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Posts Tagged ‘public speaking nervous

I’ve been going, going, going – both outwardly with all of the activities I named above, and also with deep inner work. While I do my best to also simply enjoy life, I also am constantly on a path of personal and spiritual growth.

While I think I’ve been doing fairly well at staying centered and not rushing, apparently I needed to slow down even more: yesterday I sprained my ankle. And this morning, my neighbor called me to tell me that I have a flat tire on my car. Hmmm.

Luckily, my ankle isn’t too bad – after all, my coach training program starts in mere days! But it was a message to look at how I’m operating.

It’s easy to subconsciously hold the belief that moving quickly, to grow our businesses, means that we have to be stressed and anxious, or even have a packed schedule. This really isn’t true. In fact, most people procrastinate a lot (which is really a block that can emerge due to various reasons, such as fear that we won’t succeed, the fear of rejection, or out of perfectionist tendencies). and don’t use their time well. Or, we can waste time Web-surfing or on Facebook – which feels as if we’re productive, when in fact our minds are just busy.

In fact, creating extra space, and slowing down, is a form of self-care that allows us to really get things done. This nurturing of the parasympathetic nervous system lets us prepare to take action. That’s right – it’s actually a functioning of the nervous system. We need down time in order to then be ready for action (or, a the sympathetic response). Incidentally, with speaking, publicly or otherwise, a pause functions the same way: we need silence to be able to hear the words better. And we need to take a pause to get ready to really move. Sometimes this is a moment; sometimes it’s a year of self-development and preparation, or focusing on other things.

Assuming you’re ready to get things moving sooner, are a few suggestions, to implement if you’re not doing them regularly:

  • Meditate. Do whatever practice works for you, or even just contemplate the sky.
  • Go for walks in nature. Nature energy rejuvenates, and provides space for action.
  • Move your body. Get out of your head, and just enjoy kinesthetic movement – be it dancing, exercise, heightened bodily awareness while doing the dishes, or other somatic techniques.
  • Laugh. Or, cry. Take breaks to just feel and express what’s needed.

By taking these moments to slow down and get present, you can then get ready to really move into action, and use your time more efficiently when working… and make sure you’re spending more time fully enjoying your life.

As for me, my ankle is already getting better – but, long-distance healing is very welcome. I can’t take those walks outside for a bit… but my dish-washing includes a new dance move!

How do you want to slow down? What works for you? Please comment below.

slow-downnnn

 

If you’ve been reading my stuff for a while, you likely know I’m pretty obsessed with authenticity. Because I just can’t deal with people who feel really fake, or entrepreneurs and businesses that use scheming sales tactics, yet still attempt to label their efforts as “real” or “being authentic.” Ugh!

The thing is, those tactics used to work. But they don’t much anymore, because we’ve seen them in too many places. See, anything that’s a you-can-do-it formula will eventually become… formulaic. People see through it, even though the most well-intended, heart-based entrepreneurs fall prey to it. Whether it’s the tactic where the seller crosses out a bunch of prices and offers a really low “sale” price, or where they give a presentation that feels manipulative, the false premise is that they must do this in order to be a success.

And this simply isn’t true.

You can be YOU – the real you – and succeed.

I used to think, for example, that I couldn’t bring my whole self to my work. Like, when emailing my community I strived to be “professional”… and in doing so, I hid part of myself. What if they found out that I’m not normal?? Finally, I decided to have a “coming out” party… and announced to my list that I’m a deeply spiritual person. (Gasp!) And that it’s an essential part of my work (I’m an empath and an intuitive – so I deeply feel what’s happening with a client, and also can tune into what’s most aligned for them with their voice or with creating a thriving practice). This was scary. And you know what the big response was? Very little. Except that, the more I brought my real self out, the more I began to attract ideal clients. Cool, huh? The same goes for you. 

Authenticity is not…

A formula. Not that formulas are evil (not reinventing the wheel can actually save you a lot of time!), but you must adapt them to fit you.

A particular way of speaking. Any style dictated by someone else will not be your true voice.

Your habits. This is a tricky one: something may not feel authentic or “natural,” but that may be because it’s asking you to grow. This is true, for example, when I’m teaching clients empowering ways to breathe to support their voices more fully, or when expanding vocal dynamics.

Real authenticity is…

Being humble…and also in your power. It’s giving an offering from your heart, and doing your best, without trying to prove yourself.

Simply being present. You don’t need to talk in any particular style to be authentic. The less you try to be authentic, the better.

Staying open. If you receive your audience, or the other person, and honor them, you’ll more truly know how to respond in a real way.

Letting go. We’ve learned so many habits and patterns that go far beyond how we speak. It’s about our emotional makeup and our thoughts. And when we learn to release these, and find our true voice, we find our authenticity.

More than anything, authenticity is a path. In my experience, it takes time, and practice, and simple techniques, to release what isn’t truly us – so that we can let the golden sunshine of our true selves shine forth. And when you do, you’ll feel more at peace, more alive, and will become the true agent of change you were born to be.

And this is when your clients will come – and when your business will flourish. Because you’re just being you. Yes, business skills are necessary, but they’ll sign up because they experience the real you.

For me, authenticity is about frequent self-examination. Not in a scrutinizing, negative way, but in asking myself questions, about my behavior and how I feel internally: How am I showing up? Am I following my true path? Do I feel in integrity with how I’m speaking and interacting? Am I following formulas that aren’t me, and what might feel better? …While this sometimes may be a bit much, I am dedicated to embodying what I believe.

How about you? Other thoughts on authenticity? Please share your experiences, and leave comments or questions below.

Yours,

Jonathan

Have you been feeling a little… wacky… as of late? Lots of change is afoot now. I’ve noticed a lot of wild energy and mood swings happening everywhere – often very positive, and at other times just bizarre. Sometimes I’m feeling just incredible, and at other times I feel all over the place. Really weird! I wanted to get a sense of who else was going through this, so I just took a poll on Facebook, and almost unanimously found that people currently feel like they’re switching back and forth between being really centered and pretty off-kilter. Have you noticed yourself experiencing any of the following?

  • Vacillating feelings and moods (like, sudden bursts of fear or hope), or changing your mind repeatedly
  • Intense interactions; those around you negotiating dramatic issues, or even family members facing life-threatening illnesses
  • Increased feelings of doubt about your work, relationships or other important matters

Yes, it’s not just you. I’m here to tell you: you’re not crazy. And you’re not alone. (And if you’re not experiencing this at all, be aware that others might be.) This is the 2012 change energy at its peak. It’s here. So… what do we do with this??

Here are some exercises. These are great to help transform nervousness around public speaking into confidence – and also help us maintain our center in the rest of life.

  1. Get in your body. Stretch, exercise, jump up and down… you get the picture.
  2. Ground your energy. Send roots or cords into the center of the earth. Often. And, if it’s your cup of tea, upon Divine Source or the Universe from above, so you’re centered between heaven and earth.
  3. Witness the ride. If you use any sort of awareness techniques, like Vipassana, this a good time! Don’t be attached to huge fluctuations. Know it may keep changing for a while. If nothing else, just take a lot of deep breaths and focus your attention there.
  4. Postpone making big decisions. Since a lot is moving all over the planet right now, and it’s affecting everyone, you may want to wait until things have felt consistent for some time.
  5. Smile. Get some perspective, laugh a little, and know we’re on a roller coaster. Have a little fun with it, if possible. 🙂

Hopefully these will help. If you’re dealing with this too, keep breathing. And stay compassionate for your friends and family. We’re all in it together.

…Been experiencing this? Please share, and leave a comment below.

Nervousness, fear and discomfort typically arise because we’re afraid of being judged. Rejected. Turned away. Maybe even lynched. (Well, it’s unlikely, but it sometimes feels like it could happen, doesn’t it?)

In fact, this is a fundamental misunderstanding, which most of us have, about what people actually are seeking. Whether you’re talking with someone individually or speaking to an audience of 10,000, everyone wants to be inspired, energized, and moved. In other words, everyone wants you to be great!

And, in my experience, even those who are critical or jaded are actually hoping you’ll save the day. At a job interview where they’re asking hard questions? They want to hire someone. They’d love to save more of their time by that wonderful person being you!

Action: Instead of waiting for someone else to take the first step, wherever you are, go first and speak with positive, bright energy. They’ll be thankful, and look to you for inspiration. …What’s could be more powerful than that?

At its very core, why do you get nervous or fearful?

Because you care. Because something is important to you.

If you were apathetic to an issue or situation, you wouldn’t be nervous at all. But apathy is not exactly a desired experience, is it?

Wherever it may happen, and for whatever reason it rears its head, getting nervous means that you desire to live fully, and to be the best version of yourself. Yes, it’s good: it means you’re invested in life.

The dark side of this investment, which creates fear and nervousness, is perfectionism – the imaginary idea that it’s somehow possible to be “perfect.” This myth, aided by Hollywood movies and TV “reality” shows that purport to portray people’s actual lives, provides standards that no real person can match.

Action: Instead of fixating on imaginary perfection that doesn’t exist, and makes you uncomfortable and nervous, simply take action and try something new. Embrace mistakes, and learn from them.

One problem with fear and nervousness is that we can become afraid of it. “OMG! I’m so nervous! My heart is beating fast, my palms are sweaty, my face is flushing… everyone will see!!”

We become our own worst enemy when we just want it to leave. In fact, the positive side of nervousness is that, in essence, it’s just energy. That’s good! What would happen if you didn’t have energy? Well…

Some years ago I was acting in a show, and it was opening night, right before the show was about to begin. My fellow actors and I were waiting for the curtain to rise on this exciting project, working with a very famous director and creator of innovative performance. Most of us were pensively waiting, but one actor – who had spent years in a famous theater company in New York and had been acting 12 years longer than myself – well, he yawned. The rest of us who were a bit nervous looked at him incredulously. “I just can’t get that excited anymore,” he declared. “I just don’t get nervous.” …Isn’t that sad?

But the point is, nervousness is in fact the same energy as excitement! Once you reframe it as such, you can appreciate having it.

In part 4: the connection between nervousness and investment in life.

So, if you feel nervous, or even subtle discomfort, what is actually happening in your body? What’s the relationship between nervousness and… the nervous system?

Through my training in Body-Mind Centering(TM) and Experiential Anatomy, I learned that everyone has a dominant system they inhabit. Someone who “efforts” really hard through everything, for example, may be in the muscular system. A deeply thoughtful and process-oriented individual may reside more in the organs. And, someone who is nervous – possibly a bit skittish or reactive – may have a very active nervous system.

This can be mitigated, though, by consciously tapping into another system. For example, deep diaphragmatic breathing (which I teach in coaching and workshops), and feeling gravity and the weight of the body, can shift the nerves over to the organs (deep breathing actually massages the organs), which is much calmer.

Action: If you’re feeling nervous, try sitting or standing with barely enough effort to hold yourself upright, while staying loose – and also breathe deeply. If you’re in public, do a very small version of this – but  try it at home first, so you know what it feels like.

(And if this is too hard to grasp, just ask me – I can coach you with it in person or over Skype.)

In part 3: turning nervousness into positive energy


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