It doesn’t matter what the event is; a sporting event, a job interview, your own wedding, a public speaking engagement. Big events can be overwhelming, if we let them. There will always be anxiety in anticipation, that is normal. It’s how we manage that anxiety and fear that makes the difference. Lots of techniques are available to store in our toolbox of life and grab a hold of (for dear life) when we most need them.
1. Accept that you will feel fear and anxiety
This is truly normal! Waking up in the morning and having to go to the loo more times than is usual is normal before a big event. Acceptance is the key.
2. Learn some pre-big event breathing techniques
When you feel that total overwhelm where the negative thoughts are all consuming and you feel like doing a runner, take a moment to focus on your breath and listen to the sounds around you. In, out – breathe very slowly without holding tension between the in and the out breath.
3. Meditation is really, really helpful
Meditation the night before and the morning of your big event can help calm your mind and body beyond your wildest dreams. It has a remarkable positive effect and is well worth mastering. You can read more about meditation here.
4. Visualise how you want things to go
If you haven’t quite got a handle on meditation yet (it’s not as scary as it sounds) find a quiet spot and close your eyes. Set your timer on your phone if you like, just for a minute or two. Visualise everything going perfectly at your event and embrace how you are feeling afterwards. Picture yourself going through the motions from arrival to the finish. Focus on having great body posture and remember to breathe.
5. Have trust and faith in your preparation
Big events don’t usually come before you overnight. Have faith and trust in your preparation. If it’s a sporting event, know that your training will help you. If it’s a speech or a job interview, be prepared. Preparation is the key. If you are prepared, be confident. If you haven’t prepared, what’s the worst that can happen? A reminder to prepare in advance next time.
6. What other people think is not your problem
We can never know what other people are thinking (unless they tell us) so worrying and predicting what it might be is fruitless. You can read more about not worrying about other people’s thoughts here. Comparing ourselves to others is fruitless too. We are all unique and accepting yourself for who you are has a remarkable outcome.
7. ‘Be confident’, ‘Be Confident’, ‘Be confident’!
Keep these two words at the very front of your mind, before and during your event. ‘Be confident’. Think positive thoughts. The negative thoughts will always be there but you can learn to manage them (more about managing negative thoughts here), push them aside and replace them with the good stuff.
Enjoy yourself. Moving outside your comfort zone really is where the magic happens.