Imagine this: your heart is pounding, your mind is racing, your palms are sweating, hands trembling. Your throat is tight, your steps unsure. You've got to get a grip and take control. It's moments before the big meeting, the massive interview you've been preparing for weeks, the first date with that special someone you can't stop thinking about. You're worried because you care. That's not the problem--but getting a grip is. And if you want to make it happen, you have to get steady yourself and perform.
So what do you do? Panic, flee, fumble? No. Take a deep breath and follow my lead. You can and will make this happen. Here's how:
1) Singing: Everyone has important moments. And everyone needs ways to calm their nerves in those moments. Before an important meeting or pitch, I sing. That's right, I sing. Coldplay, U2, Eminem. My voice might not be on-key, and I only know a few songs by heart, but whether I'm in the car, where I can sing my heart out, or in a crowded elevator, I hum quietly. It may sound strange, but it truly puts me in the mindset where I feel in light and happy. It gets my vocal chords going and my mind active. And apparently, it's scientifically proven that singing is good for both your emotional and mental health. Try it, and picture the power that artist has on stage with thousands of fans worshipping their every word. It works.
2) Positive Visualization: When you can see your goal, it creates a tangible target for achievement. To target mine, sometimes I sit alone in a quiet space with the lights low and I meditate, mentally blocking out every distraction around me, focusing on what steps I need to move my goal from desire to reality. If that may seem too new age for you, and you need a visual aide, start drawing or create a mindmap or flow chart where you can write down the steps you need to attain your goal. Some call it the law of attraction, some say affirmation, but whatever you call it, when you see your progress, and watch yourself getting closer, it helps boost confidence. It works. But you have to have laser focus and keep yourself on target. Walk before you run, but once you see the finish line, sprint towards it!
3) Focus On Your Health To Focus On Your Work: I wake up early and go to sleep early. The night before a big presentation or meeting, I organize my clothes, I prepare my steel cut oatmeal with blueberries breakfast, ready to warm up when I wake. I don't waste my brainpower on morning prep. I also have a one sheet I rehearse before I sleep and review during breakfast. I'm in the presentation room 45 min beforehand, rehearsing my lines. Give yourself the tools to win, and do it.
Try my tips and see if they work for you. Get in touch via Twitter (@mrrathi) or email or in comments below. I want to hear from you.