Fear and other F words. Frantic, Frightened, Foolish, Fed-up, Freaked and Fallen, you know what I mean? Waiting for the hole in the floor to swallow you right up and double quick. Do you recall that physically shrinking feeling where your voice or your words are not heard, not recognised? Do you remember that moment when you forgot your lines or had a coughing fit in the middle of your talk? Now those are the situations that really conjure up some big F words!
I remember an occasion when I gave a speech, I was sure it was funny, really…but the audience didn’t think so. I felt embarrassed and demoralised, I begged for the hole in the floor to appear! But there was no escape, no exit stage right. And no hole in the ground.
I had to finish the speech right to the last word.
Much later, after I finished beating myself up and devouring kilos of chocolate…I recognised that I was speaking too fast, not pausing, hardly breathing! The poor audience could see me thinking and feel my nervous energy. No wonder they didn’t laugh! I knew my presentation and attitude needed improvement! And, I needed Pranayama yoga breathing exercises!
Even later and calmer, a moment of pure inspiration came…call it magic, experience or courage…like a shot of caffeine, like a nudge from the goddesses (or gods!) and I grabbed Fear by the neck and starved it of all oxygen!
But in order not to repeat this painful experience I had to learn 3 essential things. Now, you all know there is no such thing as Father Christmas or Flying carpets but ‘Friggin’ Hell when you get that light bulb moment you have to learn from it and share it.
Here are 3 Essential things to push Fear out the window.
1. Breathe, find a rhythm to slow you down, breathe and then pause (do the 5 in, hold for 2, and 5 out method.)
2. Shake your body. Yes…shake your body. Dance, shake and shimmer and watch the nerves Fall to the ground
3. Tell yourself a whole pile of F words, I am Fabulous. I am Fantastic. I am Fresh.
The breathing exercise is actually the hardest for many people because we are so used to shallow breathing and not being aware of our breath.
Shaking your body is easy…come on, we all do it, with or without music or alcohol.
Self-talk is key to self-belief so try practising in front of the mirror. Look at yourself, smile and tell yourself you are Fantastic!
It sounds ridiculous but you will get good at it very soon.
-Fear is only temporary. Regret lasts for ever – Anon
As Mary Morrissey says, ‘Your fears are like weeds, you have to starve them.’
It is a process and it can be achieved.
The first step is to believe that you can overcome unhealthy Fears and replace them with good energy and charisma.