If you walk into a situation thinking, "I hope I don't lose," you'll perform worse than if you think, "I'm here to win."
Take a deep breath and tell yourself, "I'm going to do well." That slight change in your thought process will increase your chance of success.
Visualize success.---Olympic gold medalist Lindsey Vonn said, "By the time I get to the start gate, I've run that race 100 times already in my head, picturing how I'll take the turns." Mental imagery has a profound effect on the way your body behaves.
Studies consistently show that no matter your skill level, visualizing yourself going through the motions will help you do better. Whether you're about to ask for a raise or give an important presentation, imagine yourself going through the motions. Thinking about each step in the process can help you perform at your peak.
Use positive self-talk.
When asked about his decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers to play for the Miami Heat, LeBron James told reporters, "I wanted to do what's best for LeBron James and do what makes LeBron James happy."
Initially, social media buzzed with teasing about James referring to himself in the third person. Although some suspected he was losing touch with reality, the truth is that talking to himself by name was likely part of his key to success. Studies have found that talking to yourself by name in this way reduces anxiety and helps you make better decisions. So rather than saying, "I can do this," call yourself by name. As strange as it sounds, it may help you regulate your emotions so you can focus your energy on the task at hand.
The first step to improving your game—whatever your game might be—is to think like a champion.