Jack says he’s overwhelmed by the exam, Jill says she’s excited. Jack and Jill have the same IQ, same GPA, even studied together using all the same resources.  

Guess who does better on the exam?

Here’s the thing: positive excitement and negative anxiety are, in most ways, the same biochemical reaction. Turns out, the story we tell ourselves about that biochemical reaction has a pretty big impact on our performance.

You can’t control that biochemical reaction. You can control the story you tell yourself.

And like magic, anxiety becomes energy.

(Kelly McGonigal has a lot to say about this, too.)

Photo credit:

Steve Jurvetson