Love networking? Or plagued by networking nerves?
Perhaps it goes like this … You’ve made it to the 7 am breakfast meeting. People are taking it in turns to deliver their 60-second pitch and as it comes around the table towards you, it’s getting more and more difficult to focus on what they’re saying.
Now there’s only one more to go before you’re on and the ‘fight or flight’ response is really kicking in. Your palms are sweating, heart pounding, your mouth is dry, you’re in danger of blanking out on what you intended to say and you’re wondering
“Why on earth did I come here in the first place …?”
Can you relate? It’s such a horrible place to be, isn’t it?
You really do want to share what you do with all these people, but to some part of you it just feels incredibly dangerous. And that part is letting your body know loud and clear that it’s time to get out of here and away from the danger. If you’ve got a really bad case of nerves, it can almost feel as though you’re about to die.
Sadly this is a very common experience amongst heart-centred business owners and it can really limit your ability to get your work out into the world.
Happily there is something you can do about it ….
Here’s why it feels so dangerous …
The minute you think of standing up to speak, your brilliant subconscious mind sets off all the fire alarms and floods your body with feelings from every negative experience you’ve ever had of being up in front of people. This is its way of keeping you ‘safe’.
Like the time in the school play when you tripped and fell over your costume; or the time you were reading aloud and pronounced the word ‘bomb’ exactly as it’s written and the whole class roared with laughter; and later on, at the job interview, when you dried up and couldn’t name the title of a single film you’d ever seen in your whole life.
This is what makes it feel so dangerous. And all those fears are based upon experiences that happened a long time ago – it really doesn’t serve you to keep them now.
3 Simple First Aid Tips
Here are three simple things you can do immediately to balance your energy and start managing those networking nerves.
Tip No. 1
Spend some time before you even get to the meeting tapping lightly on your collarbone point (see the video in the sidebar or the image in the footer of this page for an illustration of the tapping points) whilst imagining yourself delivering your speech. Allow yourself to fully feel all the negative emotions as you tap.
After a few minutes you’ll begin to feel calmer and more grounded. At this point you can tap in some positive affirmations such as ‘I choose to feel calm and grounded’, ‘I choose to feel confident and relaxed’ – whatever you choose to feel – your choice is always best.
At the venue, take a few minutes in the toilets to tap and ground yourself again before the meeting starts.
As the time approaches for you to speak, do some imaginary tapping (your body knows what it feels like now, and your brain won’t know the difference between imaginary and actual tapping) to soothe your system and quell any fear that might be rising.
These simple tips will help you manage your anxiety in the moment, but chances are it will keep coming back unless you address the underlying drivers.
If you want to clear it out completely and open up to the possibility of feeling confident and having fun speaking, you’ll need to go deeper and clear the specific events that set the pattern up in the first place. If this is a long-standing issue for you, I recommend you apply for a free Discovery Session here and let me help you locate the specific events so you can stand up and speak confidently about what you do.
Over to you
Do you have other fear-busting tools that you use? How do you help yourself feel more confident speaking in public? We’d love to know. Please share in the Comments below.
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