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When the Pressure's On

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When the Pressure's On

The Secret to Winning When You Can't Afford to Lose


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Athletes do it. Generals do it. All great leaders do it, and now you can, too. Excel under pressure.

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  • Applicable


No wonder you’re stressed out. Unrealistic deadlines, unexpected changes and unrelenting pressure would stress anyone out. The workplace is responsible for the huge increase in stress-related disorders that doctors have reported in recent decades. Learning how to manage stress and perform at your best in spite of it has become a necessary executive skill. Psychologist Louis S. Csoka, founder of Apex Performance, offers a five-step, brain-training program to help you alter your thought patterns and behaviors so you can excel under pressure. While the individual components of his strategic framework aren’t new, Csoka’s structured tactics and practical exercises can help you build the mental prowess to achieve your best. getAbstract recommends his approach to those who want to change how they react to stress.



National Football League kicker Billy Cundiff played for five different teams after the Atlanta Falcons released him from his contract in 2007. Though he was physically prepared, his mental state kept causing him to miss critical field goals. Learning how to set goals, manage stress and redirect his thinking enabled Cundiff to reach his potential. He made it into the 2010 Pro Bowl.

Business executives also experience high levels of stress that inhibit their decision-making and problem-solving abilities in crucial situations. Workplace staff reductions often fling people into roles and responsibilities for which they are not trained or prepared. Nonstop technological connectivity blurs the line between personal and work time. Today’s “discontinuous change” – that is, change you may not anticipate or be able to control – may catch you off guard. But, with training and mindfulness, you can improve how you respond to stress so that you perform well in spite of the pressure.

To manage your workplace or personal stress, incorporate recent neuroscience findings into your daily routines. Exercising mental strength helps you gain confidence in your abilities, ...

About the Author

APEX Performance founder and president Louis S. Csoka was a psychology professor at the US Military Academy at West Point and founded the Pioneering Center for Enhanced Performance.

Comment on this summary

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    J. F. 4 years ago
    This summary contains several practical steps to managing stress.
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    A. A. 6 years ago
    Attention Control is, in my opinion, the most difficult and yet the most important skill to develop.
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    S. V. 6 years ago
    Adaptive thinking seems interesting concept which also help in dealing with flight and fight triggers of psychological state. I was also wondering if "pausing" frequently to check internal feelings also is simple yet effective technique to deal with pressure and stress.
    #getbacktoschool #getbacktowork