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How to Go From Anxious to Awesome and Tackle Public Speaking Anxiety Head-On

Hello Fellow Achievers,


This month I wanted to share my thoughts about something that many of us can relate to but aren’t often taught how to manage: anxiety around public speaking. I've been there myself, feeling those jitters and worrying about facing a crowd. Nonetheless, because I’ve been there, I also know it is something that can be overcome and also give you confidence in both your professional and personal life.


Understanding Public Speaking Anxiety

Public speaking anxiety, or glossophobia, is a prevalent form of social anxiety that affects a significant portion of the population. It is characterized by the fear and unease associated with speaking in front of others, often leading to physical and psychological symptoms.


Research suggests that public speaking is the largest form of social anxiety, and only 8% of people seek professional help despite the negative impact on careers and wages. This statistic underscores how common public speaking fear is and the importance of seeking professional support, as the fear can dampen several aspects of your career and life.


According to a publication by Columbia University, public speaking anxiety can:


  • Impair wages by 10%

  • Impair college graduation by 10%

  • Impair promotions to managerial and leadership positions by 15%


The physical signs of public speaking anxiety can manifest as sweating, trembling, increased heart rate, dry mouth, shortness of breath, and a stomach full of butterflies. These sensations, combined with psychological symptoms like fear of embarrassment, negative self-judgment, and a fear of being judged or criticized by others, can make public speaking a daunting task.


The causes of public speaking anxiety can vary. They might include a lack of confidence in one's speaking abilities, fear of making mistakes or forgetting information, concerns about judgment or rejection, past negative experiences, or a general fear of being the center of attention. Regardless of the cause, it is crucial to acknowledge that public speaking anxiety is a common human experience and can be managed effectively.


The question then becomes, How?!


How to Go From Anxious to Awesome and Tackle Public Speaking Anxiety Head-On_UtmostPotential


Unlocking the Power of "Anxiety Reappraisal": Embrace the Excitement!

Picture this: You're standing in front of a crowd, feeling those familiar butterflies fluttering in your stomach. But what if I told you that you don't have to calm those nerves? Instead, you can transform your anxiety into something more exhilarating—excitement!


Believe it or not, anxiety and excitement share a secret—they are both what psychologists refer to as "arousal emotions." They both create a state of heightened activation within us. The real magic lies in the story we attach to these emotions.


Anxiety comes with a story of resistance. We feel that rush of energy while imagining a future where everything goes wrong. We envision ourselves stumbling, fumbling, and becoming the laughingstock of the stage. It's a tale that fills us with dread. But here's the exciting part: excitement offers us a similar physiological state with a different narrative.


When we shift from anxiety to excitement, we transform our story. Excitement invites us to welcome the future with open arms, eagerly anticipating what's to come. It's like flipping a switch in our minds. We're not trying to change our basic physiology anymore; we're simply changing how we perceive it.


So why is the shift from anxiety to excitement easier than trying to calm down? Because we're not fighting against our natural arousal. We're embracing it and giving it a positive twist. It's about reframing our perspective and rewriting the story in our minds.


I hear you loud and clear..This is easier said than done. Guess what? You’re right! This is a practice. By practicing anxiety reappraisal, you'll discover a whole new world of confidence and empowerment. So let's embark on this journey together—where anxiety transforms into excitement, and every speaking opportunity becomes an exhilarating adventure.


Next time you face public speaking anxiety, remember this: Don't strive to calm those nerves; invite excitement to take the stage instead. Embrace the energy, the thrill, and the anticipation. Allow yourself to become immersed in the positive possibilities that lie ahead.


Onward and upward,

Stephanie Markovic


Before You Go! I love a good reinforcement exercise to support something new or remind me of something I haven’t practiced in a while. I hope you’ll give this a try.


Grab a pen and paper and jot down your responses to the following questions. What's been on your mind that you've been avoiding or feeling anxious about? Now, here's the interesting part—what happens when you shift your perspective and look forward to facing it?


Do you or your teams need support with developing your public speaking skills?

Take the first step towards transformation! Connect with me today for a discovery call, and let's embark on this empowering journey together. Don't let anxiety hold you back—click here to schedule your call!


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