Fortunately I've never had severe stress when it really mattered. The adrenalin of a big deal somehow keeps you going with no time left to worry. It's the little things that knock my confidence – missing an appointment, giving a poor speech or losing my mobile phone have all been enough to trigger it off.
John Timpson Upside Down Management
This struck me as an interesting insight and one that chimes with my own experience. I would add a further quirk: it is when I'm under stress that I'm particularly prone to losing things which in turn makes me more anxious still. I recently heard this described as 'skills failure' - the loss of the ability to do simple things under pressure