Calm your Mind

When you are about to speak up in public, your mind can take over and create havoc.
Let’s say it’s your best friend’s wedding and you are the best man/honored maiden. It’s traditional for you to step up, raise your glass and give a toast.
I’ve worked with many people who have been in this type of spotlight. They are scared to death to simply say the words that are genuine and from their heart.
What is it that makes your mind create havoc when you want to speak?  
Your mind sees you as a nervous wreck and creates disaster scenes. You see yourself stumbling over your words and making a fool of yourself. You compare yourself to others.
The preoccupation with negative thoughts goes on and on, like a storm.
What if you had a way to calm your mind… and a way to calm it quickly?

The Key: Quickness

Quick is the key here.
The key in any situation where your mind starts to hijack you with terrible outcomes.
Quick is the key because you can’t afford the shame and humiliation you imagine when you’ve clinked the wine glass with your spoon. The room goes silent…and you face the eyes of expectation.
Suddenly you are in the spot you’ve been dreading.
You thought you were prepared. You wrote and rehearsed the toast over and over.
However, it takes more than rehearsing a speech to calm your mind when it starts to drift into the catastrophic failure.
You need to be prepared and ready to calm your mind, and do it quickly.
What is this tool, this trick that will ease your mind into a calm state?

Signs of Anxiety

Is it something you can trust when your mind starts to scream at you to “run!” and you know you have to stand and deliver?
Remember this… it’s your body that starts to signal those first signs of anxiety.
I’ve just given you a clue about how to calm your mind quickly. Did you catch it?
I’ll say it again…
It’s your body that starts to signal those first signs of anxiety.
You need to be able to see and catch those first signs of anxiety… those short breaths that begin to accelerate and the beating heart thumping in your chest.
These physical sensations are the signals!
You need to take them as warning signals.

Take Action

Not warning signals that you’re about to lose it, but as signals, you need to take action.
This action you need to take is to calm yourself…and do it quickly.
I have many techniques I teach my clients that can calm the nervous system.
I’ll share one technique with you today.
It’s simple, quick, and effective. It’s called “thought stopping.”
I know you experience your thoughts like they are on a runaway train, but you can put the brakes on your own thoughts. You are the conductor (even though it doesn’t feel like you have control).
The technique looks like this…
Your mind spews out a negative thought (most thoughts that create anxiety when it comes to speaking in public are negative, right?).
Let’s take the thought “I’ll fall apart.” You notice it, catch it, and challenge it for what it is.
The thought is a negative interference to you being calm and in touch with the words you want to offer up.

Say Stop

 Next, you simply say “STOP!”
Isn’t that what you would do to a child who is about to cross a street into ongoing traffic?
The danger here lies in you listening to those thoughts and letting them carry you away… into dangerous territory.
The is to say “STOP!”
If you want to learn more about how to use “Thought Stopping” as well as a host of other techniques to calm your mind quickly, sign up for my Essential Speaking coaching program (online or in-person).
You will get way more than tools and techniques to calm your nerves. You will discover how to speak from a deep well of confidence anytime, anywhere.
Click here to learn more about the Essential Speaking coaching program.