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The Science Behind Choking Under Pressure – How to Nip it in the Bud

Date: March 25, 2022

The Science Behind Choking Under Pressure – How to Nip it in the Bud

When you were in school, did you ever spend time preparing for a test, confident that you would pass, but when it came time to take it, you let the stress and anxiety get to you and ‘choked’ under the pressure? Or, as a business owner, have you ever spent lots of time preparing and perfecting a pitch, just to have it fall flat? What science is behind this frustrating chain of events?

Sian Beilock, a cognitive scientist, and president of Bernard College, had the same question. According to her research, the answer is pretty simple – we get in our own way. You can get so focused on doing well that it actually has a negative impact. For instance, you may have to give a speech and even though you practiced by yourself, once eyes are on you, you may stumble over your words or stutter- the combination of monitoring yourself critically and eyes on you may actually disrupt you. What’s another cause?

“What people tell us, whether its parents, teachers, bosses, or colleagues actually matters,” Beilock says. “So if there’s an expectation that you shouldn’t be so good at what you’re doing or either you have it or you don’t, that can actually affect not just how you perform, but how you even practice. If someone has a preconceived notion that you’re never going to be this great at something — like a teacher, boss, or parent — it affects that individual’s willingness to want to even try.” Being aware of this is a game-changer! Think of how this has affected you as a business owner. If you want to reach a goal – believe that you can! For instance, have you ever been told, “no way you can retire by 50”? We can help you with your financial goals and tell you what it takes to retire by the age you set! We are happy to help you crush your goals and thrive.

So, how do you stop this pesky cycle of ‘choking under pressure? Be aware – when you sense your heart rate increasing, and your palms getting sweaty, change your thinking of this being a negative reaction. Instead, view it as a positive – it is your body telling you “I am ready!” Because chances are if you think you are going to fail, you will. So set yourself up for success – think “I am going to crush it and do great” – and you most likely will! Using this train of thought as a business owner will also help you to get out of your own way. If you are nervous about speaking to a potential client, think about your sweaty palms as a sign that you ARE READY and that you will have a good meeting (and more than likely you will). A simple change to your mindset can make all the difference. This applies to running your business and achieving your financial goals too. If you need a professional in your corner to give you guidance on where to start on the roadmap to your financial goals, we are here to help. Click here to schedule with one of our Business Strategists.

 

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