I have a confession to make: I work better under pressure. There I said it, and unfortunately it’s true. I just seem to turn out my best work when my back is against the wall and I’m up against an impossible deadline. As much as I try to change that habit, I just can’t seem to get rid of it completely. I really wish that I could say that I do some of my best work when I take the time to plan everything out and check and re-check everything, but that’s only half true.
For as long as I can remember I have always seem to attack things with more vigor and more passion if I was facing some type of opposition. Having someone doubt my abilities ,or question whether or not I have what it takes to reach my goal really lights a match under me.
About three or four years ago I made a decision to get back into the shape that I was in, before I had my baby. I started going to this really challenging HIT, High Intensity, Training workout class and boy was it fun. Now, I don’t consider myself a very competitive person, but what I found out about myself is that with the proper amount of opposition I can become very competitive. There was woman in my work out class who, for whatever reason, seem to always be in competition with me. Our instructor would have us split up into two separate groups every class and we would be like teams playing against one another just for fun of course. I started to kind of pick up on this, but I thought that it was just me. However, during a race between our two teams I happened to beat her and she took it really hard and made some comments that confirmed my suspicions.
In her mind I was her opposition, I was the person that she chose to compete against. As you can imagine, I was a little shocked at first but then I decided to really pick it up and beat her. The funny thing is she made me work harder and I made her work harder. What is my point you might ask sometimes having some opposition can cause you to work harder and do a better job. It’s like saying there is a, “healthy competition,” between you and someone else. I noticed that I was losing more weight, getting stronger and running much faster because I was trying to be better than my opposition. When she upped her level of work, it caused me to raise the level of my effort. I don’t think for one second that she genuinely hated me or anything malicious, but I do think that she was motivated by my drive and hard work. The blessing is that because of us working hard to best each other, we both ended up benefiting.
For some people it might not be a similar situation, only with work or school. The truth is some of us just perform at a higher level when we have someone opposing us, pushing us to be better than we ever thought we could be. Would you say you perform better under pressure? Do you find that when you have some one coming against you that yo work harder, or are you your own competition? Leave a comment and let’s talk about it!