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6 Ways to Destroy Nervousness

Let me start off by saying that being nervous can be a good thing. Being nervous suggests that you may be stepping over the boundary of your comfort zone, which as Timo Kiander outlined in his post last week is something we should all be striving to do.

However, sometimes the negative association we have with being nervous can actually prevent us from raising ourselves to new levels. One solution is to reduce the intensity of your nervousness so that it does not limit you from reaching your potential.

Over the past year I’ve carried out a lot of research around the topic of how to control nerves for a book that I’ve recently launched on the topic of meeting new people called Get Noticed. Some of the most interesting insights I gained came from a meeting I had with a public speaking coach who taught me two very important things.

The first thing I learned was that in order to take control of your nerves you need to detach whatever it is that is making you nervous from the situation. Those things may be physical traits or doubting emotions that make you nervous, regardless of what they may be, you must find ways of reducing the focus on these elements and highlighting your strengths instead. Secondly, you have to be prepared and confident about what you’re doing.

Here are six tips taken from Get Noticed on how you can destroy your nerves:

Detach What Makes You Nervous From the Situation

1) Focus on the objective of the situation

We often get nervous over silly things like what other people are going to think about our looks. A good solution to prevent this is to focus on the objective of the situation opposed to focusing on how the person in the situation may be feeling. For example, if you’re going to a job interview, think about what they’re looking for and how you can achieve the job offer through ticking the boxes in their mental checklist.

2) Have a friend with you

An excellent way of detaching yourself from a situation is to have a friend or someone you can talk to help you focus on the objective. If you’re nervous about meeting someone, talk to your friend before hand and then analyze how it went afterwards. This will help you focus on the outcome of the interaction from a more rational ‘outsiders’ perspective.

3) Keep yourself busy

One of the main things that make us nervous is having the time to be nervous. For events that are non-optional and inevitably going to make us nervous, the best technique to limit nerves is to distract yourself.  Keeping your mind focused on things that don’t make you nervous will stops your nerves from intensifying as the event gets closer.

Be Prepared and Confident

4) Know what you want to say

Ask any public speaker what their best tip for delivering a great presentation is and the chances are they’ll tell you ‘be prepared’. Knowing what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it prevents you having to think on your feet and worry about what comes next. If you have a job interview coming up, prepare yourself with answers to likely questions the interviewer may ask.

5) Be positive and assume the best

When we think about something, we tend to manifest it into our reality. Everything you’ve ever done, from walking into a coffee shop to buying a new car, began in the form of a thought. Think positively about what it is you’re nervous about and you will notice yourself become less nervous and more likely to succeed.

 

6) Wear an outfit you feel confident in

When you look great, you feel great. Dressing well shows others that you respect yourself and the people you’re around. Wearing well-fitted clothes that project your personal tastes and styles helps to fill you with confidence and reduce your nervousness.

 

I’d be interested in hearing your tips on how you tackle nervous situations and whether any of these tactics have been effective for you. Feel free to drop me a tweet at @MarcusATaylor or leave a comment in the comments section below if you have any questions!

 

This guest post was written by Marcus Taylor. Marcus is a co-author of the book Get Noticed and head of social media at SEOptimise.

Image Credit: redisdead

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  • http://www.facebook.com/shaad.hamid Shaad Hamid

    Great points here Marcus! I will definitely be using them, especially being focused on the objective at hand. Sounds obvious but it can so often be overlooked. A technique I use when I’m nervous is to close my eyes, take deep breaths (exhaling slowly) I would visualise the presentation going really well where the words flow fluently and I imagine how pleased I feel having presented. This technique has worked well for me so far :)

    • http://twitter.com/MarcusATaylor Marcus Taylor

      Thanks for the comment, Shaad! 

      It’s so easy to overlook this sort of stuff in the moment, but from a rational perspective, the more you can detach yourself and be positive about what it is you’re doing, the better. 

      That exact same technique has worked for me during the run-ups to many of the instances where i’ve done public speaking. If you tell yourself that it’s going to go fine, by the time the presentation comes around, you’ll have convinced yourself that it will be okay, increasing your confidence!

  • http://www.2knowmyself.com farouk

    that’s such an important topic
    thank you for the useful tips Marcus :)

    • http://twitter.com/MarcusATaylor Marcus Taylor

      My pleasure, Farouk. Thanks for stopping by :)

       

  • http://www.itrush.com Cool New Gadgets

    Interesting points, now I know where to start when my nervousness kicks in..

  • http://www.clintcora.com Clint Cora

    Being prepared is a great tip. Before I present any speech or presentation, I make sure that I’ve rehearsed it at least 20 times so that I know my speech like the back of my hand.  Also, another tip from the speaking world (since that’s what I do), is speak to as many different audiences as possible.  Exposure to different size audiences as well as different venues with different room configurations all give a broader experience to speakers and will help get over nervousness.  

  • http://essaychampions.com/ custom essays

    Thanks for the article. Very interesting. Especially liked  this part “Focus on the objective of the situation”

  • http://www.colon-liver-cleanse.com/ Sean

    If you expect the worst then you won’t get the best, if you expect the best then you won’t get the worst.

  • http://www.awesomelifecoach.com Kian | Awesome Life Coach

    Wonderful article. There are some great tips here. In terms of public speaking I couldn’t agree more with being prepared to reduce nervousness. Even better is to speak about something you love and are knowledgeable about.  When you start speaking about somthing you are passionate about the passion shows and you totally forget that you ever had nerves!

  • doryan250

    Wow this will really help me when I have an important meeting, thanks for this post!
    Zero Dramas

  • http://Mazzastick.com Justin

    Some people are more prone to nerves than others. Some of the most dynamic people that I have ever met are also ones that would be labeled as “nervy.”

    Sometimes the best we can do is let go. It is often our unrealistic expectations that cause us to experience nervousness.

  • http://Mazzastick.com Justin

    Some people are more prone to nerves than others. Some of the most dynamic people that I have ever met are also ones that would be labeled as “nervy.”

    Sometimes the best we can do is let go. It is often our unrealistic expectations that cause us to experience nervousness.

  • http://www.tourismdentalindia.com Dental Tourism

    Time and tide wait for no man. Nervousness wastes a lot of time though to be honest I myself am nervous quite often

  • http://flawlessconfidence.com Martin

    Preparation is the key. However, sometimes it’s not enough and you still feel nervous. And that’s when I try to see myself in third person perspective. It’s like seeing yourself from a perspective of your listener. If you were a listener, would you be nervous? Seeing yourself from a different perspective will help you understand that there’s no reason to be nervous.

    Another idea (I also use this frequently) – whenever you feel nervous, imagine that you’re someone who’s very confident (I like to think about Snoop Dogg haha). Would Snoop Dogg be nervous? Probably not. You can also remind yourself of a past situation in which you felt very confident. It should help you regain confidence in nervous situations. Singing favorite songs in your head should be helpful as well.

  • http://flawlessconfidence.com Martin

    Preparation is the key. However, sometimes it’s not enough and you still feel nervous. And that’s when I try to see myself in third person perspective. It’s like seeing yourself from a perspective of your listener. If you were a listener, would you be nervous? Seeing yourself from a different perspective will help you understand that there’s no reason to be nervous.

    Another idea (I also use this frequently) – whenever you feel nervous, imagine that you’re someone who’s very confident (I like to think about Snoop Dogg haha). Would Snoop Dogg be nervous? Probably not. You can also remind yourself of a past situation in which you felt very confident. It should help you regain confidence in nervous situations. Singing favorite songs in your head should be helpful as well.

  • http://www.lowbudget-pharmacy.com/ Well

    I choose №3 and 6!

  • Guest

    I think you’re off the mark with #1, yes some people care too much about what others think, but I believe the problem stems from being outcome dependent.  People want to attain an objective so badly they psych themselves out, aka performance anxiety.  They want the girl, they want the job, they want to win a gold medal, they care so much that they can’t perform at a level they know they can.  This article would be decent had you addressed this, as it is now it falls flat.

  • Thekaleemullah

    Excellent & practical points…thanks very much

  • Http://www

    Pratima Sharma India

    I feel comfortable in preparing for a event like marriage , travel and like. Pl advice ahow can I get over this

    Thanks

  • Http://www

    Pratima Sharma India

    I feel un comfortable in preparing for a event like marriage , travel and like. Pl advice ahow can I get over this

    Thanks

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  • Hannah

    Using these tips I am going through nerves for a gymnastics competition and I am sure that I will survive with mural support and know that I am not alone with nerves. 😄

  • ashish s

    I felt nervous whenever i have to take the interview or when my teacher calls me to say something about I in front of everyone. I felt shy whenever i interact with other people, while talking in English. And i really don’t know the reason about it, help me.

    • azhar

      I feel the samething
      Please help me i cnt achieve my dreams beacause of this nervesness

  • Kathleen

    That was so helpful, thank you! I have to talk to my band director today about getting into wind ensemble as a freshman, and this article helped so much. Thanks!

  • Joe

    Great advice

  • Becca

    I don’t get nervous much, I just get nervous when I think I’m going to stuff up, make a fool of myself, or completely fail altogether.
    Thinking positive, like “I can do this”, and things like, “So what?” helps me in situations like this.
    And my dream is to be an actress, so it may help me with not as much nervousness

  • harriet solomonides

    I have always been a nervous type of personality, I think, especially when it comes to public speaking. A lot of the fear for me comes from worrying about looking nervous! Sounds irrational but I think it is a fear of appearing vulnerable. Over the years I have found that if the nervous energy us channelled in the right way it can be used to my advantage. I am a successful professional, but can appreciate how crippling this feeling can be, how it can prevent people from achieving their full potential. I think the other interesting concept is the underlying cause, of a nervous personality, genetic, social factors, trauma, etc, and how all of these interact.

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  • Josue Gonzalez

    Im a Mexican guy born there
    I was raised in Los Angeles
    One thing that always keeps me nervous in public or even when I’m with my family is my self I know I’m a happy person
    Bt knowing your not from this country and try to socialize with people in public
    I feel less because
    I get nervous to talk or you could say socialize n you know what they say
    If you wanna do good you have to start from your family.
    So now that I read this topics Marcus Taylor wrote
    It makes me feel good to know that been nervous is just a wall we need to break into
    Not caring about what other people are gonna say or think
    Always be your self remember we can’t please all people in this world so don’t let no one put you down
    Always keep a smile in your face
    GOD BLESS YOU ALL