Quick Tip: How to Stop Overthinking Before the Big Race

Michael Butler
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Squeeze a ball to stop yourself from overthinking

In this specific scenario, you’re anxious because you know you want this job and would be over the moon to land it. If you go into the meeting thinking that you’ve already got it, you’re going to close yourself off to other options.

Don’t psych yourself out. You still have to prove yourself to your future employers. They want to see that you’re a good fit. When you’re overthinking things, it’s simply a way of avoiding having the difficult conversation.

Instead, you may want to take a chalk, chalkboard, or kitchen fridge magnet and slap it against your hand or a table. You know the kind of crazy magnetic slaps that hurt a little bit? That’s the right kind of slap.

It’s a good idea to practice this in advance, so you know exactly how hard to strike your hand from a few feet away. Now, when you’re feeling anxious right before your big interview, slap that magnet against your hand a few times.

Add it to your pre-race routine

Adding a new habit to your pre-race routine is a great way to ease into certain pre-race habits. Before long, it’ll just be a normal part of your race-morning preparation.

If it’s a habit that doesn’t feel very normal or pleasant, like working on your mental game, you can make the habit more palatable by making it a morning exercise. If you’re normally running at 6am, try giving yourself a mental warm-up routine to perform before running. If you’re not used to morning exercise, I’d recommend starting your mental warm-up routine as low as possible (below a mile) and gradually increase it over several weeks, until you’re comfortable with your routine.

If you’re not a morning exerciser, you can still include mental practice into your routine. Adding it before your run will give it as much of a workout as your legs.

The sequence of pre-run activities in your pre-race routine should progress from those that are low intensity and have a relatively quick recovery time, to those that are higher intensity and take longer to recover from.

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