How To Overcome Nervousness: 7 Simple Habits

“Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.”
Benjamin Franklin

“If I don't train enough, of course I'm nervous.“
Haile Gebrselassie

It starts with just a little tremble within. Then a pressure builds up.

A hand or foot starts to fidget. Your palms become moist and you start to feel not quite like yourself anymore.

The inner calmness you felt has flown out the window.

Nervousness is back, like an old friend you didn’t want to see.

Just in time for that date you had been looking forward to for the past week. Or the important meeting at work or your presentation in school.

So what can you do at this point?

Back down, come up with a poor excuse and cancel (as your self-esteem plummets)?

Plow through the meeting or date while being not quite your best self?

It is certainly possible. I have done both.

But an even better approach has – in my experience – been to find strategies and develop habits that help me to handle this challenge.

Here are 7 of my favorite habits for dealing with and overcoming nervousness.

1. Prepare if possible.

A bit obvious. But doing your preparation in time and not at the last minute and doing the preparation well – without trying to do it perfectly – rather than somewhat sloppily make a big difference.

You’ll feel more sure of yourself and relaxed about what you are about to do.

  • If you have an important meeting, do your homework so you know what will or may come up in the meeting.
  • If you have a date, perhaps try to think of 2-3 interesting topics/questions to bring up in case the conversational flow hits a stop.
  • If you have a job interview, think about what they may ask you and figure out some good answers.

2. Ask yourself: what is the worst that could realistically happen?

This question has helped me many times to calm down and to stop building a mountain out of a molehill.

Because the worst that happened when I was dating was that I had a somewhat awkward date with someone I did not have a good chemistry with.

It didn't lead a second date and sometimes I felt bad for day or two. And that was pretty much it.

But the sky didn't fall because it is was a bad date. I got up the next morning again and had often learned something good from it.

3. Visualize in a positive way.

It is so easy to get stuck in the usual and habitual negative visualizations in your mind of how a situation will go. And so you get nervous.

Try taking a break from it the next time you are having an upcoming date, party or…

read more…