Acknowledge your nerves
No matter how cool, calm, or collected someone looks, they experience nerves. I can personally attest to this. I’ve performed on stage since age 2, in front of thousands of people. Those experiences taught me a few lessons on HOW TO NOT BE NERVOUS. The realization that helped calm my nerves was the understanding and acknowledgment that everyone experiences them. This mindset shift is especially powerful for competitions, when you feel that your competitor has it all under control, while you’re sweating bullets. Know that nerves are a reaction common to man, and that no one is exempt from this part of the human experience.
Anxiety and excitement are the same thing
When you experience anxiety, or excitement, the same two reactions occur inside your body. Your heart rate increases and your cortisol levels surges. The only difference between anxiety or excitement is the emotion behind them, which you control with your thoughts. That’s awesome news! Whenever you begin to experience anxiety or nerves, focus on shifting your mindset from feelings or thoughts of dread, to ones of success. This will immediately allow you to shift your focus back to the action at-hand.
Take deep breaths
Rapid breathing is part of your body’s fight, flight or freeze response to stress inducing situations. It can increase feelings of anxiety if it goes unchecked. When you feel nervous, practice slow and deliberate breaths. This will slow down your heart rate and make you feel calm. Breathing exercises are extremely useful for long-term stress management. There are many you can incorporate into your daily life to assist with stress management.
Think good thoughts
“Think good thoughts.” It sounds simple. Is it too good to be true? Fortunately practicing positive thinking is all it’s cracked up to be. Successful people have used the power of positive thinking, and affirmations, for centuries because they work. Positive thinking is not just something to focus on when you’re greeted with a stressful situation. It is a practice that can, and should, be incorporated into your daily life. It is a simple and proactive way to battle self-doubt and nerves in any stressful situation.
If you’ve never tried using positive affirmations, or don’t know where to start, you can try out some of my favorites. Repeat these positive affirmations daily, or use them as inspiration to create your own. Grab a free copy HERE.
Practice, practice, practice
“Those who fail to prepare, prepare to fail.” I love this quote because it’s so true. If you feel nervous or unconfident about your abilities, work on them. Neglecting to prepare or practice for any stressful event will only add to your nerves when the rubber meets the road. Although it may feel uncomfortable to work on your weaknesses, it will boost your confidence in the long run. There’s a saying I learned in theater and dance that says, “you perform how you practice.” If you want to increase your chances of success while decreasing your nerves, start doing more of the things that make you nervous.
Find a distraction
It’s common to feel anxiety because you are self-focused. When all you think about are your own actions or, “wonder will people think?” you begin to amplify your nerves. One method, I’ve found extremely useful, is to find a distraction. Prior to entering an interview, I used to listen to motivational speeches. They boosted my confidence and allowed me to focus on my strengths. Some people prefer to read, journal, or practice visualization before they approach a stressful situation. Test each of these purposeful distractions to find the one that best suits your needs and allows you to overcome any nerves.
Like this post? Check out more tips for mastering your mindset HERE.