This Will Keep You Calm When The Stakes Are High

Annie Murphy Paul’s great piece in Time Magazine answers the question:

Reminding yourself of the high stakes makes intuitive sense as a motivational strategy—but it will actually impede your performance. Instead of spurring you to new heights, it’s likely to increase anxiety and undermine your confidence. Research shows that reminding yourself how unimportant the event is in the big scheme of things is a better tactic…

A number of studies she mentions have shown that exercises like writing about our most cherished values or thinking about our ancestors are successful in keeping us focused on the big picture.

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