This article originally appeared in Psychology Today.
Pressure. It pushes down on me, presses down on you, and makes us second-guess everything from how to shoot a free throw, what to say next in an interview, or pronounce “niche” (or is it “nitch?”)
Even if we’ve done a task a million times, like walk up the stairs, order from a menu, or tie a sheepshank knot, under pressure or observation, we get psyched out and lose the most basic of skills. Indeed, a friend told me that once, during a lunch interview, she overthought how to swallow and had to sit for a few moments with a mouth full of iced tea before she could collect herself and figure it out.
How to prevent your brain from shutting down under pressure? Whether you’re trying to nail a work presentation, sink a putt, or spell “bougainvillea” for the win at the National Spelling Bee, let’s get it done with these three tips: