Monday, January 16, 2012

Three Techniques to Fight Nervousness

Today I am leading a workshop for a group of educators, and I'm nervous. Not "climb into a hole and never come out" nervous, but I'm wrestling with the normal jitters one gets when putting himself/herself out there. Questions like "What will they think of me?" or "Will I do a good job?" or "What if I screw up?" dance in my head, none of them really helping me, save to keep the adrenaline up.

Though I am specifically leading a workshop, I could just as easily be interviewing or giving an important presentation to senior management. Practicing self-management in the face of stress and nervousness is a critical component of success. Facing fears and rising to a challenge can help us grow confident and competent in our abilities. When the times comes for you to step up in the face of perceived adversity, follow these tips to give yourself an edge over your nervousness.

Focus on your purpose, not your outcome: Those who are focused on their purpose stay in the moment and zeroed in on the importance of their endeavor. In contrast, those who focus on the outcome needlessly worry about something that they can never control. When preparing for an interview or a presentation, beat your inner demons by staying strictly focused on your purpose and pay no attention to the outcome.

Visualize: Visualization techniques have shown to calm nerves and to produce positive outcomes in those who practice them. Take some quiet time for yourself to visualize your endeavor, creating in your mind the positive outcome that you desire. Feel the resonance from this place and make preparations from this perspective.

Practice! After deciding to be on-purpose and visualizing your success, work out the physical nuances of your presentation through practice. Write down specific goals or objectives that you want to reach and assess yourself on how well you reach them. Enroll a friend, too, if you would like an objective set of eyes.

Adhere to your purpose, visualize your success, and powerfully practice to achieve the level of success you desire. Good luck!

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