How to let go of fear (run around naked)
Fear dictates much of what we do in life.
Sometimes fear is protective (like when I was followed one night and I felt my reactions dial-up to super-hero level)
Sometimes fear motivates (like when I stayed up all night, sober as a saint, to write my dissertation at uni)
Sometimes fear even feels good (like when I jumped out of a plane and got such a shot of euphoric adrenalin I threw up into the instructor's face. Not sure how good it felt for him, though 😂.)
But fear is supposed to be a passing state.
A fleeting jolt of "shut up and pay attention".
Not a permanent state in which to live your life.
Fear. Stress. Anxiety. Exhaustion. Overwhelm
They all create chemicals in our body that make us feel bad and lead us to perform as the "worst version of ourselves".
I do a lot of high-performance coaching with people to help them overcome anxiety, particularly when speaking and presenting. I help them get rid of fear and perform from a place of freedom and potential.
So how can you let go of fear, anxiety and stress?
How can you let go of those limiting beliefs, self-sabotaging thoughts, complicated feelings and adverse reactions... and become confident?
Well, firstly, and I'm going to hit you with a big one here,
You don't have to 'become' anything.
You already are it.
At your core, underneath all your limiting beliefs and programmed responses, you are a confident, joyful person.
Trust me on this one.
When you were born, just like everyone else, you were confident.
As a small toddler, you wouldn't think twice about running around naked, screaming, weeing in the bath, watching other people poo, or being sick over strangers. To be honest, that sounds like me until my early 20s 😂.
But when you were a baby, you didn't feel embarrassed,
You were just you, and that was enough.
However, over the years, through conditioning and experience, you learnt that you had to change who you were to belong and be loved. So you developed ways of reacting to certain situations based on all the stuff that happened to you in your life.
Sometimes these reactions work in your favour (like how you have learnt to compliment people for their successes) and create positive energy, which leads to a positive outcome.
Sometimes these reactions don't work in your favour (like how you go bright red when speaking at meetings) and create negative energy, which leads to a negative outcome.
Regardless of how you react, the important thing is that you have learnt all of your reactions.
This means that you have the incredible capacity to re-learn your reactions to make them more positive, helpful and in line with your goals.
In our Powerful Presenting MasterClass, one thing I do with students is to help them analyse and change the way they react to a situation by using a SPACE map (Edgerton and Palmer).
SPACE is a model created by psychologists (and my tutors) Dr Edgerton and Professor Palmer and shows us the different elements that form your reaction to a triggering situation.
Your reaction to an event is made up of 5 elements:
The triggering situation, your physiology, your actions, your cognitions (thoughts) and your emotions.
Each element impacts the next and can either make your reaction spiral positively upwards - to confidence, lightness, presence and a positive outcome… or it can make your reaction spiral negatively downwards… to fear, anxiety and a negative outcome.
So this week, when you are feeling fear, anxiety or overwhelm, just stop and think:
What is the situation that is triggering you? Why?
What thoughts are trigging that feeling?
What actions are you doing when you feel it?
What physiological reactions are you having?
Then take a minute, breath and make a change in each area:
Do the opposite to what you are doing
Think the opposite to what you are thinking
Move your body into the opposite position it is in
Move to the opposite environment to what you are in
Re-learn how to respond to a trigger, and you will do two things. First, you will find you have a coping mechanism for fear (and eventually eradicate unnecessary fear from your life).
Second, you will create a positive upward spiral that will feel good and allow you to re-find that confident, happy, joyful, confident soul that I know is there inside of you.
To find out how to use the SPACE diagram to map your own triggers and responses, and improve confidence when speaking, and presenting, check out our Powerful Presenting MasterClass.
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