A client wanted to address her fear of presenting
Despite preparing the presentation content thoroughly, she knew that she would have nerves, culminating in a panic attack, shortly before she was due to present and would make an excuse. Someone else would step in and she would feel relieved.
Our physiological experience belies what is going on in our mind. The thoughts she was having were negative and causing her anxious physical symptoms: she told herself that she would colour up, forget her words and that people would think she was weak.
Imagine yourself about to descend down a mountain on your skis. Are you anxious or excited? Physiologically these feelings are the same. How we present the feelings to ourselves determines whether it manifests as excitement, or fear.
We discussed this analogy and my client was able to say:
“So if I can get excited about it, I will experience the same feelings, but it will be ok?”
We had a conversation about an example topic and what could be exciting about the content or the way she presented it.
I have just received a call from her to say that she had presented to a small group, as a trial of her new approach and it went well.
Same feelings, different thoughts.
Choose your thoughts carefully.