Being forced to confront our fears can leave us searching for the nearest exit, but knowing how to take control can improve many aspects of our lives
Fear keeps us hovering in the background. Fear keeps us quiet and it tells us we will never accomplish our dreams. However when we’re placed in high pressure situations, succumbing to fear can make things more challenging because of the accompanying levels of self-doubt.
However you define success or failure, and whatever your dreams and aspirations, it’s important to learn to conquer your fears. Fortunately there are some strategies to squash your nerves so that you can focus on delivering the most confident version of yourself, when you need.
Step out of your comfort zone
The Dream Job founder and 2014 Rexona Clinical Pitch Off joint-winner Sarah Liu was acutely aware of the tough questioning she would face after the delivery of a live pitch about her new business.
The Pitch Off event saw nine finalists share their business idea with a panel of judges, as they competed for a bevy of top prizes that would help grow their startup.
In preparation, Liu frequently placed herself under the scrutiny of her family, friends and colleagues to test the viability of her concept.
The repeated discomfort empowered Liu to master her nerves and remind her to focus on her objectives under pressure. She forced herself to not only analyse the content of her proposal, but the delivery of her speech by means of mannerisms and tone of voice.
Leverage your nerves
Maybe you’re in front of a room full of people, battling sweaty palms, a dry throat and a creeping sense of panic as your mind goes blank, but it’s well known that confidence starts and ends with your mental game.
Many seemingly confident people will experience the exact same case of nerves, but the difference is that they seek to leverage their nerves. Nerves and fear can be the adrenalin to fuel your energy for a great outcome.
Congoe co-founder Tahlia Mandie knows what it means to push through under pressure – at one point the busy entrepreneur was juggling study, a private practise and the arrival of a new born baby.
“We will all make mistakes and it’s ok to make mistakes,” says Mandie. “Don’t see them as a reflection of weakness or incapability on yourself.”
Face your biggest critic: you
Facing your fears also extends to switching up the critical, unkind voice that hinders rather than helps your feelings of esteem.
A healthy way to encourage self-analysis is identifying your values, beliefs and long-term goals in life by checking in every now and again, says CapacityHQ founder Samantha Wong.
“Be honest with yourself whether you’re going down the track that you want,” says Wong. “Every couple of years I’m confronted with asking myself where I want to be and whether I’m on the right track.
“I ask myself honestly what the answers to those questions are as I look to where I want to be in the future. Am I being true to myself, or am I avoiding a path because it feels difficult?”
Rexona Clinical can help you feel confident in your important moments.
Written by: Thea Christie