How Not to Choke Under Pressure #2
Mental misfire #2 The Distraction Trap from Scatterbrain by Henning Beck.
Whilst a small amount of distraction is important to help engage the subconscious in a step by step process, such as in sport when you are kicking for goal, this doesn’t work so well when we are undertaking complex tasks such as an exam, test or interview. Here we need all the brains energy to focus on the task at hand and any anxiety we experience robs us of that energy.
Beck suggests we “combat the anxiety directly by simulating the pressure situation in practice, thus growing accustomed to it.”
For example in an interview rehearsal you create the pressure by allowing yourself only one attempt at an answer. The key however, is to make sure you are observed, that you have one or a couple of people play the role of the interviewer. This observation is incredibly distracting and creates the pressure we need in a safe environment.
So going over and over something doesn’t help as much as rehearsing under pressure.