An odd thing about humans is that we tend to hold our breath in moments whenever we are attached to a particular outcome. Just after we’ve rolled the ball down the lane, hoping for a strike. Just after we’ve asked an important question, hoping for the answer we want. When we’re watching our child try something for the first time, hoping for a successful completion.

The first important thing to realize about these breath hitches is that they happen. The second is that they don’t help, any more than crossing your fingers or throwing salt over your shoulder.

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