Us superachievers are often stretching outside our comfort zone and there are times when we find ourselves in situations that can be a bit nerve-wracking. It could be that you are about to speak up in a meeting about an idea that you have to people who have the power to make the idea happen or to squash it. Perhaps you are about to take that leap into entrepreneurship from the safety of a secure job. Or, it could be that you are about to take a different kind of leap – perhaps out of a plane. Whatever it is, because you are a superachiever, you are choosing to do something that scares you every day and that is often accompanied by nerves.
So here are some ways that you can manage your nervousness when you’re out there doing great things for our world. This advice has been gathered from various sources over the years.
Know Your Triggers: When you are aware of your triggers – what leads to your nervousness – you can plan and prepare for your reaction before it happens. Perhaps it is speaking in public that riles you up, or sharing an idea that you have come up with yourself and feel very strongly about. Whatever triggers your nerves is unique to you and self-awareness is the first step in pretty much everything, right? Knowing what triggers you will allow you to be prepared for when the nerves start hindering you.
Breathe: Engage in deep breathing exercises to calm your nervous system. This is a very important process is in working through your nerves. When we get nervous, we tend to take quick, shallow breaths. The deeper and slower your breathe, the more your nerves will dissipate.
Accept it: Admit your nervousness and quit beating yourself up over it. Guess what? You’re human and there is no Perfect 10! Remind yourself that there is no such thing as perfect and do your best.
Reframe it: Instead of thinking “I’m so nervous!”, think “I’m excited!” Changing your interpretation of what your body is doing will help you motivate you to rise to the challenge. A great resource for this is Kelly McGonagall’s TED Talk on stress. Google it.
Prepare, prepare, prepare! Mentally and physically prepare for what you want to say or do. The more you prepare and rehearse, the easier the action you take will be. Why do you think law enforcement and military constantly prepare and rehearse responding to various events? It is so that their subconscious programming and muscle memory can take over and get the job done and nerves have less of an impact. This applies to anything in life – even rehearsing going through airport security with your kids so they’ll be less likely to be nervous and have an emotional meltdown.
Focus on your mission. Remember the “Why” behind what you’ve chosen to do. Keeping focused on the Why will help you move past the nerves.
Put it in perspective. Whatever you are about to do or say is a fraction of your life (even a fraction of your day!) Change your internal dialogue by reminding yourself that this is but a few moments of your time, so you can step up to meet the challenge.
There you have it superachievers – a few tips for moving past the nervousness that naturally occurs when you’re out in the world doing great things. Pick a couple to practice today.