One simple trick to combat nerves

This really isn’t just a click-bait title, I promise you this is actually a REALLY simple trick and I can’t believe I’ve never considered my own nerves in this way before.

I cannot claim to be the author of this wonderful theory, for it is actually Simon Sinek that brought my attention to the fact that we can approach nerve-racking situations very differently and it was just SO GOOD that I absolutely had to share it with you guys.

The basic principle, is that nervousness and excitement are *almost* one and the same thing.

  1. The physiological symptoms – tensing up, increased heart rate, shallow breath
  2. They result from anticipating what is to come

How does this help?

If we started to view our own nervousness (for example, on the starting line of your first half marathon, or just about to set foot in a bar to meet a tinder date) as excitement then we may end up with a resulting feeling that is far more positive.

When you’re tying up your laces for the race, or strapping on your heels for the date, we could use our shallow breath and quickened heart rate to assure ourselves that this matters to us. This is important, and it’s EXCITING. Simply replacing the word “nervous” to “excited” transforms the experience. It makes us want to rush towards the event because it is exciting… not run away from it.

Of course I know that life isn’t always that simple and that developing a mindset that allows you to view important events in this way will be challenging at first, but I think the more we practise this simple switch and self-talk, the easier it’ll become to deal with nerves on a daily basis.

As always, I’m keen to hear your thoughts and any other ways you combat nerves – pop me a DM on insta – @runtalkrun

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