Use Pressure to Help Propel Your Professional Voice Over Talent Career

Use Pressure to Help Propel Your Professional Voice Over Talent Career

I was chatting with my young teenage daughter this weekend about the pressures life brings. Even as a kid, there’s that pressure to get good grades, be accepted by your peers, make the team, win the game/race, get cast in the high school musical, and so on.

Pressure seems to start younger these days than it did for my generation. I don’t recall being so aware of the kind of pressure that most kids appear to feel in today’s world.

Competition and the ever-increasing abilities of young people to perform at higher and higher levels in every area are raising the bar all the time.

Pressure is here to stay. It is or is going to be a part of everyone’s life, so it’s essential to understand and develop a strategy to use pressure to one’s advantage.

It Seems We’re All Feeling a Lot More Pressure These Days

Being a professional voice over talent, business-owner, wife and mother of two children under the age of 14, I feel a nearly constant pressure to perform, in my professional and personal life, and to achieve real results on a daily basis.

That pressure (in varying degrees) has been there for as long as I can remember. Even before I had children, I felt pressure to reach my goals, earn a certain level of income, and be the type of person I wanted to be.

Pressure can be a good thing. Used effectively, it can help you achieve your results faster and more efficiently.

But, being under pressure doesn’t actually feel good most of the time. In fact, pressure probably stops many people from reaching their goals for the simple reason that it feels so uncomfortable. Attempting to reach any big goal is going to involve stepping into unfamiliar territory and putting yourself in situations that create a feeling of pressure. It’s pretty unavoidable.

Making Friends With Pressure = Easier Growth, Easier Life

I tried to explain to my daughter that pressure is a good thing as long as you make friends with it.

Use Pressure to Help Propel Your Professional Voice Over Talent CareerIt can be your best friend in the way that you might have a workout partner who always “encourages” you to do three more push-ups when your body’s telling you that IT is pretty sure you’re DONE doing push-ups.

Without pressure, I think I could become very lazy and unproductive.

My husband eventually got in on this conversation with my daughter and said that he prefers to exist with what he calls “Goldilocks Pressure.”

Not too much – Too much pressure can feel overwhelming and debilitating
Not too little – Too little pressure can lead to feeling unmotivated and unproductive
Just right = A moderate amount of pressure usually leads to progress and productivity

Just moving about his day and getting things done with moderate external (or internal) pressure being applied is his most productive state. He chooses to frame pressure as more of a positive “pulling” energy which helps him reach completion of tasks, thereby causing a reduction of the pressure in the moment.

In the Short Term, Too Much Pressure Can Still Be Manageable

Lately, however, he’s been feeling a lot more pressure (as general manager of my voice over business) since we are in the midst of several business upgrades with website redesign, branding, demo production and re-tooling our marketing strategies. So, now he’s working harder and for longer hours, to “clear the decks” and get back to that Goldilocks level.

Instead of back-pedaling in a retreat mode away from the pressure, he’s responding with more action and more energy.

The danger here is that if this goes on for too long, it can become a source of burnout and exhaustion. But, for shorter time frames (weeks or in this case, even months), it can be manageable.

For me, I have learned to function well under some degree of pressure most of the time.

Maybe it’s from my live theater days, or from being in the fast paced world of LA auditions, where we actors are forced daily to get out of our comfort zones and at least try to be extraordinary. It’s an exciting and exhilarating form of pressure and it really helped me grow as an actor and as a business owner.

Even though I’m not auditioning for on-camera work in LA anymore (I moved away several years ago), I continue to use what I learned from that experience in my voiceover business. Finding and maintaining that “Goldilocks” fit is my new gold standard, as each week I’m juggling a dozen different clients and projects, managing deadlines, answering urgent requests, actively participating in social media, and checking off projects as I send them out.

What is your relationship to pressure like? Do you feel a lot more pressure in your life and business now than ever before?  How do you use it to your advantage? Has pressure increased or decreased for you in recent years? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts and experiences!

9 comments on “Use Pressure to Help Propel Your Professional Voice Over Talent Career

  1. Debby Barnes on

    After reading another one of your exceptional blogs, Debbie – I’ve decided I’m definitely a “Goldilocks Pressure” gal. Yep – I’m all about it. Tell your hubby I think it’s brilliant! And it’s also the healthiest, most sensible option. 😉

    • Debbie Grattan on

      Thanks so much Debby. I would have pegged you as a Goldilocks for sure…and have you heard of Pollyanna! I’ve been accused of that a few times too! All the Best!

      • Robin Rowan on

        Great thoughts here, Debbie!!! Right on the mark. My “get more work, pay the bills” mantra is a constant source of pressure, but it certainly keeps me motivated. When you’re self-employed, the pressure’s never off–but that’s a good thing, right? :- D

        • Debbie Grattan on

          Thanks for reading and commenting Rowan. Indeed, pressure to keep those creditors at bay is a constant motivation.

  2. dc goode on

    As someone that has been blessed to have lived this long (which is a true and HUGE miracle lemme tell ya), I say “Choose your battles (big or small) VERY wisely and NEVER forget that Time is indeed VERY precious….and none of us knows how much of that precious commodity we have.
    Every year, I am reminded in some way that I can’t handle alot of the things I used to, especially in the quantity’s I did…and WILL happen to you too! Be prepared for THAT, in a way, that makes every day the GIFT; that it is.
    Making “work” too important in the mix…is a Thief and a robber.

    • Debbie Grattan on

      Great advice DC. Balance in all things is so important. you’re so right about time being something that we can never get back. I’ve done a lot more delegating of many things in my life to allow for some focus in the most important places. But you make me question what’s truly important. I’m asking myself that question frequently.

      • dc goode on

        Thanks Debbie. Glad to hear that I could pass on some nugget of something, that’s “goode and useful”. 🙂

        It seems, that I see LOTS of people making re assessments about these things. The rigors of “Life on line” alone, is incredibly taxing to our bodies, minds and souls…and fortunately folks seem to be saying, “Enuff of this lunacy…there’s not enough ROI”. I say “Balance away”. 😉

        Blessings to all, from a Recovering “Work a holic”. Talk about a work in progress. LOL

  3. Kurt Feldner on

    Removing pressure from our lives can be negative & positive. I know this will step on some toes, but think of many who opt for inclusion in our welfare system. Some are viable candidates and should be using it. Others who “could” get out there and work instead chose to remove the pressure of a hard day’s work & they become lazy. On the positive side, pressure helps us learn & grow. And as we all know, personal tragedies produce pressure. Others can benefit from our pressure when we turn & help others as they work through their similar tragedies.

    • Debbie Grattan on

      Hi Kurt – indeed, there are strains on a system when it is overloaded, not only regarding welfare, but other government aid as well. It is a fine line there, but I do think that culturally, taking a hand-out can breed laziness. Of course there are people who are truly in need. So separating those from others who are just bilking the system is the difficulty. Thanks for bringing up ways in which pressure can be a good thing in our society.

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