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Got Shaky Knees?

January 6, 2014

Daily ReadGot Shaky Knees?

Whether it’s a critical presentation, a key pitch or a new product roll-out; whatever you’re about to do, it’s very important and you’re nervous. What you need is a quick confidence boost. While true confidence takes time to develop, fortunately there are ways you can quickly overcome your anxiety and nerves and perform well. Here’s a few ways you can gain a quick shot of confidence:

1. Burn off some chemical stress. When you feel anxious or stressed your adrenal glands secrete cortisol, one of the chemical triggers of the instinctive fight-or-flight reflex.  Burn off excess cortisol with exercise- take a walk at lunch or work out before work.

2. Eat the right “last” meal. The two chemicals that help regulate mental alertness are found in proteins. So simply make sure you intake some type of protein in your meal. Don’t wait until the last minute then you may be too nervous is eat a healthy meal.

3. Prepare for a few “What if?” possibilities. For most of us the “What if?” stuff is your biggest worry. What if my PowerPoint presentation crashes?  What if someone constantly interrupts and screws up my flow? Fear of the unknown is a confidence killer. So think about a few of the worst things that can happen and create a plan to deal with those things.

4. Think past your lucky socks. Superstitions are a poor attempt to control uncertainty or fear. Wearing lucky socks don’t really make anyone perform better, instead create a pattern that helps you prepare and emotionally center yourself. Pick certain actions you will perform, (actions that are actually beneficial) and do them every time. Comfort and confidence lies in the familiar.

5. Establish a secondary goal. Say you’re speaking to an industry group and your goal is to convince members to donate time to a worthy cause. Pretty quickly you realize almost no one is listening, much less cares. What do you do?  You try too hard. Maybe you take the easy way out and give up. So whatever your primary goal, establish a secondary goal and instead of losing all faith in yourself and your mission, be ready to transition to that goal. If things aren’t turning out the way you hope you’ll still be able to stay confident.

How do you stay confidence when things get tough?

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