The Double-Edged Sword

Most people see pressure as something negative, but it can be used for good

We often think of pressure as a nasty, inevitable byproduct of life — a third tragic certainty alongside death and taxes. The reality is that, unlike the other two, pressure is much more complicated. 

Pressure is an essential input to high performance. Where do more world records get set in sport than anywhere else? At the Olympic Games. Why? Because there’s pressure. In the right environment, pressure can be hugely energizing. And, in general, pressure is an essential part of human growth and development. Doing things we haven’t done before means experiencing pressure. It’s a marker that we are pushing, prodding and growing. There is a reason that we say “no pressure, no diamonds.”

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Dane Jensen

Written By

Dane Jensen is CEO of Third Factor, where he advises CEOs and senior leaders on strategy and leadership.


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