with you of how to combat this pressure and alleviate it, when are things truly due? When do they truly have to get done? Am I stacking my plate too full right now? Adding to this, that doesn’t need to be there. Am I trying to plan a wedding and maybe I have a year for that wedding. Now, legitimately with weddings, there’s a lot to do, there’s a lot to plan, but do I have to do everything now? Can I space it out to make it easier? What are some of the things that I need to achieve upfront? Perhaps locking down a venue for my wedding date. That’s a reasonable thing to achieve upfront.

But do I have to decide right now on the flowers that are going to be there? Do I have to decide on what the invitations look like? Do I have to decide what the seating arrangements are? I can space some of those out and understand what needs to happen first before I can move forward. So for example, seating chart, typically at the end of that process, because you need to know who’s coming and who’s not coming. So first, I need to say, save the date, have that sent out. Then I need to send out cards to see who is going to come and have that deadline. And then I can decide who’s going to sit next to whom. That process is a great example because it starts to understand what is truly involved and what I do have on my plate. Is there a natural order for things? Can I chunk it up into smaller steps as we’ve talked about before?

When I take that type of approach, it alleviates this pressure because it’s manageable. It’s one step at a time. It doesn’t all have to happen now. And it’s no different than things at work. Maybe I have a project that’s on the plate and it’s one of five. And this project say, is newer and it’s big. There’s going to be a lot of visibility to it, a lot of different moving parts, but it doesn’t kick off now. Maybe I know it’s coming down the pipe, but it hasn’t started yet. So with everything else that I have on my plate, what is it that I can say achieve upfront? Do I have to do everything now? What needs to be in place? Can I take it step by step? And on the flip side of this too, is sometimes I have freer time and I can actually shift into what can I front load? Because I have time now, can I actually do something for this project that’s going to save time later and alleviate that pressure because I’ve actually already achieved certain things?

So when we talk about time, it’s important to talk about this pressure because we naturally fall into, I need it now. It has to happen now. Everything needs to be done right away. But when we take that step back and we look at what’s truly involved in something, we can start alleviating that pressure because we more fruitfully understand what is involved? What are those steps? How do they connect together? When are they truly due? And what has to happen when? And does it actually have to happen now? Sometimes at work, we are beholden to deadlines. Perhaps you’re in a position where you have regulatory deadlines after say a cyber incident, maybe there’s 90 days by regulations and statutes, something has to actually occur. That’s a very real deadline, but that’s not always the case.

So part of this process is understanding, when are things truly due? How do I handle this task and this project, amidst the other things? And what has to truly happen first and what can wait? And then with my time, how can I rearrange it to maximize my energy level and my efficiency to be able to say, handle some things that I can do upfront while working on the things that are truly due first, and then diving into the rest of what I have to do on this project when I have the true freedom to do it. A lot of this time element in GRIT is mental. This pressure is theoretical and it’s the same thing in sports. And that’s one of the last analogies that I’ll leave you with is when we talk about sport, and we talk about pressure. Where does that come from? It comes from us as human beings, as people.

Let’s talk about football, just as an easy example. A regular season game, and the Super Bowl are truly no different. And I know some of you guys are going to argue with me on that, but what really is the difference? The difference is the Super Bowl has more meaning to people. And because of that, they put more pressure on themselves around the game, but it’s still 60 minutes of football at its core. There is no true difference in the game, it’s just how we perceive them mentally. And it’s the same thing here. We create pressure mentally for ourselves as human beings. But when we take a step back and we look at things, we can realize, this is just another 60 minutes of football. This is just another project. Maybe there’s greater visibility in the organization, but you know what?

I’ve done this before. I can do this again. And how I handled it before, one small step at a time, allows me to alleviate that pressure that I put on myself by taking away those human elements that create this pressure, taking away that mentality. And I don’t mean to dehumanize it. I just simply mean exploring what is it that I’m doing, say up here mentally, that’s creating that pressure, and how do I start chipping away at that? By combating that and asking, is that true? Or is that at the core, is the same? Pressure comes from within us. So what’s one thing you can do right now to take a look at the pressure you put on yourself and how we can start alleviating that by exploring what truly creates that pressure.

I hope you enjoyed today. The one thing that I do want to leave you with, same thing we leave with every single day is we are really truly in control of our own destinies. And if we never ask, we’ll never know. If we never try, we never will. Be the movement in your life. It’s not just the saying that can apply to actually asking a question or trying to do something. It’s also if we never explore this pressure that we put on ourselves, it’s always going to be there. So my challenge for you is can you take that step back and objectively look at what is on my plate? What am I doing that contributes to putting pressure on it and causing the stress and overwhelm that I may be feeling? And what in my past, because I’ve done it before, allows me to take that step back and realize I can handle this. And I can do this. And I can take it one small step at a time when it needs to be done versus right away. So until the next time, be the movement in your life.


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