A while ago, Viktor and I sent out questions to over 20 000 of you.
We asked you how you deal with social anxiety and nervousness and what specifically you wanted to be better at.
It was fascinating to read.
Here’s what we discovered:
Here’s our most interesting finding:
We saw that almost everyone see nervosity and fear as something negative. They see it as their bodies telling them “Stop! Return to the comfort zone!”.
This is obviously a natural way to see it. But did you know that confident people have a different view on nervosity and fear?
It’s not like confident people never get nervous or afraid. It’s just that in their minds, nervosity and fear is a sign that they’re about to experience and learn something new.
In other words, they see it as a good thing.
- Most see a racing heart and sweating as an omen of something terrible they need to avoid. Confident people see it as a normal response to doing something they’re not used to.
- Most would do anything to avoid feeling fear. Confident people can see it as a sign of self-growth.
- Most feel that nervousness is the body’s way of telling you to stop. Confident people see it as a natural process and act despite their nervosity.
A while ago, I was scheduled for a Skype interview with a popular co-living in NYC.
I was nervous before the interview because I knew how sad I would be if I didn’t get admitted.
Instead of trying to push away my nervosity, I acknowledged it, like this:
“I feel nervous. It’s like a pressure point in the upper area of my chest. It’s natural to feel nervous about this because getting admitted would mean a lot to me, and that’s perfectly fine.”
I acknowledged the feeling, but I didn’t let it control me. The interview went great, and I got admitted.
This method was obviously not the only reason that I got admitted, but it helped me relax and make a good impression.
A MASSIVE amount of studies have shown that when we accept a feeling instead of trying to ignore it or pushing it away, the feeling gets weaker and more tolerable (ref).
Feelings are much like toddlers – it’s not until you give them attention that they stop screaming.
This is a counter-intuitive principle that can be applied to all feelings: Don’t try to fight them – embrace them.
I’d love to hear your comments below!