You are about to try something new and slightly intimidating.
You are about to get up in front of your peers to give a speech or presentation.
You are rehearsing the speech you plan to give your boss, asking for a raise you know you deserve.
You are about to have a much overdue heart to heart conversation with a loved one.
What is the one common denominator going on in all these events?? You are NERVOUS!
So often we spend so much energy trying to NOT be nervous. Here’s the thing…you are still going to be nervous in these types of situations. In my opinion, the reason you are nervous is because you care, this is important to you. It’s something that matters. You’ve often worked long and hard to be in this position, or it’s something you’ve been wanting to do, or thinking about, for a long time.
It if wasn’t important to you, you wouldn’t care as much and probably wouldn’t be nearly as nervous. Am I right?
So instead of putting all your energy into fighting your nerves, which quite frankly probably aren’t going anywhere, why not put your energy into being better prepared, and more confident, as you enter the situation.
This concept isn’t completely my own. I heard radio talk show host, Bobby Bones, talking about it earlier this week. I’m not sure if it was something he had read or heard from somebody else, but it any event, it really stuck me as something that could be helpful to others, so I wanted to share it as well.
New activity you are tackling? Make a pros vs cons list. Focus on why you want to do the thing in the first place. How excited, fulfilled, happy, confident will you feel after completing it?
Getting ready for a public speaking engagement? Practice. Rehearse. Know your material. Be confident. Go into your presentation ready to deliver your material, ready to make a difference, to enlighten, to encourage, to educate your audience.
Asking for a raise? Have your talking points ready. Be prepared to share specific accomplishments. Competitive analysis is helpful; what are others with your education, experience, expertise making in similar industries, competing companies, etc. You are, and always will be, your best advocate. Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn. Oftentimes, your hard work and accomplishments are simply not known by those in the position to adjust your salary.
Needing to have a serious, maybe even difficult, conversation with a loved one? How important are they to you? Don’t you owe it to them to let them know how you are truly feeling? Will your relationship benefit positively in the long run if/when you have this conversation? Prepare you thoughts ahead of time and go into the conversation with a loving and open heart. You’ll thank yourself later.
Friends, the nervousness isn’t going anywhere. Remind yourself that you are nervous because you care. In all the examples provided above, you are nervous over potentially good things in your life. Things you can be thankful for. Things that will help you grow as a person. So often people are nervous over difficult and painful things they are facing in life…a sick loved one in the hospital, the loss of a job, an uncertain medical diagnosis, etc. But this isn’t you right now, you are nervous about a good thing!
The next time you feel nervous because of an upcoming event that has the potential to be POSITIVE to your life, your career, your relationships, be thankful. Invest your energy into preparation. Accept your nerves as simply a by-product of caring.
Now go out and do the thing!