Fear. I battle with it every day: am I doing all this right? Should I have made a different decision just now? Am I messing it all up? (Even now, I’m analyzing the tone of this piece.) A few minutes every day (and quite a few minutes when I’m asleep) are spent in this state of mind. Like a child who doesn’t understand the world around them, when I’m like this I feel lost and hopeless. Hindering, negative and unproductive, isn’t it?
Well, not necessarily. Because on the other side of that horror is a wonderful feeling of achievement and satisfaction, where everything is put in perspective. I consult with trusted colleagues when I’m confused over particular aspects of my business, and it usually does the trick. Try it when you’ve rehearsed a presentation a few times – it really helps.
The slightly embarrassing aspect is when I mess something up and I put myself down. That’s a reassuring voice that you can control – re-program it so that it’s positive and cheering you on. I find that “learn from this experience and keep moving” is a good mantra.
The fear of standing up in front of people is one that I don’t really suffer from any more, but that’s through experiencing it hundreds of times to the point that I can feel excited instead of paralysed. Attack your fear, go towards it, and ask for help along the way – then you’ll be unstoppable. Works for me.
(The title of this piece means ‘forget the illogical fear and remember the facts: you’ve rehearsed, your audience supports you and you like your subject. Plus it stands for ‘fear’.)