Self-conscious: Having undue awareness of oneself
Many people ask me about not being nervous the it comes to performing. Some are athletes. Some are aspiring speakers. All have the same root issue: Self-consciousness.
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There is a simple 3-step process I use for helping people eliminate self-conscious feelings. The process may not happen overnight for you. But it WILL happen – as long as you stick to and believe in the process.
- Boldness & Confidence are outwardly-directed. Do you believe in the law of Karma? What you put out, you get back. If so, then follow this logic. We are drawn to the bold, confident person because their energy is directed outwardly. They’re giving us energy, and we give it back in the form of attention. The bold individual makes everyone feel more loose, relaxed and confident. The confident performer has energy to spare.Have you ever watched a nervous person perform? How did it feel watching him? Didn’t you start feeling nervous and uncomfortable yourself? Do you think that’s a coincidence?Humans are repelled by self-conscious people. Because the self-conscious person is putting all of their attention and focus on themselves. They give nothing, and in turn they receive nothing. No one wins.
When you go on stage for a speech or on the court for a game, self-conscious thoughts make you a failure before you even begin. You fail because you’re not focused on what should be your goal: Serving your audience (or team) as best you can. What we focus on, we create. When your focus in on how you look, if someone thinks you sound dumb, or if people like you or not, you’re being selfish. You’re not serving. You’re only thinking about yourself. And you cannot get what you do not give.
- They’re supposed to be watching you. There are no coincidences in life. Every effect has a cause, even if you cannot identify it.When you are on stage or on the court performing, and people are watching, everyone is right where they’re supposed to be. You are on stage because someone hired you, because you’re the expert in the room, or you chose to step up when others chose not to.You’re on the court or field because the coach put you in the game. You have the ball because you’re open. You have a jersey on because you earned it.
The spectators? They are in the audience for a reason: to watch you.
The performers didn’t show up to watch the spectators. The spectators showed up to watch the performers. Don’t ever forget this point. Perform as someone who people pay time and money to watch. You are this person, after all.
- Let go of needing the approval of others. Self-consciousness is your thoughts of what other people might be thinking. But you’ll never know what other people are thinking. And even if they tell you, you have no way of knowing if it’s true.So stop trying to figure it out.Your #1 responsibility in life is to handle yourself. And when you’re at work, you responsibility is to deliver on your promise.
A basketball player’s promise is to play the game. A speaker’s promise is to educate, inspire, or entertain the audience (maybe all 3). It is not your job to figure out what others think. You’re not here to please people. Nor is it your job to change someone’s mind. When you are on stage – any stage – your job is to serve your audience to the best of your ability.
The bigger your name grows, the more you achieve, the more people who will not agree with you. Yes, you’ll have your share of fans, of course. But understand that the larger you get, the bigger of a target will be on you. Meaning, some people will not approve of your message, appearance, style, background, opinion… the list goes on.
That is not your problem. It’s theirs.
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