Are you outcome dependent?
Tuesday, December 5th.
Michelle sat in her desk, waiting for the final to start. She had managed to get in 2 solid days of studying and felt fairly prepared for the finance exam. Still, even in her 3rd year of university, she strongly disliked taking tests. A decent student, Michelle had a solid B average throughout each semester and worked fairly hard for it. Yet, at the end of each semester, final exams came and dropped her mark anywhere from 5-10 percent because she froze.
The timer on the classroom projector hit 12:00 noon. The 2 hour countdown for finance had begun. Michelle looked at her paper and blinked. It was happening again. She didn’t understand the first question. Nervousness spread across her body as she started tapping the desk, trying to read the questions again.
Thoughts of her current mark going into the final seeped into her mind. If I’m at a 75%...and I get 50% on the final… that would mean I would end up with a 65%! Oh my gosh!
What do you think happened? I'm not too sure, but chances are she didn't do too well.
Lately, I’ve been noticing a lot about top performers. In high pressure situations, they don’t crumble. Why?
Because they take away the pressure on themselves.
They do so by not even focusing on the future, but focusing on the present. They are not outcome-dependent, but instead focused on the task at hand.
They are performance-dependent. What this does is it allows the individual to activate the logical, problem-solving part of the brain, bypassing the emotional part that tells you "OH NO!"
I noticed the following video about Brandon Roy, an NBA player, on Lilly’s Facebook feed. I’m not a huge basketball fan, but watching this made it so obviously clear. For somebody to perform excellently under pressure, you’d have to not be thinking about anything but right now.
By removing the dependency on a good outcome, you are able to focus with decisiveness in your actions and thoughts, providing a certain sense of clarity. As such, you begin to act on the world around you, instead of being strained by it. What this requires is a sense that your past performance should lead up to a sense of confidence that you are prepared.
For instance, you studied 2-3 days, at an average of 7 hours per day, with a decent 75% as a class grade. This should be the foundation upon which you base your emotions in a final. You then are able to tell yourself, "Hey, based on what I've done in the past 3 months, I should know enough to take care of these questions in front of me." This leads to a neutral pacification of your negative emotions of nervousness, lack of confidence, stress, pressure, freaking out, etc.
Just some food for thought ;)
Are you outcome dependent?
Check out the video below! http://www.nba.com/blazers/tbtv/video.html?videoID=2525
A blog on my continuing journey through life, covering self-development and success strategies, but also personal reflection.