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Do you choke at the worst times?

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in Leaders & Managers,Workplace Communication

As the tennis player tosses his ball into the air before a serve, a little voice inside his head says, “There is a very good chance I’ll muff this serve.” Then, of course, he does. In other words, he choked.

Choking is a two-part process that can hit whenever the stakes are high:

You tell yourself that something will go badly.

You then under-perform to ensure that your prediction comes true.

How can you stop choking?
  • Admit that you tend to choke. Some people never hear that little voice of failure. But if you’re someone who does, own up to it so that it doesn’t catch you by surprise in a critical spot.

  • Remember that choking is possible only when success is near. That inner voice is something positive, a sign that you’re striving for a significant achievement.

  • Shift at once to your proven strengths, not your weaknesses, to score a win quickly. Interesting: Most people go to their weaknesses when they start to choke. Go to your strengths instead, and you’ll beat choking the next time it rears its head.
—Adapted from “The Enemy Within,” Dan Weil, Tennis.

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