How to Succeed When the Moment Counts

Nobody likes to buckle under pressure. Is it possible to succeed when the adrenaline is pumping and every moment counts?

Scientists have studied why people get frantic when the heat gets turned up. Using the results of their work, we can learn how to make changes that help us succeed no matter the circumstances.

This TEDEd video explains why “choking” is such a common occurrence. If you’ve experienced this, you’re not alone! Everybody experiences anxiety under pressure. What really matters is how you push through it to achieve your goals. 


Performance anxiety affects all kinds of occupations and roles. Worry, fear, and doubt can even make experts feel like they’ll crumble. Scientists say the leading cause for this phenomenon is a lack of mental focus. There are two theories this video addresses:

The Distraction Theory suggests that the brain can only process so much information at one time. This has adverse effects on performance because too many distractions are competing for your attention. When your mind starts to swirl with irrational fears, your brain spends all its energy trying to combat negative thinking instead of completing the task at hand.

The Explicit Monitoring Theory looks at the idea of the brain focusing too much on the wrong thing. According to this theory, “once a skill becomes automatic, thinking about its precise mechanics interferes with your ability to do it.” No matter how much someone prepares for a task, they are likely to fail if they begin to overthink in the moment.

Both of these theories can give you more insight how important it is to shift your focus when preparing for a crucial task. If you keep your mind fixed on what really matters, you’ll always push through! Having control over your mind is the key to reaching your greatest potential and achieving your goals. 

If you’re invested in your own success, consider our article How To Maintain Your Mental Health As A College Student.