"Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom." --Søren Kierkegaard
Many of you are overachievers. You aren't afraid of engaging in new business ventures or simply trying new things.
As a result of this admirable attitude toward life, you're constantly putting yourself in situations where you're out of your comfort zone: making presentations to new investors, trying new outdoor adventures, wooing new clients, repairing communication with colleagues when needed.
Living this way is a direct path to success and magnificence, but there are going to be times when anxiety hits.
Sometimes this is going to be performance-related anxiety right before a public-speaking event. Other times this might be anxiety related to a big choice or risk you have to take.
The problem with anxiety in these situations is that as "normal" as everyone claims it to be, it can cloud your judgment, put you in a fear-based mentality, and undermine your ability to ensure a strong outcome.
Picturing the audience or group of investors in their underwear isn't going to help.
Once those nerves hit, you need to let them run their course. When those nerves start to make you shaky, or sweaty or however nerves manifest for you, you need to let them do their thing.
Let your body have the biochemical reaction that it is currently having. Know that you can be besieged with this reaction and still do a phenomenal job.
Anxiety is a tricky creature in that it's so particular. A networking cocktail party might seem fun to one person, and be anxiety-producing to another. A pitch-meeting might be exhilarating to one person and a nervous nightmare to another.
Regardless of what situation you're in, use this powerful and simple tool to help change your mindset and wipe out all nerves within seconds:
"I already did it, and now I get to go back in and do it again."
Say this out loud a few times, and welcome a deep sigh of relief.
Take a moment to yourself and picture that the anxiety-causing event has already happened. You lived through it and did well.
Picture what you said, how you acted, how others reacted to you. Program these positive responses in your head, and allow them to make you feel good ... and breathe!
Now, get excited by the idea that this is an opportunity to do it again, and perform even better than this first time.
This simple mindset change forces you to focus and envision yourself behaving/performing/engaging calmly under pressure. Then it gives you the opportunity to empower yourself to improve that first imaginary performance.
Remember, your words shape your reality--it's the foundation of the work I do to help my clients develop charismatic confidence in every arena of their life.
This tool is so powerful because it's so adaptable and you can use it across all aspects of your daily life, from performance anxiety to social anxiety to situations that just create general nervousness.
I've used this technique with clients to help them eliminate their fear of flying--the tool forces them to sit, picture themselves calmly seated in the cabin, picture a safe takeoff and landing, and handle any turbulence with serenity.
Then they get to experience this all in real-time, behaving with even more grace, and sometimes even finding that they enjoy the flight.
Adopting the attitude of "I already did it" can provide you with instant unshakable confidence and give you the ease you need not to merely survive any nerve-wracking situation, but to excel.
This article was originally posted on Inc.