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Dealing With the Pressure of High Expectations

Dealing With the Pressure of High Expectations

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.

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.

Megan A. Dutta

Megan A. Dutta is a pro AV industry journalist, and the former content director for Systems Contractor News (SCN) and Digital Signage Magazine, both Future U.S. publications. Dutta previously served as the marketing communications manager at Peerless-AV, where she led the company’s marketing and communications department. Dutta is the recipient of AVIXA's 2017 Young AV Professional Award and Women in Consumer Technology's 2018 Woman to Watch Award. Dutta is co-founder of Women of Digital Signage, an organization designed to provide a pathway to promote networking, mentoring, and personal growth.