Dealing With the Pressure of High Expectations

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Megan A. Dutta

As I write this, I’m coming off one heck of a week. At CES, I was honored with Women in Consumer Technology’s Woman to Watch Award (#humblebrag). It gave me all the feels—excitement, curiosity, gratefulness.

Now that I’ve come down from that high, I’ve been thinking about what the award means. Besides the obvious “I’m honored,” I’m also scared. So many great women have come before me; will I live up to their legacies?

How do we deal with pressure, especially when it’s coming from within? Can you live up to your own challenges? My most lofty performance goals often come from my own brain, so I try not to get too down on myself if I don’t reach a goal.

I have a lot of reach-for-the-stars-type ambitions. I’ll go into a situation knowing that my objective is nearly impossible. If I make it? Amazing, I’m thrilled with myself. If I don’t? I stop to think about how far I’ve come from where I started. I can get so caught up in the process of climbing mountains that I sometimes forget to look down on all of the peaks I’ve already surpassed. Taking the time to reflect on that gives me a good gauge on where I’m at in my life and how much I’ve accomplished.

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Receiving WiCT’s Woman to Watch Award with Sally Washlow.

Another strategy I like to employ is to avoid comparing myself to others. We all do it—his social media game is better than mine, she’s sold more than me this month, he’s got his CTS and I don’t. Keep your eyes on your own papers, #AVTweeps. Start thinking about what makes you unique and how you can rock that upcoming install or create the next-level AV system.

When I stop paying attention to those around me and start dedicating that attention to myself, my progress soars. And that’s not to say I’m doing it all on my own. I have a healthy amount of partnerships with my co-workers, industry friends, and my family. I care about what they’re doing, but only in the sense of how we can collaborate to create the next great story.

So, basically, all of this stuff is easy to say and hard to do. But you can do it. Let’s all get even more ambitious in 2018. Let’s shoot for the moon. As they say, even if we miss, we’ll land among the stars.


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Having an openly positive dialogue forces me to think about all the things that make me happy. Even when I’m having a bad day, it helps to turn that frown upside down, and puts me in a more beneficial headspace. I can allow myself to accept constructive criticism, and incorporate that feedback to improve myself and my body of work.