Stay Calm

How to Stay Calm Under Pressure?

Have you said something which you regretted as soon as you said it? Did you ever lose your cool in a stressful situation? Do you make some very bad decisions?

Mistakes. Regrets. Stress.

These are all inevitable in life. You are not human if you have not experienced these at some point or another.


However, you need to take note that allowing such things to continue will lead to some dire consequences. These include low employee morale, profit loss, and customer dissatisfaction.

What distinguishes a high achiever from the rest is the ability to remain calm under pressure. Achievers never allow themselves to reach the breaking point.

But how do these people do it? Is it innate? Or can it be taught?

Some people believe that calmness is part of a person's deep-seated personality. It just comes out naturally. Some people assume a leader who exhibits calm and mindfulness comes from a good background or was simply born that way.

I beg to differ.

Let me tell you an interesting story about one of the greatest sportsmen that ever lived – Michael Jordan.


Jordan is well known for his hot temper. As the go-to man in his basketball team, he's always under pressure. But Jordan knows how to handle pressure.

Fans and his team expect a lot from him. There would be some who would give in to the pressure but not Michael. He maintains his focus; he never disappoints with his winning shots, delighting fans everywhere.

George Mumford, a legendary mindfulness coach, was hired by coach Phil Jackson to teach some of the most volatile and complex players on the team, including Jordan, to manage their minds under pressure.

It's all in the mind. Mindfulness activates our parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which governs hormones that remove us from our stressful state.

How can you achieve this mindfulness? It's pretty easy!

One effective way is doing box breathing. It's a deep breathing method that might assist you in slowing down your breathing rate. It works by diverting your attention away from your thoughts while you count to four, soothing your nervous system, and reducing stress in your body.

You can follow these steps:

  1. Find a quiet spot where you can focus for just one minute.
  2. Close your eyes, and take a deep breath in slowly for 4 seconds, hold your breath in for 4 seconds.
  3. Then exhale slowly out over 4 seconds, and then DON'T breath in for 4 seconds.
  4. Open your eyes, and take a deep breath in slowly for 4 seconds, hold your breath in for 4 seconds.
  5. Then exhale slowly out over 4 seconds, and then DON'T breath in for 4 seconds.
  6. Finish up with one final deep breath in over 4 seconds, and then release and complete the technique.

You may repeat until you feel your focus come back. I assure you that whatever stressful situation you find yourself in, this mental preparation will allow you to remain calm and think strategically.

Quiet Spot

Opening your eyes during the second half of the exercise will assist you in integrating the practice into your daily life and transforming it from a training exercise to a useful tool.

Now, the above technique is used when you have time to spare. But what if you find yourself unprepared in a stressful or critical situation?

There’s a step-by-step program, which I’m currently working on, that can help you manage pressure on the spot. This program will help leaders like you to achieve optimum performance by removing every mental roadblock.

It's a life-changing program that you can do on your own time online while still being part of a supportive group. Sounds interesting? Go ahead and click this link so you can get notified on the course pre-launch.

Stay calm. Show grace under pressure. Be the true leader you are!

If you find this article useful, please share with others so they can benefit too.

About the Author Steven Kuo

Steven Kuo is an Executive Warrior Coach for transformational leaders who desire to make meaningful, lasting positive impacts in business, the world, and their family. Steven helps transform leadership and organisations worldwide to uncover their full potential and thrive in the Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous world we live in. From small business all the way to fortune 500 organisations. Whatever your struggles are in achieving your full potential, Steven can help you believe again. He will partner with you to make your own breakthroughs through executive/leadership coaching, speaking engagements, training, transformational offsites, and mentoring.

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