Lucky Undies

I work in critical care medicine. If I know I’m in for a rough day, I seldom arrive without bright lipstick or a ludicrous pair of statement earrings, with a decent spray of Hypnotic Poison by Dior. For me, it’s my lucky charm, a symbolic gesture of “hey, you’re going to be okay today, nobody messes with the chick who smells like vanilla almonds while wearing hot pink lipstick on a Monday”…..

For other people, this ritual may involve  a particular hairstyle, a wicked pair of heels, carrying a particular pen or notebook, or as I know many of my girlfriends do, wearing a gorgeous matching underwear set underneath very normal business clothes.

While using these tools may seem like superfluous superstition, they can actually be helpful for our performance. In fact, having an allocated lucky charm or using ‘good luck’ phrases like “break a leg!”, have been shown to be associated with improved dexterity, motor performance and memory. The thought is that the perceived ‘luck’ associated with the charm actually increases our belief in our own ability to complete the task at hand. This equals improved confidence, which then improves our actual performance!

You’ll never discount wearing your lucky undies ever again!

Adapted from my original article at