Giving a presentation can be nerve-wracking. But if you think about it, nervousness and enthusiasm are quite similar emotional states. The primary difference is that anxiety has negative associations, whereas excitement seems more positive.
As a negative emotional state, anxiety can quickly escalate and spiral out of control. The brain begins to imagine different scenarios about what could go wrong, which makes bad feelings worse. Trying to calm down from this agitated state is difficult because the feelings are so intense. A better coping strategy is to reframe the anxiety as excitement. The agitation isn’t reduced, but the mental shift helps chase away negative thoughts and invite more positive ones.
Confidence doesn’t come naturally to everyone. But mental shortcuts like reframing can help build your capacity to be brave and bold. By shifting your mindset from scared to excited, you can give yourself permission to speak up in a meeting, have fun on a date, or ace a job interview. Worry and fear will only hold you back from fulfilling your goals and dreams.
For more advice on how to overcome self-doubt and lead a more fulfilling life, we recommend our Instaread on The 5 Second Rule.