Editorial Illustration
Tackle whatever’s causing you to lose your nerve at the vital moment head-on.

A crushing sense of terror that stops you cold when you’re just about to follow your more experienced friend down an icy ski slope. Believing there’s no way you can give that presentation even though you’ve run through it over and over. Staying silent on a call with your new team because you aren’t sure you deserve to be there.

Fear, loss of confidence, and feeling like an imposter can keep you from performing at your best — or even performing at all. Often these mental blocks stem from the hormones adrenaline and cortisol, which flood the body in threatening or high-pressure situations, explains Regine Muradian, PsyD, a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in performance anxiety. These hormones can trigger the body’s fight-or-flight response. The result is a cascade of physical symptoms — a racing heart, tight chest and/or sweaty palms — and feeling like you’ve completely frozen up, often called “choking.”

While you might think you’re the only one struggling in those moments, you’re far from alone. “Crumbling under pressure is more common than people think. Even professionals have experiences of choking,” says Greg Chertok, a certified mental-performance consultant who’s worked with athletes in high-profile competitions including the Olympics, the Super Bowl and the Stanley Cup. (Just think of how many big games teams have lost because of one missed goal or field goal.)

Full article here.

Art Director: Brian Bartog