Whenever I’m nervous (which, but the way happens pretty much any time I speak in public, do an interview or try something new and scary), I don’t worry any more. Why? Because I’ve discovered a quick & brilliant way to deal with nerves…
It’s very simple. You feel nervous.
You notice it.
You raise your eyebrows for a second.
And then you remember this important piece of wisdom:
WHEN YOU’RE DOING SOMETHING IMPORTANT YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE NERVOUS!!!
I’ve tried all sorts ways of dealing with nerves, from breathing exercises, to changing my body language, to visualisations. Whilst these can be helpful in dealing with nerves, this is the thought that consistently helps me to get over my nerves and step into fearlessness.
Why is this thought true?
1. When we’re always completely calm, we’re not stretching ourselves
If you were to avoid any feeling of nervousness, I’m guessing you would have a pretty dull life. Nerves show that we’re trying something new, that we’re stretching outside of our comfort zone. They also show that we’re growing. We may not be there yet, but at least we’re trying.
How great is that?
2. When we’re ‘dealing with nerves’ we actually focus more on the nerves than our confidence
I see many of my public speaking clients obsessing so much about their nerves that it becomes way more important than their audience, their content, or even the outcome of their talk. If you focus on building your confidence, rather than dealing with your nerves, you’ll find you have much more space to focus on what matters.
3. This thought changes my judgment from “I’m nervous” to “Isn’t this exciting?
In the body, nerves and excitement are the same thing. They’re adrenaline. But usually we judge that adrenaline and get terrified because we’re nervous. If we remind ourselves that it’s a good thing we have that feeling, it automatically shifts to a feeling of excitement.
Now it’s great that we feel nervous – brilliant – because whatever comes is our attempt to do something important.
So, nerves are a sign that we’re doing something important. How about we celebrate nerves instead of ‘dealing with them’?