We all experience pressure. It naturally ebbs and flows throughout our day-to-day lives and manifests itself in moments of change. Stress affects us all differently and we approach it with varying degrees of concern. A simple piece of news can be interpreted with drastically diverse effects on everyone that hears it. The important thing to remember is that pressure means different things to different people. The experience of it can even elicit different responses in people. For some, an approaching last-minute deadline induces panic and anxiety with a crippling effect. For others, it’s an exciting opportunity to lean into the moment and create their best work.
In a way, experiencing pressure is all about our comfort and orientation to failure. It’s an acknowledgment that when situations change, so do we. Prism’s Personality Under Pressure is a guide to understanding what happens to you in stressful situations. For some, Personality stays the same with only slight changes occurring from what attributes are picked up or dropped. For others, what’s gained or lost is so drastic that their change in Personality Under Pressure looks like the exact opposite of their Primary Personality.
Knowing what happens to you in moments of stress is beyond critical. It’s within these moments where often our best and worst selves reside. For others around us, this simple switch seems to happen in a single moment and the person they were expecting has been replaced by someone a little more volatile, a little more unpredictable, and a little more heightened. For this reason, Personality Under Pressure is a critical tool in your Prism Portrait for understanding the change that occurs during stressful situations. It’s not only on behalf of yourself, it’s on behalf of those that must endure the stressful moments with you.
This week, compare your Primary Personality to your Personality Under Pressure. What changes? Do you pick up Power and drop Precision? Do you suddenly lean into relationships more, or do you embrace the mission at hand? Make a list of the attributes that change between these two graphs. Then assess moments of pressure as they come. As you start to feel adrenaline pumping or a heightened awareness of a growing discomfort, remember the behaviors, habits, and preferences that change within you. Determine what’s working, and what’s not. Then, seek to understand how you might address the natural reactions you have to pressure and work towards better approaches for responding to it with a plan, rather than reacting to it with emotion.
“True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure – the greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character’s essential nature.”
– Rober McKee
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