what we're reading now
follow us on facebook
follow us on twitter
subscribe to our blog
find it

What We're Reading Now

Shift Your Focus to Calm Your Nerves

26 October 2021

Janie listened to Patricia Stark and Pete Mockaitis discuss how to stay calm and confident when speaking and appreciated Stark’s suggestions for ways to shift your focus to help alleviate nerves.   

Tags: communication, janie listened, janie read, mindfulness, mindset

In my role as Chair for the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce Business Women’s Roundtable (BWRT), I was recently interviewed on NBC29 to discuss the group. While I’m thrilled to be asked and excited to share more about the mission and purpose of BWRT, I realized that I was more nervous than I expected. After my interview, I was looking for strategies to help me calm my nerves in the future and stumbled across a conversation with Patricia Stark called Speaking with Calm and Confidence on the How to Be Awesome at Your Job podcast.

Stark suggested that one of the ways she was able to calm her nerves when speaking in public was by shifting her focus. Instead of thinking about herself and her own feelings, she thought about how she could bring value to the people who were listening. She also discussed how she used visualization to change her mindset by picturing things going the way she wanted them to instead of thinking about all the ways things could go wrong.

As I listened to Stark talk, I thought back to my preparation for my interview and realized that I did spend time thinking about things that could go wrong, but I didn’t take any time to visualize how I wanted it to go. I’ve written before about the importance of having the right mindset, and I learned from Rachel long ago about what a powerful tool visualization can be when preparing, but when I’m stressed I sometimes forget to do the things that I know will help me. Listening to this podcast was a timely reminder.

While interviews aren’t an everyday occurrence, I know that changing my focus and ensuring I have the right mindset will help me be better prepared no matter what I’m preparing for. I used visualization to help me prepare for a recent meeting. I spent time thinking about how I wanted things to go and what I thought was important to ensure everyone got something from our time together. I was thrilled to find that I did feel much calmer and more confident during the meeting. I also found that it helped me be more present. Instead of thinking about what was coming next, I was able to focus more on what was happening in the moment and that makes me a better participant and a better leader.

What strategies do you use when you’re feeling nervous?


Our Comment Policy:

Our blog posts are only half of the conversation. What our readers have to say is equally important to us, and we're grateful for all the comments that continue the dialog.

To ensure that the discussion here is as useful as possible to all of our readers, please be respectful of our contributors and refrain from harassing, threatening and/or vulgar language. We reserve the right to screen and remove any comments from the site. If you have a question about a comment or want to discuss our policy, please contact us. We'll talk it over.

There are no comments for this entry yet.


Leave a comment



Notify me of follow-up comments?

Enter the characters you see below:

« Return to What We're Reading Now