“No amount of anxiety makes any difference to anything that is going to happen.” —Alan Watts
I don’t know about you, but I find it slightly insulting when I’m feeling anxious or stressed and some self-appointed guru looks at me with an all-knowing glance and says, “There’s no reason to be nervous. Just relax.”
This falls into the same bin of uselessness and cliché as simply picturing an audience in their underwear. Wishful thinking, but it never really helps—mostly because it just doesn’t work.
The solution isn’t running from anxiety or pretending it doesn’t exist, especially when you damn well know it’s standing next to you in the room.
I help my clients crush their nerves by owning them, reshaping them, and then redirecting them into unshakeable confidence to create a winning performance. Here’s a ridiculously effective exercise I prescribe to instantly melt away nerves:
Visualize already doing it—see it happen moment by moment unfolding in exactly the way that you want. Take a breath, and say to yourself, “I already did it, and now I get to go back and do it again.”
As I’ve mentioned before, your words shape your reality. What you say and visualize—what you consciously put out there in the world—is directly related to who and what you become.
This exercise is endlessly modular and applies to any life event where nerves are present: going out for a major TV audition, asking a crush out on a date, prepping for a big time job interview, standing up to a bully, etc.
This article was originally published on Backstage