Being nervous before an big event or during a tough situation can hamper your ability to perform well. While the best of us experience some amount nervousness, it shouldn’t come in the way of achieving your goals. If you get nervous regularly and find that it is affecting the way you deal with situations, here are a few simple steps you can take.
1. Take The Time To Prepare
Remember that smart kid in school who never batted an eye when the teacher announced a surprise test? That’s because he/she was always prepared. Preparation helps you build confidence because you know that you have done the best you can. You have no control over the final turn of events but preparing for the event is something that’s completely up to you.
- If you have a major presentation, stand in front of the mirror and deliver your presentation. Practice your posture and memorize all the key points you want to highlight.
- If you are nervous about a date, think of a few things you want ask or tell. Decide on what you will wear and check the menu to decide what you want to order.
- For an interview, try and anticipate the questions and think of what your answers are going to be. Do your research on the company’s culture. This will help you convince the interviewer why you’d be a good fit.
2. Don’t Let Your Imagination Run Wild
When you’re nervous, you mind tends to go on a tangent and create situations that are highly unlikely. You start to think about worst case scenarios that are simply not probable. Hit the stop button and try to look at the situation objectively.
The worse is usually made worse by your imagination. If things do go south and you don’t get that job you wanted or the girl you went on a date with; you pick yourself up, learn from it and move on. Life is not going to come to a halt. So don’t imagine doomsday scenarios. There aren’t any.
3. Visualize The Situation Positively
Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right. So what’s stopping you from thinking that you can. Almost every life coach and self-help advocate the power of positive thinking. When you’re nervous about an upcoming event, stop worrying about the result and start visualizing positive outcomes.
Either sit or lie down in a comfortable place, close your eyes, and play the event in your head. If it’s a party, see yourself having great conversations with others. If you’re nervous about a meeting, imagine how you would handle questions with confidence. Once you have lived through the situation in your mind, the actual situation becomes a familiar place and you won’t get thrown off your game so easily.
4. Focus On Your Breath
Nervousness is usually at it’s peak just before an event or situation that is scaring you. Standing on the edge of a big event can be stressful and the stress ends up making you even more nervous. This is the time you need to consciously slow yourself down.
Make an effort to be as gentle as you can with your actions. Haste is the enemy here and you want to be as slow and composed as you can. Find a relatively quit spot, sit cross-legged if you can, and take slow, deep breaths. Avoid breathing through your chest and breathe with your belly instead. Make sure you don’t hold your breath but try to inhale and exhale fully. This will calm your body and help your mind put things into perspective.
5. Keep Yourself Comfortable
This might sound superficial but if you are going to be on the spot, you need to be comfortable in your own skin. Start by deciding on what you are going to wear for the event. Choose clothing that your know you are comfortable in. If you are wearing something new, make sure you try it on the night before to check for open seams, left out tags, and loose buttons.
Check the weather forecast and dress accordingly. You don’t want to be caught shivering during a date or sweating during an outdoor lunch meeting. If you are required to be on stage, visit the venue a day prior to get a feel of the stage and how you would position yourself. Taking these small details into account will add to your overall confidence. Tip: Keep a deodorant handy and always make sure you smell good.
6. Stop Worrying About Expectations
Most people are worried about what people would think of them, how they would come across on a date or if they’re saying the right things to make the right impression. However, the fact is that none of these things are in your control. People will judge you based on their own experiences and some people will never like you, no matter how good you are to them.
So stop worrying about what others think and start thinking about how you can be your best. Look at your past achievements or think about situations where you performed really well. List down your strengths and all the things that worked for you. Whenever you feel nervous about something, go back to the list and be creative about how you can use what you have to deal with what’s coming.
7. Take Care Of Your Body
Exercising is not only a great way to keep yourself fit but also helps you combat nervousness. Whether it’s a jog in the morning or a weight training session at the gym, exercising releases endorphin, the feel-good hormone, which keeps anxiety and nervousness at bay.
On the day of the big event, make sure you start your day with some aerobic exercises. It could be a run, a swim, or a power yoga session. Anything that infuses you with energy and makes you feel fresh. Also, drink enough water to keep yourself hydrated and eat well but avoid excess sugar, fats, and stimulants like coffee which can send your system on overdrive.
It’s natural to be anxious and nervous when you’re doing something new or something you’re not confident about. Using these simple yet effective methods can help you overcome nervousness and allow you to focus on being your best.