How to get good out of difficult situations: Part 2

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In case you missed it, the first part is here. It says that the difficult situation when we are under pressure, can be divided into two categories: when necessary or working, or procedural memory. Since working memory you already know enough, today we offer you to talk about procedural.

What is procedural memory?

Procedural memory controls the action (often motor skills) that we commit without realizing it. Situation when you’re using procedural memory in conditions of high tension: the most decisive shot during the basketball game, which was mentioned in the first part; to spontaneously play something on the guitar; to catch a subject that you unexpectedly left.

Why we fail in situations when you need to use procedural memory

When you practice something again and again, the action you remember, it is literally written into your «muscle memory». Your body instinctively remembers how to do it correctly.

When you start thinking too much about what you do, you block muscle memory. A lot of thinking, you turn off the instincts that know better than you what to do. (If the centipede thought about how she would have stayed home and never went).

Take for example the guitar. You studied for several years, has moved from three thieves chords to master, you can do a cool solo, and your hands and fingers are moving by themselves, pressing the right strings, and you do not even think about. But when you’re standing in front of an audience, you get nervous and start to think about which finger to put where to prevent failure. As a result, it happens because you’re thinking too much.

How to use procedural memory

So as not to break under pressure in situations where it all depends on your procedural memory, you need to distract you from the fact that you have to perform in the moment. Instead of thinking about the upcoming challenge, just trust the experience. You were acting in this matter more than once, all turned out, so why today you have to fall?

Distracted. If you have to play on this ill-fated guitar in front of an audience, close your eyes and don’t look at your hands (another bonus: when the musician closes his eyes, girls think he is very inspired by nature). It all depends on the circumstances. If the situation permits, sing a song, read a poem to myself, just sit back and relax.

Think yourself a sort of mantra. Sports psychologists advise their wards to come up with a mantra that will be repeated in circumstances where they are excited. Mantra is another way to distract you from thinking about the upcoming thing when you’re going through. Anything, any words with absolutely anything (better still positive) meaning. They not only distract you but will set up to win.

Focus on the goal, not the technology. To you not paralyzed excitement, change the focus from technology to the target. For example, if you want the bowling alley to score a strike, it is not necessary to think, how to throw the ball — concentrate on sizes manufactured. When shooting at a shooting range, pay more attention to the target than the trigger.

Don’t delay. The case, which involved working memory demand you immediately and slowly. With procedural memory, this trick will not work. Studies show that the sooner you do the next job the better it is you can do it. The more I think about the situation, the more worried and in my head there are more ways to do something that belongs to you. It’s just like riding a bike: if you see the obstacle in advance, you talk as if it is better to go round, and while you think it is inexorably rising, resulting in long and fall. If the obstacle your eyes opened at the last moment, you just abrasively it and be done with it. Forget about fear and actions in tempo — in this case, is the key to success.

When it is necessary to combine procedural and working memory

We talked about the use cases the working and procedural memory separately. Life is more complicated schemes, but because there are times when procedural and working memory has to combine.

Breath. You must breathe in a specific way:

1. Inhale slowly for 4 seconds.

2. For 4 seconds hold your breath.

3. Slowly exhale for 4 seconds.

4. Hold your breath without air in the lungs for 4 seconds.

5. Repeat until you feel that everything is under control.

Practice stress. Learn and practice in the same conditions in which you have to apply the practice. Hard during training to simulate the actual stress levels, however, to train in conditions that are at least close to work, very useful.

Any busy and pay attention to the outside world. Instead of waiting for the impending horror to become a bundle of nerves, continue cooking and make sure to remember everything. Re-read your notes, Shine my shoes — do something.

Any modest. Overconfidence negates any effort. It does not allow you to go forward and become better because you think you are already pretty good. Want to achieve success, strive for it, practice, try.

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