Stop fighting, start embracing…

I have a default advice to give first time speakers – You will feel nervous when you go on stage. The look on their faces is quite priceless as usually their question is how do I stop feeling nervous.

I’ve presented to audiences of 1000s of people and yet a presentation in front of 3 people will still make me nervous.  But it is important that you go still speak and feel nervous. When you finish speaking, the nervousness will go away and hopefully, over time you will start enjoying that nervousness.The nervousness is preparing your body to be top performer by secreting the necessary hormones – but we don’t understand that and we don’t have to. Instead, let’s just think of it as an adventure sport – bungee jumping or sky diving. It is scary at first – but nobody dies (at least not in public speaking) and it feels alright by the end.

Acknowledging the nervousness and the fear makes a huge difference. It puts things into perspective. This is quite true of any activity – the tough interview, the application to your dream programme or even asking the tough questions. There will be fear and nervousness – but stop fighting it & start embracing it. Hopefully you’ll have a smoother ride.


Be afraid and Do it anyway!

I was 13 years old, trying to teach my 6 year old sister how to dive into a swimming pool from the side of the pool. It was taking quite a while as my sister was really nervous about it. We were at a big, public pool, and nearby there was a woman, about 75 years old, slowly swimming laps. Occasionally she would stop and watch us. Finally she swam over to us just when I was really putting the pressure on, trying to get my sister to try the dive, and my sister was shouting, “but I’m afraid!! I’m so afraid!!” The old woman looked at my sister, raised her fist defiantly in the air and said, “So be afraid! And then do it anyway!”  That was 35 years ago and I have never forgotten it. It was a revelation — it’s not about being unafraid. It’s about being afraid and doing it anyway.

Source: Redditt