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Why we choke under pressure -- and how to avoid it | Sian Leah Beilock

3173 ratings | 127672 views
When the pressure is on, why do we sometimes fail to live up to our potential? Cognitive scientist and Barnard College president Sian Leah Beilock reveals what happens in your brain and body when you choke in stressful situations, sharing psychological tools that can help you perform at your best when it matters most. Check out more TED Talks: http://www.ted.com The TED Talks channel features the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design -- plus science, business, global issues, the arts and more. Follow TED on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/TEDTalks Like TED on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TED Subscribe to our channel: https://www.youtube.com/TED
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Text Comments (201)
Gregg Everman (10 hours ago)
Good talk. I’m commentor number 200!
Kuzma1253 (6 days ago)
I wish I didn’t watch this talk, darn :)
Danny Al-Haoui (12 days ago)
That went very nerdy pretty quickly
Howard Cohen (18 days ago)
I recently had my music students write down their pesky thoughts at a music festival spending a lot of time talking about each of them. We gathered before the concert that afternoon and after reading the written-down fears aloud (in three languages) WE BURNED THE PAPER. I can barely describe how freeing this was for ME. We danced around the small fire, joked about the thoughts (joke, not choke), promised ourselves not to let these thoughts back in. The concert was beautiful.
Tuấn Cao (22 days ago)
i have a dream big,but i don't can play it,i head me will dose it i whoul like to my car,but i no money,i will by have it,yes I can do it
Milos Tomic (25 days ago)
She's choking rn 🤔
Shoqstar (30 days ago)
All the fortnite fanatics here trying to stay calm in the final circle
Astral Fire (1 month ago)
How to avoid it: Don't choke.
Sonu Roy (1 month ago)
So, why MS DHONI perform better under pressure?
Rohit Goswami (1 month ago)
냥코 (1 month ago)
This video is an interesting subject, but the main conclusion of TED Talk is very simple. When everything is stressed, you have to avoid stress and make efforts. However, it is not easy to get rid of the stress once it is in a bad situation, but we have to try.
Jack Thorpe (1 month ago)
4:32 System failure.exe
Jorge A. Garza V (1 month ago)
When I clicked on ted.com link in the description, it went to a "don't go page" with a gray link saying go to link and a solid blue rectangle button saying go back to youtube, I think that's confusing to users, 'cos I klicked automatically on the blue button and unfair to Ted producers.
Idwarn (1 month ago)
It’s not soccer! It’s football agrrr
Мульт Канал (1 month ago)
red watch (1 month ago)
One of my favorite talks.
srishti dutt (1 month ago)
Also you can look up to some amazing talks on TED here its like I would recommend these too https://yourdailywire.com/11-most-inspiring-ted-talks-youtube-videos/
Kayohem 2 (1 month ago)
This talk took a turn that I wasn't expecting. Sorry. But I take with a grain of salt an athelete who says she found out she learned best by being in a group and competing for the answers. Lol duh. That actually makes perfect sense. Surprised you weren't already in a study group.
ImJustDead (1 month ago)
Champions league final 2018 - Liverpool goalie chocked as well, its okay! :)
zio420 (1 month ago)
Looking at you, Narci
Aaryan (1 month ago)
8 mile! Anyone? Rabbit and Papa Doc
Jonathan Frey (1 month ago)
J.R Smith should watch this
I'm starting to believe that the group of negative comentators and thumbs down when women made the talk and, even if slightly, touched a feminist subject was really all bots from the 2016 election. Wow. It's like a completely different atmosphere now in TED videos. Much less toxic.
Brandy Wasay (1 month ago)
I really loved Math because I was lazy to study ... all I needed to do was listen attentively in class and understand the theorems... there are only so few theorems compared to memorizing History .... historical names , dates, and places . So my worst subject was History... and any other subject that required mainly memorizing words, names, places, dates, etc
#seslu (1 month ago)
when your squad dies and your the last one left
Seeyay (1 month ago)
Good one.
Xingxing Mo (1 month ago)
i love maths😂😂😂i hate English now
beach life (1 month ago)
If you repeat the same word in your head over and over, you are not able to think.
Paige -Low Key- (1 month ago)
lol figure skating is constant choking for me its all u all the time constant perfection
Finn The Human (1 month ago)
this bish ugly
Finn The Human (1 month ago)
cause ima dbag sitting behind a computer
tunebros2 (1 month ago)
Why would you say that?
Amando Ocampo (1 month ago)
Tom Callaghan (1 month ago)
so Nike was right ... just do it!
duy (1 month ago)
TL;DW Practice under stress
adam nunez (1 month ago)
At 1.5x speed she talks at the same rate as normal Ben Shapiro
김수림 (1 month ago)
easy to hear and easy to understand, interesting contents
Misterlivs (1 month ago)
Over 90% of elementary school teachers are female... sexism totally overlooked.
David Wood (1 month ago)
used no mind as in Marshall arts your unconscious mind know the way
Wagon Lord (1 month ago)
Fierfek1972 (1 month ago)
My fear of maths stems from poor teaching practices. If I didn't understand something, I was shouted at and made to do more of the thing I didn't understand. When the penny finally dropped, no thanks to my teachers, or my parents really, I was given something else I didn't understand, shouted at and punished for not understanding that instead. To this day I have a visceral fear of maths and I still don't understand as much as I should, I work with 8 year olds who surpass my abilities, which hurts, and deepens my anger and resentment of 80's "one size fits all" teaching. fortunately, schools have learned a lot in the last 30 years.
Omar G (27 days ago)
"Schools have learned a lot in the last 30 years." Well, now it's a "you are good at everything or nothing" so if you are very good at math, you are expected to do advanced English, even if you are not too good at English.
David Moloney (1 month ago)
No one cares about womens soccer so you didnt miss out on anything.
Eve ill (1 month ago)
because we're babied as children and have no ability to improvise or think critically
dreaminginnoother (1 month ago)
this is why i have to drink to excess to talk to women.
pibadar (1 month ago)
experience. the mother of confidence.
Random Stuff (1 month ago)
That math thing is absolutely correct. My father was never good at maths and he would always say how he struggled during his school days in maths. This got in my mind and I started struggling in maths I am good in high school maths but when it comes to elementary maths I still suck at it.
Rolroorlo (1 month ago)
Great Talk
knight Elite (1 month ago)
So basically she is explaining ultra instinct?
NFL DNA (1 month ago)
I may have to stop but pressure on myself to do great and just strive to do great
s13n1 (1 month ago)
Some good tips for archers.
linZy AZ (1 month ago)
I think this concept can be used in therapy for people w/ PTSD & CPTSD. Especially when it has accumulated into a fear of failure bc shame from getting your life back on track combined w/ lack of understanding from those around u. Maybe that is why EDMR therapy seems to be so successful w/ trauma recovery therapy. Very very good talk. Made me think about many possible cognitive connections. I can relate to this concept so much it is ridiculous! Pressure is like kryptonite to me.
Richard (1 month ago)
I work better under pressure....
Philip Hernandez (1 month ago)
Looks like a fat sara Silverman
timduncankobebryant (1 month ago)
someone send this to morata quick!
J C (1 month ago)
Never felt this before in my life
Joseph is Awesome (1 month ago)
Send this to FaZe or team liquid
john smith (1 month ago)
It a really scary to be in a situation and just freeze. As a child my niece jumped into the deep end of the pool and sank like a rock. My sister froze not even screaming so I dove in after her. Not exactly choking but when we get overloaded like that we tend to mess up even basic tasks.
John Mivule (1 month ago)
For some reason, I'm almost always calm in uncomfortable situations. I wounder why?
Gabrijel Ozimec (1 month ago)
And now she has scoliosis, just because that one moment.
Bruce Ruttan (1 month ago)
What bothers me most about these kind of talks is they go on and on and on without even starting in on the magical discovery until the sad reader has wasted ten minutes! Her answer is; trust your autopilot and have fun.
Patrik Blommaskog (1 month ago)
Not quite. It is more that in order to be able to rely on your autopilot for unimportant stuff so that you can spend your focus on the important matter, you need to make sure that the actual conditions get programmed into the autopilot.
shrekislove1289 (1 month ago)
Lol this was recommended to me immediately after watching Conor vs Khabib
Alpha Strength (1 month ago)
We choke mostly because of not breathing deep enough, this is the problem, we go to gym and train the front side of the body forgetting that the back side will pull you back and you get fucked up position, that is why most of the time I try to stretch the front side and to work the back side
343Films (1 month ago)
There's a fuckload of thesis's here...
Puglosipher (1 month ago)
Play at x2 speed. Ur welcome:)
pravin khude (1 month ago)
Perfect research, many watching this video would recollect their choking moment. I did the same. But, Math doesn't scare me at all. This research is amazing if not convincing to most, at least we would not discourage our children with the thing we are scared of.
David Kamer (1 month ago)
These are some really interesting observations but why are the solutions always "we shouldn't do x" instead of focusing how to teach something more to improve our ability to cope. It's futile to attempt to force people to "behave" to your standards. Instead give the children the tools needed to cope with negative external stimuli. Look at Asian culture in countries like Japan. Women are definitely not looked at in the way that western society wants us to look at women, however they are much better at sciences. This is because they have a stoic like approach to life. A barbie saying "Math is hard" in our culture is "Oh man, guess I'll suck then because it's better to give up" instead of "Wow, probably but I can't control the difficulty. I can only control my actions so I should put effort in" which makes them even better at math than someone who just likes it.
David Kamer (1 month ago)
So basically self hypnosis lol.
Aldo Leyva (1 month ago)
Tony Romo definitely would need this Ted Talk
Alex (1 month ago)
i got nervous when she said the coach was watching her, i never even played Soccer. Calm down Alex.
Kerri R (1 month ago)
This is helping me cope with a commemorative speech tomorrow in my Public Speaking class tomorrow.
Nekoback (1 month ago)
Ultra instinct in a nutcell
Paul Grigor (1 month ago)
I get a memory loss every now & again & I have to apply something similar to the narrative. Now I'm more aware of what I was doing it for & feel a new construct to go by thanks TED 🐻 😂
Vazazell (1 month ago)
Why would i fall on the stairs though? That's just mindfulness
Mark Ponce (1 month ago)
Set the speed to 1.25x. Thank me later.
Heiwa (1 month ago)
1.5x actually
Owen Shao (1 month ago)
I slept 2 hours yesterday(today), I have to turn to 0.25x for some extra energy then 2x
Genesis Benavides (1 month ago)
root (1 month ago)
Leaf Dragon (1 month ago)
OMG! Thank you so much.
Gaurav Dhawan (1 month ago)
U and research team surely did sth but research!
pit mal (1 month ago)
It feel like the whole talk is about her, I bet she just want to show off 🤷‍♂️.
masks (1 month ago)
I personally both thrive and fail under pressure it really depends on what it is that's pressuring me. A good example of this would be when I first started training in MMA there was one guy who could always out grapple me so I always got nervous having to go against him. However through time I changed that into motivation and as time passed I got better and better and a really surprisingly high rate it actually got to the point I had to go from kids classes to adults (I was 8 at the time) by the time I was 13 I was taking on people twice my age and half my bodyweight heavier than me. Turn your stress and anxiety into motivation by not focusing on it but by learning from it. If I can do it so can you as humans we believe that we can't do great things but we really aren't that different. Please just keep in mind that nobody is smarter or better than you at anything if you really put the time and effort into it.
Kyle Molinari (27 days ago)
+masks lol okay
masks (27 days ago)
+Kyle Molinari You can call whatever you want you don't know me and I don't need to prove anything to you. I know what I said was true doesn't mean you have to believe it. Can already sense you're a keyboard warrior and have achieved nothing in life that's why you're here trying to put other people down.
Kyle Molinari (29 days ago)
Lmao i call bs
hard mode (1 month ago)
that could be where natural skills come to play an important rol, l always felt like in my elementwhen fighting,not matter the situation, but now as a peaceful adult who loves music l always get so nervous when performing,and lcnat control it,its only get better through time and practice which was the opposite for martial arts. As they are both quite opposite disciplines.
Midosh Brown (1 month ago)
amazing talk ...please can someone explains to me what this means at 12:23-12:29 ----> " I judge my first grader's math homework by whether it's a one-glass assignment or a three-glass night"
debbieomi (1 month ago)
Glasses of wine.
Geary Kunkel (1 month ago)
Most baseball players choke 75 % of the time ....those who only choke 70% of the time are considered champions ...a very fine line ....don't obsess !
Alistair Sebastian (1 month ago)
YEESSSS!!!! Thank you!
if ur a kindergarten teacher and you’re worried about getting 2+2 wrong I don’t think you should be a teacher
Chinar Vartak (1 month ago)
So basically I need to master ultra instinct
Brian Cotuinho (6 days ago)
+Eric Ren how in the world did you come to that assumption!? Did I miss a reference? Also how does you mind equate missing a single reference to being all of Anime!? I'm a moderate Anime fan, but I'm really curious why you would assume someone was not an Anime fan based of a single comment that had nothing to do with the subject? If someone missed a reference to One Piece, My Hero Academia, Fairy Tale, or any of the other dozens of Anime's I like I wouldn't assume they aren't an Anime fan... I wouldn't even assume they aren't a fan of that series for that matter. It might even be a reference to an Anime I like, but that doesn't change my like for anime, just because I missed a reference in a comment section of a Ted talk of all things!
Eric Ren (6 days ago)
+Brian Cotuinho im assuming your not a anime fan
Brian Cotuinho (1 month ago)
You also need to master letting that instinct take over, even in the most important situations. The speaker focused mostly on people who already master ultra instinct, such as sports players, (most people do to some degree), but explained that when many people are under pressure they override their good instincts with less good conscious effort. This doesn't surprise me that it is a problem as a huge fan of video games I long ago discovered that I play best when most of my game is defined by instinct. It is notable though that this is especially true for timed issues and can still be complimented with appropriate amounts of conscious effort (as long as it doesn't become too much).
Brayan2 Monjaraz (1 month ago)
Chinar Vartak 😂😂😂😂
Tony Cipriani (1 month ago)
This is great!
Mr. R (1 month ago)
Quite interesting
Ariadne (1 month ago)
Unfortunately, thinking less will not help with school.
Joseph Song (1 month ago)
Thanks a million ! God bless you.
Victor Cash (1 month ago)
Imagine how awkward its gonna be if she choked during this ted talk...
Shaylynn Williams (1 month ago)
I think she would've glazed over it like a pro! But I know exactly what you mean! I was nervous for her.. and so relieved she delivered 😂👍
Sahil Sharma (1 month ago)
lmfao awh
phen drik (1 month ago)
kulik03 (1 month ago)
This is the first TED talk that I've liked for months
The Flaneur (1 month ago)
"I'm too pretty".... Yeah until the hit the wall at 35, and shockingly discover they can't get men to do all the hard work for them.
The Flaneur (1 month ago)
Wow, a woman saying the un-PC thing that women ARE in fact terrible at math. That explains why they still think there's a wage-gap.
Sebastian Gomez (1 month ago)
Aight. No more second places in Fortnite
Xingxing Mo (26 days ago)
come on, pubg time
Omar G (27 days ago)
What is a fortnite?
Schwanzus Longus (1 month ago)
haha omg fortnite is everywhere
Xingxing Mo (1 month ago)
Deepak Rajotia (1 month ago)
May be... The secret is to focus on whole scene instead of just one aspect u r afraid of.
No Obstacle (1 month ago)
Literally just failed an exam and came out to this.
Some Human (1 month ago)
I have had 2 exams this week and one of them was at most a B... It was math. I feel ya fam.
Michael Guadiana (1 month ago)
I stopped studying for my exam to watch this... lol
Rabbit :D (1 month ago)
Nice 😂😂
Deepak Rajotia (1 month ago)
I fucked up while asking out a girl because I was paying too much attention to what I was saying. That was the most fearful event of my life. I have been surrounded by group of people ready to smash me and I wobbled a lil bit. But in front of her I came across as super low confident dude and she rejected me😁
Rabbit :D (1 month ago)
I found that conversations go better when I don’t think about what I’m saying at all, just say whatever comes out. Because when I try to think about it I mess up and it’s just not good.
Sp1x (1 month ago)
Just walk it off..
SavvasCube (1 month ago)
Interesting topic, but the conclusion of the talk is pretty simple. Practice under stress to do well under stress. Same thing applies to everything. You have to practice for what is going (or what you want) to happen.
Death Angel (3 days ago)
Thats just one* part of the solution
Howard Cohen (18 days ago)
No. Practise SUCCESS under stress. Practise loving what you're doing under stress. Many practise choking under stress and that's worse than not practising at all.
Conrad Collaco (1 month ago)
You see the forest, but not the trees.
Samuel Robredo (1 month ago)
I like her conclusion way more than your simplistic statement
SavvasCube (1 month ago)
What do you mean? She does talk about some of the reason this happens, but the conclusion of how to overcome ''choking'' is practicing under pressure. Practicing under pressure a.k.a. preparing for stressful times, also includes the part about ''writing worries and stuff down'' and trying other things that help you in general. I could have just not answered, but i am a professional procrastinator, so i needed to waste more time :)
Para Sol (1 month ago)
I'd like to make her choke on something if you know what i mean
Pegasister 101 (1 month ago)
Austin J (1 month ago)
so youre saying xanax is a performance enhancing drug?
lee (1 month ago)
it is when it comes to social situations. Hence rappers having so many people wanna hangout with then or sleep with them.
Yourpal Phonna (1 month ago)
I will never teach my kid math (NEVER)
Uncle Silver Gaming (1 month ago)
I've learned that choking is only bad when your partner doesn't like it, or when they do like it but you do it too long.
Udas Amr (1 month ago)
+Onyx Rafle DUDE, i didn't expect that answer, i fucking loled to death
Onyx Rafle (1 month ago)
I choked 8 year olds +Udas Amr
Udas Amr (1 month ago)
+Peggy Harris your sense of humor choked at 8
Wake Up (1 month ago)
I hate vomit😜 I do enjoy the opposing force that results of said choke however; the recoil👉👌
Geary Kunkel (1 month ago)
You are a master my friend .....but if you choke really badly you will never get another chance !
E.S Gaming (1 month ago)
Great video!
Naughty Nookie (1 month ago)
Coming from a fat women. U better believed it chokes!
Vivek Joshi (1 month ago)

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