Do What You Fear Most

Sometimes we would like to do something but don't because we are too nervous or afraid of what might happen. I'm not talking about jumping out of a plane or some other adventure sport, I am talking about things at work that we don't enjoy that much. Making a speech, delivering a presentation, or holding performance improvement meetings are examples.

The most effective way that I found to deal with my nerves in these situations is to do more of them. Immersion therapy is a recognised method of getting accustomed to a situation that you find stressful. The military do this a lot in their training. They practice so much that their mind becomes accustomed to the situation and their body works on muscle memory.

An everyday example to illustrate. For most of us, talking in public is scary. Despite my involvement in public speaking for over 15 years I still find that I get extremely nervous.  I often don’t comprehend what I am saying for the first few minutes of my presentation because of anxiety. 

Being nervous is a good thing as it keeps us focussed however too much nervousness can also overwhelm our thoughts to the point that we become ineffective.  By joining Toastmasters I learnt a new way of dealing with my fear and doing so in a safe and friendly environment.

Practice operating outside of your comfort zone to get your sensors used to challenging situations, but do this gradually otherwise your stress levels will become too much and overwhelm your senses.