How to overcome nervousness

Nervousness is a normal human emotion which comes with anticipation and excitement. We’ve all been there – from going out on a date, doing a presentation at work, to generally being out of our comfort zones – nervousness is a part of life. Unfortunately, it can leave us frozen in our tracks, and even lower our confidence when we experience embarrassing twitches, sweats, and restless gestures. Many of us wonder how to overcome nervousness so that we may be the best we can, and enjoy our lives more thoroughly.

These four easy steps will show you how to overcome nervousness easily and effectively.

1. Preparation
Preparing isn’t always possible, but it’s guaranteed to be one of your best defenses whenever you have the chance to do it. There are a number of things you can do you are nervousness about an upcoming first date as an example: speaking to your date on the phone before you meet up is a wonderful way to discover what they like or dislike, and you can research a few interesting points about their favourite things from there.

This same attitude can be applied to just about any situation. Practice your presentation in front of the mirror or with a trusted friend if you have a work speech to deliver; learn coping methods that help distract you from a nervous reaction before the big day; and enlist the help of family, friends and colleagues wherever you can.

Just remember, preparation is not micromanaging. You don’t need to try to control everything – that will only leave you feeling more anxious. Prepare, but still be ready to go with the flow.

2. Visualization
Visualization is perfect for situations in which you cannot actively prepare as mentioned above, and the bonus is that even if you can prepare, visualization can enhance your efforts.
Our thoughts and attitudes towards situations is so powerful that many therapists actually believe it is not the external influences which cause us nervousness or anxiety, only our reactions towards them. Taking time out to meditate on positive thoughts regarding our situations helps exercise our minds to respond more positively.

3. Keep Perspective
Nervousness has a funny way of making us blow things way out of proportion. We tend to believe that everyone can see how nervous we are and that they are laughing at us or judging us; we imagine that we are going to humiliate ourselves; that the worst will happen; and that our world’s will end.
The reality is that blowing things out of proportion starts and ends in our minds. In truth, most other people are too busy focusing on their own thoughts and worries about themselves to be paying that much attention to you. When you take a step back and think logically, the worst things that can happen are usually not that disastrous, and are very unlikely to actually happen.

Once you understand this, you can take control of your thoughts to be far more realistic and positive.

4. Fake it until you make it
Confidence is something that we learn. Some of us learn it as very young children, and carry it through every aspects of our lives. A lot of us do not, and so we can find certain situations difficult and awkward to be in as a result.

It’s never too late to learn how to be a more confident person, and there is an abundance of resources available to help you including literature, online tools, and practical courses. The quickest way to do this when you’re discovering how to overcome your nervousness is to simply fake it until it’s real.

There are many ways you can do this – think of a confident person you know and admire an emulate some of their mannerisms. Do not lose the person you are though – and definitely don’t pretend to be somebody else entirely. Only act as if you are already a better, more confident version of yourself until you actually are – and you will be in no time!