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We tend to avoid situations that test us, or are terrifying personally, even though they may be necessary or required professionally. Unpleasant tasks are often required for us to get ahead in life.
Without the skill or courage to handle such tasks, we miss out on opportunities of advancing in our lives.
We normally avoid stuff that is unfamiliar to us. If we embrace it, by learning about it and making it something we are adept at, we will be more willing to minimize our discomfort and make the activity/task palpable and even enjoyable. To borrow a saying from a children’s book: It’s easy when you know how to do it.
To get rid of our fear and anxiety, it is important to take the plunge. What we fear is mostly smoke and mirrors, something that was bothering us psychologically but had no substance. When we take the plunge, we dispel the self-belief that the task is impossible.
In the case of public speaking, we need to build our confidence by taking the plunge, initially with a small audience, and gradually building it. Start with small steps. It is ok if you stumble.
You will come out a different person when you accomplish what you fear.
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Boosting your courage isn’t something that happens overnight.
It’s a day-by-day process and you’re more likely to experience success in this area if you focus on expanding your comfort zone one step at a time.
For example, if you notice that you feel fear around talking to new people, start small by asking someone for directions or striking up a short conversation with people you encounter in your day-to-day life.
When we’re feeling fearful, our breathing unconsciously becomes faster and shallower. Taking a few deep breaths sends the signal to our minds that everything is OK and helps us relax.
With stress, the mind and the body are intrinsically linked. You can view stress as something that is wreaking havoc on your body (and it can) or as something that is giving you the strength and energy to overcome adversity.
Regular exposure to stress in small quantities can prepare us to handle a big stressful event in our lives. Prepare yourself for stress by self-education about the stressful event, by doing some physically stressful activities like completing a marathon, or something you dread, like giving a speech.
Repeated exposure to mildly stressful conditions can alter your body’s biological response to stress, making you manage stress in a better way.