Happy Halloween, everyone!
Today, we're going to talk about fear. No, I'm not talking about the "just watched a scary movie" kind of fear (even if it is Halloween, after all). I'm talking about the sweaty palms, the racing heart, the dry mouth... Everything that comes with being nervous. A lot of physiological responses happen whenever we are facing something that we are unfamiliar with. Watch the following video or read the full blog for more...
The speed with which the world is moving is kind of scary, and we're usually not ready. How many of you have felt like a kid, like a baby crying in front of your computer or in front of a task that could potentially be an easy thing, but is so new that it makes you nervous?
I attended an event last weekend, and one of the speakers, Michelle Ray, mentioned a quote. She talked about Lorne Michaels, the creator of Saturday Night Live, and repeated something he said that really sticked with me:
"We don't start the show because we're ready. We start the show because it's 11:30."
- Lorne Michael, Creator Saturday Night Live
Isn't that a great quote? It happens to all of us. We don't do something because we're ready. If you have kids, nobody has them because they're ready, right? We're never ready for whatever is going to happen. We do it because time's up and we've just got to.
There are lots of physiological responses that happen to us as we get nervous, and our brain responds in a certain way because we have taught our brain to respond in said way. Something happens, so you panic.
I heard this story a long time ago about a speaker who was just about to go on stage. As he was about to walk on, his palms started to sweat, his heart started to beat really fast in his chest, and his mouth started to dry up. When his palms started sweating, he started to panic and he said: "Oh gosh, I'm so nervous. This is it. I'm going to screw up." When his heart started beating faster, and he said: "I'm so nervous. I'm going to forget all my speech. Oh my gosh." When his mouth started feeling dry, and he said: "I'm not going to be able to talk. It's crazy."
Behind him, there was another speaker also waiting to go on stage. Her palms started sweating too, her heart started beating really fast, and her mouth started to dry up, but instead of panicking, here's what she said: "Oh, my palms are starting to sweat. That means it's time. My heart is beating faster. That means that I'm pumping full of energy. My mouth is getting dry. That's a sign. I'm going to knock it out of the park."
The same two physiological reactions happened to both speakers, but the first one decided that those signs had a specific meaning that did not really empower him. The second speaker, she reacted in a very different way. She was gung-ho and ready to attack the stage.
What are you telling yourself when you face a situation that puts you in the driver's seat? Instead of panicking, try being like the second speaker. Talk yourself into getting excited and curious about what you're going to learn, because every time you face an unfamiliar situation, you ARE going to learn something.
Look back at some things that you may not have been good with before that you've now mastered. For example, over a year ago, everyone struggled with Zoom. Now, everyone talks about it. I remember in one of my first courses, I taught people about this revolutionary thing that you can use to have online meetings: Zoom. Well, my course is old now. I was a bit ahead of my time with this. Somehow, we all learned to master it already.
You can also make a have-done list. There are lots of things that you were not good at before that you now can do with your eyes closed, very easily.
Whenever something happens, start thinking of what you would like these physiological reactions to mean. That sweat, that anxiety, that heartbeat. Ask yourself: "How do I want to feel? How would I like to react to these different things that are happening to me right now?" You can decide on the meaning of these specific things. You can decide to feel empowered by sweaty palms and dry mouths and have access to your full potential every single time.
That's how we stop that nervousness and that anxiety, and that fear of the unknown: By giving a different meaning to the physiological responses that come with these feelings. Do something about it!
ARE YOU HOLDING BACK ON YOUR ONLINE BUSINESS BECAUSE YOU FEEL LIKE YOU'RE NOT READY?
If anything, today's blog might have helped you understand that we're never really ready. We do things because time's up, and we got to go.
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Check out some of my previous blog posts...
Tools to Cope When You Had a Bad Night's Sleep
How to Stick With Your Goals
Learnings From a 21-Time Olympic Medalist