When facing a new situation, some people tend to rehearse their defeat by spending too much time anticipating the worst. I remember talking with a young lawyer who was about to begin her first jury trial. She was very nervous. I asked what impression she wanted to make on the jury. She replied:” I don’t want to look too inexperienced, I don’t want them to suspect this is my first trial.” This lawyer had fallen victims to the don’ts syndrome—a form of negative goals setting. The don’ts can be self-fulfilling because your mind response to pictures.
Research conducted at Stanford University shows a mental image fires the nerve system the same way as actually doing something. That means when a golfer tells himself: ”Don’t hit the ball into the water.” His mind sees the image of the ball flying into the water. So guess where the ball will go?
Consequently, before going into any stressful situation, focus only on what you want to have happen. I asked the lawyer again how she wanted to appear at her first trial. And this time she said: ”I want to look professional and self-assured. ” I told her to create a picture of what self-assured would look like. To her, it meant moving confidently around the court room, using convincing body language and projecting her voice, so it could be heard from the judge’s bench to the back door. She also imagined a skillful closing argument and a winning trial. A few weeks after this positive dress rehearsal, the young lawyer did win.
Q9: what do some people do when they face a new situation?
Q10: what does the research conducted at Stanford University show?
Q11: what advice does the speaker give to people in a stressful situation?
Q12: what do we learn about the lawyer in the court?