“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.”~Jerry Seinfeld
The two things that most people are afraid of are death and public speaking. As cliche as it sounds, it’s very true. I used to be afraid of both, but now I am afraid of neither, and I’ll share some of my techniques with you.
- Fear of Embarrassment. Whether you’re afraid to approach a potential mate, stand in front of a crowd, or be the center of attention at a party, it might have something to do with your fear of embarrassment. One thing that has helped me to overcome this is knowing that people are too busy worrying about how they appear to others to really care about how you appear. Even if they do point the finger and judge you, it has a lot to do with their personal insecurities, which are ultimately of no consequence to you.
- Toastmasters International. I used to be afraid of public speaking. This distinction lived entirely in what I said. After joining Toastmasters public speaking club I simply changed my self-talk from ‘I am afraid’ to ‘I am not afraid’. I still experience nervousness and get a bit jittery from time-to-time in front of an audience, however I welcome these bodily experiences as natural and non-obstructive.
- Bragging Journal.A bragging journal is a way for you to boast your accomplishments, not in the name of conceit, but for the purpose of looking back in a moment of weakness. Whenever something special happens, you do something extraordinary, or you touch, move, or inspire another human being, write it in this bragging journal. Review it weekly to remember what an awesome human being you are.
- Confident Language.Everything that we know is the way it is because of the language we use to describe it. This is just one theoretical way of looking at the universe, but it has a very practical psychological affect on us. If we use language of strength, bravery, and positivity we will be more motivated and less scared to tackle the obstacles in our lives.
- Confident Body-Language.Our physiology has a tremendous amount of impact on the way we think and feel. Something as simple as standing with our back straight, head up, chest out and shoulders back will signal our body that we are strong and proud. Such positive body-language will give off an air of confidence and we will positively react to other people’s positive reaction to us.
- Constant Never Ending Improvement.A term I picked up from Anthony Robbins many years ago, which he picked up from Dr. Deming. The principle is that if you will pick a goal, such as learning a skill, exercising, or savings, and improve slightly but gradually every single day you will gain a great deal of self-esteem in the process. This constant daily goal attainment will serve as the carrot at the end of the stick in your quest for confidence — daily!
- Admiration & Friends.For many of us, being admired is a huge bogey prize, if not life goal. By keeping around people that see you as a possibility, and see the potential within you, you will have a constant reinforcement from them. I’m not saying keep people around you that kiss your feet. However, if your friends are open with telling you what they admire about you, especially when these are things you take for granted about yourself, you’re going to come alive with confidence.
- Impeccable Hygiene.You might take this for granted, but looking good can very realistically translate into feeling good. Besides the daily shave and shower there are extra things you can do to feel fresh. Do you use both deodorant and cologne? Do you groom your body hair? Are your clothes looking new and ironed? You’ll be astonished at the world of difference that there will be in the way people react to you when you take extra steps to take care of yourself.
- Superior Intentions.The way we look at other people is a great reflection into how we look at ourselves. If we just make the effort to create great intentions towards other people, it will literally melt away some of the fear and anxiety that we have around interacting with others. If all you really care about is bringing value and happiness into the life of others, then who cares how someone perceives you?
- New Realm of Mission. Do you have a mission for life? Do you know what your purpose is or why you’re here? Throughout my teenage years I didn’t know, and it led to some anxiety over who I would become, and let me be more susceptible to peer pressure. As soon as I figured out that one of my life goals is to support people and make them feel good, I automatically felt as brave as a lion!
Do you have a ritual for getting your bravery up? If it doesn’t involve alcohol, please share it with us in the comment box below!