by DOREEN DOWNING on MARCH 2, 2019
When people start to work with me, the question I hear most often is this…
… “Can I get rid of my public speaking anxiety!”
Does this sound familiar?
If so, you probably have already searched for a program that can lead you to confident speaking without any anxiety.
You think the solution is to get rid of your anxiety, and you desperately want to know-how.
But consider this thought…
And before I tell you, let me warn you… it’s not a thought you’ll want to hear.
Here it is…
Getting over the fear of public speaking is not about getting rid of the anxiety; it’s about learning to manage your anxiety.
The No. 1 key to easing yourself out of public speaking anxiety is to learn how to manage your anxiety when it arises.
What I believe happens to you when anxiety arises is this… you get afraid that you will be hijacked by your nervous system and you will lose control.
Next, you have a fear of losing control. Then you have fear on top of fear. And pretty soon your head is filled with the sound of thunder coming from your beating heart.
And then you’re gone.
You’re in panic mode.
This is why mindfulness is so important!
You must learn to notice the early signs that your body is starting to get anxious.
Notice the “warning signals.”
Hello! Pay attention to the warning signals!
You must learn to re-calibrate your body under stress. You have to be able to alter your nervous system…
… and know exactly where you want your nervous system to go!
Yes, you want to go to that quiet, calm, clear, centered, grounded state.
How do you reach that strong, inner calm when things are stressful? When you’re so afraid?!
Find your Calm Center
You have to know where your quiet, calm, clear, centered, grounded state is… so you can find it when you need to.
Which means you have to practice mindfulness outside of the anxious times… so you can return at will.
You know, it’s hard to face a coming storm and look for shelter. It’s much easier to know where your shelter already is, so you can go to it when the storm comes.
Then you can say, “Oh, there’s a storm coming. Where’s my shelter? There it is!”
What is the “shelter” when it comes to public speaking?
It’s your inner strength of presence.
And when you have your shelter located, you can return to it as easily as flipping a switch.
But you have to practice returning to your shelter when you’re not under stress so that when you are under stress, you can return to this shelter.
Develop your Inner Presence Muscle
The obvious comparison is going to a gym to work out. It is just like building any muscle… you have to work at it.
Remember, it’s an inner “presence muscle” you develop over time.
Would you like to develop your inner presence muscle so that you can manage anxiety skillfully any time you have to speak in public?
I’ll help you find that feeling of “inner shelter” I talk about above. Afterward, if it feels like a good fit, I may share more about my private coaching with you where I can help you finally develop the inner strength to speak without fear.