Book Review: ‘Performing Under Pressure’ by Hendrie Weisinger and J.P. Pawliw-Fry



I’ve recently been on a self-help kick, which has essentially consisted of my adding all the self-help books under the sun to my to-read list. Unfortunately, I’ve only gotten to reading three of the fifty books I added. However, Performing Under Pressure was one of the three, and I daresay it contains the presence of all fifty of those books.

Regardless of the task, pressure has the potential to significantly diminish our judgment, decision-making, dexterity, attention, and most importantly, our performance. Even more significant is the fact that nobody performs better under pressure. In Performing Under Pressure, Hendrie Weisinger and J.P. Pawliw-Fry introduce the concept of pressure management and offer both short term and long term solutions to help us overcome the perils of pressure.

Anyone ― whether a student, athlete, business professional, or simply an avid reader ― can benefit from reading Performing Under Pressure. The authors’ provide countless scenarios in their tackling of the greatest obstacle to personal success. To be completely honest, this is the first book I’ve read where the authors include the experiences of Olympic athletes, physics students, entrepreneurs, talented musicians, reality show contestants, and mid-level managers, just to name a few. Yet as important as personal experiences are, research from people and neuroscience are equally as crucial. Luckily, Performing Under Pressure does not disappoint in those aspects; the book draws on research from over 12,000 people and “features the latest research from neuroscience,” to quote the book’s synopsis on Goodreads.

Most importantly though, the authors’ words are effective. Weisinger and Pawliw-Fry include only the necessary information in their introduction of pressure and pressure management. As for the short term and long term solutions they offer, let’s just say I now have twenty-two solutions to moments of high pressure, as well as a COTE of armor. (The authors introduce this idea of COTE, which stands for confidence, optimism, tenacity, and enthusiasm.) Keep in mind that this information is all jam-packed in 274, not including the appendices.

Performing Under Pressure basically saved my life. While other self-help books, aka the other two I read, often take pressure as something immutable, Performing Under Pressure actually offers practical and helpful solutions to what can become a debilitating problem. Seriously, my physics grade is only what it is because of this book. (I went from a 68 on the first test to a 97 on the second, partially thanks to Performing Under Pressure.)

Seriously, buy this book. It’s mind-blowing and life-changing.

Rating: 8 out of 10
Publisher: Crown Publishing (February 24th, 2015)
ISBN #: 9780804136723
Length: 320 pages (Hardcover)
Source: Blogging for Books

Valerie is sixteen. She attends a boarding school near Boston, where she writes, reads, and attempts to be a studious student. She's too lazy to write the rest of this bio, so follow her on Twitter @torquoiseworld because shameless self-promotion is alive and thriving!