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13 Secrets to Performing Well Under Pressure

https://www.inc.com/business-insider/13-secrets-to-performing-well-under-pressure.html

inc.com

13 Secrets to Performing Well Under Pressure
Let's get this out of the way right now: Nobody performs well under pressure. A lot of us think we do, but we don't, or, at least, we don't perform as well as we could perform. We may feel more creative when we're under the gun, but it's a feeling, not a reality.

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High-pressure moments as a (fun) challenge

Most people see "pressure situations" as threatening, and that makes them perform even less well. 

But, "when you see the ...

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One of many opportunities

Is this high-pressure situation a good opportunity? Sure. Is it the only opportunity you will ever have for the rest of your life? Probably...

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Focus on the task

Instead of worrying about the outcome, worry about the task at hand.

That means developing...

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Plan for the worst

"What-if" scenarios can be your friend. By letting yourself play out the worst-case outcomes, you're able to brace yourself for them.

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Take control

In a pressure moment, there are factors you have control over and factors you don't. 

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Remember your past success

Remembering your past success ignites confidenceYou did it before, and you can do it again.

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Be positive

Belief in a successful outcome can prevent you from worry that can drain and distract your working memory....

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Get in touch with your senses

When you're under a deadline and the world feels like it's crashing in, you're particularly prone to making careless errors.

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Listen to music

By listening to music, you're able to literally distract yourself from your anxiety.

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Create a pre-performance routine

The idea here is to create a (brief) routine that you go through in the minutes before you present or perform, Weisinger and ...

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Slow down

When you're in a high-pressure situation, it's natural to speed up your thinking. It can lead you to act before you're ready. 

Slow down. Give y...

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Share the pressure

Telling someone else about the pressure you're feeling has been proven to reduce anxiety and stress.

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Visualize the destination

Take a moment to visualize the calm after the storm: the work is done and done well, and you’re celebrating with your team. 

Positive visualization can alleviate pressure and help you relax and stay focused, reminding you that even the most intense situations eventually resolve.

Motivate yourself with a reward

People who know their hard work will be tangibly rewarded tend to perform better than those who don’t

Whether it’s a vacation, something you’ve been wanting to buy, or dinner at your favorite restaurant, pick a reward that will keep you going and pretend it’s already yours.

Focus on your actions

Craft a routine or system for getting the work done. Focus on your daily actions and carry out your plan with discipline and determination.

A routine can help prevent panic and distraction, allowing you to focus on the task at hand.

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Learn to be ok with discomfort

If you know you have a high-stakes event coming up, become familiar with feeling pressure and learn to work through it. 

For example: If you need to give a presentation to coworkers, rather than practicing on your own, try out your speech on a couple of friends. 

Establish a pre-performance routine

Whether it’s taking a few deep breaths, doing some light stretching, or having a quick phone call with someone you trust, spending your last few minutes doing something active before a big event will prevent you from spiraling into worry, so you can perform confidently.

Shift your attention away from worries

... and to the task at hand. 

Mindfulness can help you regain a sense of calm and focus your attention, so you can avoid being caught off guard by your anxiety. You can see it for what it is, and choose to direct your attention elsewhere.