In the lead-up to game 7 of the NBA Playoff series between the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs, future Hall of Famer and Mavericks’ forward Dirk Nowitzki said,

“It’s the ultimate thrill.  It’s win or go home… You’ve got to love it.  You’ve got to embrace it.”

I love Nowitzki’s mindset.

Here is a star athlete, going into a sudden death game, under massive scrutiny, against a fantastic opponent and his advice is to love it.

It’s easy to be intimidated and fearful of high pressure situations.

Public speaking, job interviews, sales pitches and other stressful activities are often avoided by people who can’t handle the pressure.

They focus on the potential negatives and turn the situation into a debilitating one.

Why put yourself under pressure if you can just live a comfortable, relatively anonymous life?

Because if you want to do anything meaningful with your life, you will be required to respond to pressure situations.

You’ve got to learn to love it.

You’ve got to learn to embrace it.

You’ve got to find a way to puff your chest out and march into the situation with confidence and poise.

You’ve got to engage with it and realise that it’s not the end of the world if it goes wrong.

You’ve got to become more resilient and you can only do that in the arena.

For the record, the Dallas Mavericks lost their big game against the Spurs, but you can be sure that next time, a champion like Nowitzki will welcome the pressure again.

What do you do to respond to pressure situations?

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