What we do not know about ourselves tries to awaken us by glinting and winking at us throughout our lives, yet most actively avoid answering the call. Life is always reminding us that we have unfinished business. There is no easy way to achieve maturity. It always involves the death or revision of old (dated) mental models that keep us thinking too small. In the words of Ben Franklin, “There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.”

If a person tends to be under aroused (low drive) then external pressure tends to improve their performance.

In fact, as external stress increases, their performance typically increases because outside pressures are pushing their arousal levels up.

On the other hand, for individuals whose arousal levels are already optimal, an increase in external pressure tends to lead to poorer performance.

And for individuals who normally have high drive or arousal levels, an increase in external pressure not only results in poorer performance but under extreme circumstances may negatively affect their health.

For these reasons, it is important to know yourself (and your team members), to know what types of approaches would work best to optimize performance, when working under pressure.