Even the most talented, successful people have bombed a job interview or botched a presentation. When the pressure is on, we tend to panic and start overthinking a task that usually comes naturally to us — and that can make us choke. There are several things you can do to short-circuit this reaction. When you’re about to go into a stressful situation, don’t overthink what’s next. Five minutes before the big event is not the time to go over every detail again. Instead, take a few moments to focus on something else. Do a crossword puzzle. Visualize the vacation you’re planning for next month. Catch up on the latest issue of your favorite magazine. If you’re still struggling to get out of your head, try singing a song or repeating a one-word mantra. By distracting your brain this way, you’ll keep it from running wild when you need to stay calm.

This tip is adapted from “Why Talented People Fail Under Pressure,” by Sian Beilock

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