Four Tips to Stop Buckling Under Pressure

Are you someone who cracks under pressure?  It’s an issue pro athletes deal with every day.  And since the U.S. Open is going on, someone looked at what pro tennis players had to say.  If you buckle under pressure a lot . . . in sports or even just at work . . . here are four tips that might help.

1.  At some point, stop practicing and quit cramming.  It’s not good to practice until the last second.  It’s better to stop thinking and switch to auto-pilot.  Trying to cram for something right before it starts just makes you more nervous.

2.  Figure out what really motivates you: winning, or a fear of losing.  A 2014 study found it matters.  If losing doesn’t bother you, just think of it as, “I’m trying to win.”  But if you hate to fail, try reframing the task as, “I’m going to avoid losing.”

3.  Think of the bigger picture.  Failing once doesn’t mean you’re failing in general.  Sometimes you have to take two steps back to move forward.  So don’t feel pressured to be your best every single time.

4.  Tell yourself the nerves you’re feeling are really just excitement.  They’re kind of the same thing.  One just involves fear.

(Huff Post)