Do you recall a pressure moment in which you didn’t do as well as you hoped? That was you in the past. Today is a new opportunity to show what we can do.

Affirm Your Self-Worth

Acknowledging the experience, skills, and other positive qualities you possess is an effective way to buffer yourself from the pressure you face.

There was a study published in the journal, Psychological Science. In the experiment, subjects had to perform a difficult task that required self-control. Before the task, half of the subjects were given an exercise that affirmed their self-worth. While the subjects performed the task, the researchers studied their brain activity, with a particular focus on a neurological signal called ERN (error related negativity), a neural alarm signal that is triggered when we make a mistake.

Those who affirmed their self-worth ahead of time made fewer errors performing the task than those who did not. Even better, their brains seemed to learn more easily from the errors they had made — self-affirmation seems to make us more receptive to correcting our mistakes.

Stronger ego strength also contributes to your cognitive resiliency — your ability to bounce back from failure.

Here are some proven suggestions that will help you affirm your self-worth before your next high-pressure moment — and, equally important, after a high-pressure moment has derailed you.

  1. List your values and their importance to you, so you realize that your identity is not tied solely to the work at hand.
  2. List your positive attributes; in fact, take a minute or two every day to appreciate them.

Practicing these activities helps to make this pressure solution automatic, so pressure situations become less threatening. You become more relaxed and better able to perform to your ability.

We’re sure that your family and friends think that you are a worthy person. But remember, when the heat is on, it’s important that you believe it, too.

This is an excerpt from Performing Under Pressure.

Join our Facebook Group to learn and discuss more strategies like this.

About the Book

Co-authored by our own J.P. Pawliw-Fry, Performing Under Pressure will introduce you to the concept of pressure management, offering the latest science on how your brain responds under pressure, and many empirically tested strategies to help you overcome the sabotaging effects of pressure. For this book, we undertook a multiyear study of over twelve thousand people to answer the question: what is it about the top 10 percent of these individuals that helps them handle pressure more effectively and be successful? The book has been featured in featured in Forbes, INC., The Financial Times, Training Magazine and many more, and is a NYT and Amazon bestseller. Order your copy on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Audible or Apple ibooks.

About the Author

Dr. JP Pawliw-Fry is one of the founders of IHHP. He co-wrote the NY Times bestseller, Performing Under Pressure, and is sought out by Fortune 500 companies as a keynote speaker. If you want to hear more about how to manage stress and pressure, subscribe to his podcast Last 8% Morning on Apple, Spotify, and Stitcher