Ali Gordon

Pressure Is A Priviledge

“Pressure is a Priviledge” – for those of you who are into your sport you will likely have heard this before. It’s a common phrase you’ll hear from many involved in high level/elite level sport.

I had a little look at it and from what I can see it seems to be associated with Billie Jean King. A GOAT contender in a time when the term GOAT wasn’t used.

I also found an article where in reference to this quote she said “Usually if you have tremendous pressure, it’s because an opportunity comes along” “Most of the time…if you really think about it…usually it’s a privilege.”

It seems the point is that we are supposed to be grateful and enjoy moments of opportunity. We’ve worked hard for them so to let the pressure ruin it or overrun the experience would be to miss out on the opportunity.

There’s also often a lot of luck involved in what we achieve, so, whilst I’m an advocate of the approach ‘make the most of the opportunity in the lifetime of the opportunity’ I would add to this ‘enjoy the opportunity in the lifetime of the opportunity’.

If you are at the point where you are under a lot of pressure with work it’s likely that you’ve worked hard to get to this point and pressure is just a consequence of that success. Don’t let it hi-jack the opportunity from you.

Of course, this is easy to say but harder to do. Pressure is nuanced but the more you can deal with it and almost smile in the face of it the better you will deal with any situation. I don’t know if people feel pressure differently but I think they cope with it differently. So next time, I’m going to treat it like a privilege and try to smile through it.


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