Curbing Negative Thoughts
Consider this scenario: You are about to go onstage in front of hundreds, if not thousands, of people to give a speech. Your lips are quivering, your hands are sweating, your stomach seems to be infested with millions of butterflies, and you feel like you are on the verge of either fainting or vomiting. Familiar? Those are the telltale signs that one is nervous or feeling utterly uncomfortable.
If you believe that mantras, or the act of repeatedly telling yourself stuff, like “I’m not nervous” or “I can do this” can alleviate your nervousness – better think again. Contrary to what most people believe and practice, doing so only intensifies the tension. Think of it this way: if one is already aware that he is nervous, then there is really no sense in making himself believe that he isn’t because; he’ll only end up looking like a fool.
And, so, you wonder, what then should one do to alleviate his or her tension? The answer is quite simple and something that you wouldn’t have expected. You just have to try channelling your energy towards something else.
Don’t dwell on your negative thoughts and feelings, but, instead, try to divert the spotlight away from yourself. Make an effort to think about how your performance would affect the audience, how good you’ll feel after the presentation, and how self-satisfying it would be to hear the audience applaud after all has been said and done.
It’s just the same when we deal with negative thoughts. Telling yourself “I will never do it again” won’t get you anywhere. You know why? It’s because humans are innately affected by reverse psychology. There are times that the more we tell ourselves not to do it, the more chances that we end up doing it. In short, those kinds of things usually backfire and end up shooting us right in the face. Practically and realistically, it’s all just a matter of refocusing and changing one’s perspective.
As the saying goes, “the grass is greener on the other side”, so when you feel like you are on the unpleasant side, refocus your thinking and try to see what the other option has to offer. Try to put yourself in the shoes of other people. In relation to the scenario previously given, the grass on the other side is the audience.
If you are the audience, you would be pleased if the one who is going to give a speech or perform on the stage is someone who has self-confidence, determination and spirit to give his or her very best, wouldn’t you? In that case, having the drive to give your audience a sense of fulfillment is your trail towards achieving your own self-fulfillment.
Again, the perks of selflessness become evident in this situation. By thinking of how others would feel, of how others would benefit from what you are doing, that will be the moment you will be unchained from bunched up negative feelings.