performing under pressure

Review From User :

Thriving under pressure seems to be an acquired skill.

Takeouts :
Singularity distortion
Magnification
Pressure regulation
Cognitive appraisal & distortions
The Anatomy of Choking
Working and Procedural Memory Paradox
Pressure vs Stress
A Biological Predisposition for Intensity

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When you are on the witness stand in a courtroom, everything you say is recorded, interpreted, challenged, and judged against the letter of the law. A distorted fact, a failure to remember, the truth told unconvincingly, a stutter or two can all influence a verdict that brings irrevocable, life-changing effects to you and to others. ()
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"Do you feel you work better under pressure" "Are you more concerned with failing in a pressure moment or more focused on succeeding in one" ()
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The bottom line-pressure is the enemy of success: It undermines performance and helps us fail. When under pressure, air traffic controllers, pilots, and oil rig chiefs make errors in judgment. NBA players, World Cup soccer players, and champion golfers frequently miss their usual shot under pressure. ER doctors and nurses can make inappropriate decisions and incorrect diagnoses. Actors forget their lines, politicians forget their talking points or otherwise stumble and fumble. Corporate executives, managers, and sales professionals make poor decisions, and parents have less patience with their children. Pressure is more than a nemesis; it is a villain in our lives. ()
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Pressure is often camouflaged. The influence of pressure on derailing your performance is often disguised. We have found that many conventional tools, such as incentives or praising results, used to motivate ourselves and others, and improve organizational effectiveness, are actually pressure traps; these disrupt performance, stimulate cheating, encourage absenteeism, and, most noticeably, intensify our daily feelings of pressure. (c)
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... helping people manage pressure in their lives is an untapped strategy for unleashing their creative and intellectual potential. This strategy allows them to consistently perform up to the level of their capabilities, rather than having their capabilities dismantled or compromised by pressure. (c)
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Accordingly, we provide the nuts and bolts for building the attributes that allow individuals to consistently do their best when they are in pressure moments. These attributes include confidence, optimism, tenacity, and enthusiasm, which we collectively refer to as COTE. Metaphorically, these attributes offer users a COTE of Armor. Instilling them in yourself offers a long-term strategy for consistently defeating pressure and doing your best when it counts the most. (c)
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We believe that when you walk into pressure situations, you will see them more as challenges than as crises, and you will walk away feeling confident that you performed in a way closer to what you are capable of, not less. (c)
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He listed what his friends said epitomized the Stuyvesant experience: "copying homework in the hallway while walking to class"; "sneaking in and out of school during free periods"; and "widespread Facebook cheating." Only a few months earlier, Stuyvesant had been the scene of one of the most notorious acts of cheating to take place at a high school; it involved more than one hundred "excellent" students in a ring of deception. (c)
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Most of us share the perception that there are folks out there who are particularly gifted at exhibiting grace under pressure, people who always rise to the occasion, who hit the money shot. These are the people we think have nerves of steel and are oblivious to pressure. (c)
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To win this award once is a big deal. To win it more than once confers almost legendary status. David Grabiner won this award three times, in 1986, 1987, and 1988, as an undergraduate student at Princeton. He went on to earn his PhD at Harvard. (c)
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I was very surprised to learn that, while our participants were giving evidence of less creative thinking on time-pressured days, they reported feeling more creative on those days. (c)
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Take the pressure of starting a new job. We tend to think, I have to show I am worthy. I have to prove myself. In sports, this leads to the athlete "pressing," or trying too hard. In psychology, this is called a reinvestment strategy-the individual attempts to cope with the situation by increasing his or her effort, which numerous studies show has little effect and, in fact, intensifies anxiety and stress, which can lead you to do worse. (c)
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in most pressure situations in life, you don't need to be perfect. You just need to deliver the task or behavior required of you in the situation. You have a better chance of doing that when you manage pressure and get as close to your full capability as possible. And when you do so, you'll usually live to fly another day. (c)
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You can observe the particularly powerful effect of uncertainty on the brain and body from the patterns of stomach ulcers recorded in London residents during the Second World War. In general, higher cortisol levels deplete a stomach's mucosal lining, which, in turn, leads to an increased frequency of ulcers. During the war, central London was bombed relentlessly every night by Germany; in the suburbs, the Germans bombed in a more sporadic, unpredictable fashion. Interestingly, it was in the suburbs, not central London, where doctors found a higher incidence of stomach ulcers. It wasn't the magnitude of the bombings, but the uncertainty of them, that had a greater effect on the brain and body. (c)
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As John Coates wrote in his book The Hour Between Dog and Wolf, prolonged exposure to cortisol also does longer-term damage to two structures of the brain that proportionally have more cortisol receptors: the amygdala and the hippocampus. The amygdala is where the emotional content of memories is stored, and the hippocampus is where factual memory of an event is stored. The amygdala records how you felt as you faced a pressure moment from the past; the hippocampus stores the facts: what happened, who was involved, how it was resolved, and what was learned.
While the receptors of the hippocampus (where factual information is stored) shrink under the influence of excessive cortisol, receptors in the amygdala undergo a significant growth in number of branches when immersed in cortisol. This is why, over time, our thinking can become more emotional and less factual. (c)
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Balachandra studied 185 venture-capital pitches and found that variables like "calmness," "passion," "eye contact," and "lack of awkwardness" were stronger predictors of success than the actual content of the pitch.
In high-pressure situations, pressure derails us not just by causing us to become mentally rigid, but on a behavioral level as well. When we are in a pressure moment and we are experiencing anxiety, we behave very differently. We are more uptight in how we show up, more defensive when tough questions are asked, less warm and a little more ill at ease, and less able to engage in humor. (c)
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The philosopher Epictetus said more than two thousand years ago, "Man is not troubled by events but rather how he interprets them." cognitive appraisal has the power to keep us out of the rough. Psychologists today agree: It is not the event that causes our reactions but rather how we interpret the event, which makes us either confident or anxious. (c)
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At work, if you find yourself procrastinating on a project or are afraid to make a mistake, it might be because you are feeling like this is your one chance and you don't want to blow it. This might have been true for prehistoric man, but your own experiences will tell you that there is almost always another chance, be it a sales call, a test, or someone new to meet (and hundreds of thousands of individuals on their second marriage will agree). (c)
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Magnification often comes into our thinking when we become too attached to the outcome. While emphasizing the importance of a test or task might increase our effort, the extra pressure we put on ourselves typically downgrades our performance. (c)
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Decades ago, psychologist Albert Ellis introduced rational emotive behavior therapy, based on the principle that your life will be more productive if you interpret events rationally and rid yourself of cognitive "neurotic" distortions, such as "Everybody should love me," "I should never get angry." ()
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The team told half the students that recent research suggested "people who feel anxious during a test might actually do better." In other words, if the students felt anxious during the practice test, they were told, "You shouldn't feel concerned. Simply remind yourself that your arousal could be helping you do well."
Simply because they read this statement before the test was administered, the students' performance improved significantly. They scored fifty points higher in the quantitative section of the practice test (out of a possible eight hundred) than the control group. A couple of months later, the students took their actual GRE test and reported back scores. Jeremy and his team were interested in seeing if the intervention had long-term staying power or whether its effects were short-lived. The group taught to see pressure and anxiety as beneficial in the lab experiment scored sixty-five points higher than the control group on the actual test. In other words, those students who were told to believe that anxiety could be helpful did markedly better. (c) Yay, so everyone who reads this could possibly benefit as well. Sounds like the coolest freebie ever.
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When it comes to incentives, emphasize quality of work-not the attainment of an incentive. (c)
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As for preventing yourself from being trapped by pressure, step back and take a look at why incentives, social support, and competition can derail your performance. (c)
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Instead, free yourself from pressure traps by letting your own values, interests, and goals motivate you; value yourself, and focus on what you can control-your own efforts. ... For those individuals who are unable to escape the pressure traps, be aware that you will continue to feel the heat, even in cold weather. (c)
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Their fear of facing pressure situations can prevent them from advancing, because they avoid being in the spotlight-for fear of choking. (c)
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Insecure Subjective Experience. Individuals with anxiety and panic disorders have an external locus of control-they believe their behavior is driven or influenced by external factors. They also tend to have feelings of insecurity-perfectly natural if you perceive your environment as hostile and threatening. Individuals who do not suffer from these disorders more often have an internal locus of control-they believe they are in charge of their lives. As a result they find it easier to manage their emotions. (c)
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Avoidance Behavior. Highly anxious individuals rarely look forward to a presentation and may seek to avoid one. (c)
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Some of the pressure solutions influence how you think about pressure moments; others immunize you by directing your focus to specific mental imagery; and others serve to depressurize you by managing your physiology...
Befriend the Moment. - Think of the pressure moments as a challenge or opportunity/fun. ... Think of your tasks and responsibilities as daily challenges to strut your stuff.
Multiple opportunities.
Downsize the importance.


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