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Panicking is a natural reaction, especially when you know that all eyes are on you and when you are aware that people have high expectations of you.
In my previous company, you couldn’t get promoted just because you had outstanding work performance. Aside from formally applying for the position, you also had to compete with other interested applicants, who also had excellent professional backgrounds.
Since I was determined to climb the corporate ladder, I didn’t hesitate to apply after the management announced an opening for 3 supervisory positions. There were 12 qualified candidates, including me.
The whole process was two-months long. After taking series of exams and doing several presentations, we were cut down to 5. The final stage was a panel interview and delivering an impromptu speech.
I can still remember the feeling that I had at the time, I could literally hear my heartbeat, my hands were sweating non-stop, my knees were shaking and my brain was just feeling so numb.
Surprisingly, fifteen minutes before the interview started, my best friend Lei showed up and gave me red lipstick. She asked me to wear it and told me to rock it! I gained inspiration and confidence after that. And I think that was one of the reasons why I got the position.
Aside from learning that red lipstick can make my life better, the whole experience also taught me how to calm myself under pressure. So for today, I decided to share with you some skills that you can put into practice to take back your focus and control whenever you are in a stressful situation.
Free Your Mind From Inhibitions
Self-limiting beliefs, excuses and the boundaries that you create for yourself are the primary causes of your fears and failures. It restricts you from focusing your attention on what’s truly important and from achieving your maximum potential.
In the piece “8 Important Lessons Everyone Should Keep Learning For Better Life,” writer Lewis Humphries explains how you can become your own enemy when it comes to facing challenges and pursuing your goals.
To avoid beating yourself up and giving in to your self-imposed restrictions, you should learn to:
• Accept that you’re not going to have a positive impact on everyone
• Take risks and embrace your mistakes
• Leverage your past failures as a springboard for your future
• Take responsibility of your own actions
Look At It From a Positive Perspective
Stay calm amidst a problematic situation by keeping a positive mindset. Displaying an upbeat attitude while entertaining positive thoughts in your head can help boost your concentration, build your skills and improve your work.
If you’re a business owner, for instance, a huge part of your success depends on your ability to think positively. If you’re always worried that you can’t keep up with the fast-paced developments in social media, that you don’t have enough marketing budget and that you are too old to learn new viral marketing skills, then most likely, your business will fail.
Instead of worrying, it’s best to equip yourself with the necessary knowledge that will help you succeed, believe in your own abilities and be optimistic about the results.
Focus Your Efforts in Making Things Better
Rather than wasting your energy feeling stressed and pressured, pick yourself up and learn to be proactive. You should try to be ahead of the game by creating plans that will let you be in control.
For example, a first date can be a nerve-wracking experience. It makes you feel extra-conscious about everything, from the way you look, to the clothes you wear and the way you talk.
To help you carry on a first date conversation with ease and grace, check this out – “7 Questions You Should Ask on a First Date.”
Writer Sheiresa Ngo also provides ways on how you can enjoy the moment and at the same time, learn more about your date without sounding overly suspicious and defensive.
Visualize the Outcome of Your Hard Work
Having a clear picture in your mind of the results of your sacrifices and hard work will definitely make you feel better and more driven. Imagine the ease of finally getting through the challenges and reaping the rewards in the end.
Getting back in shape was one of my new year’s resolutions. To keep myself motivated and inspired, I displayed an old picture of me on my bedside table when I was still a little thinner. I also hung an old swimsuit on the wall to remind me every day how I have to keep on pushing myself to exercise until I reach my goal. And it was really effective.
Keeping a vivid vision in your head of the things that you want to achieve will remind you how far you’ve come and how promising the future is.
And to help you revolutionize your workout and picture yourself with well-toned shoulders, a tight bottom and stronger back, you can try doing this kettle bell swing for a few minutes every day.
I always hear people talking about visualization and I think it does work. I agree that having a vivid vision of what you want to achieve in your mind can help you stay motivated. You can get a tremendous amount of positive energy from it.
I try to see failures as learning experiences. It’s not easy, but it’s way better than giving up to the pressure of the situation. There’s always something new to learn and it helps me next time I have a problem.
I call myself a freezer. You know, one of those people that doesn’t have the typical fight or flight response but instead freezes. I think my biggest stumbling block would be my own inhibitions, and I really need to let them go and focus on the task at hand.
Failure is definitely a learning experience and I’ve learned from mine. I have had many interviews in front of a panel of 3 or more people. The nerves are usually there but I find once I start the interview I’m usually okay.
I panic a lot, in fact I think I get too anxious when everyone’s focus is one me. I would be glad to know a way to get over this once and for all. Calming myself under pressure is the best thing that I have recently learned but if it is about making a presentation to the board, I have still got work to do.
I also wear bright red lipstick as a confidence booster when I need it. It’s silly really, as once it’s on, you can’t actually see it on yourself, but it definitely helps me. One of my colleagues knows my little trick and will give me a knowing look when the lipstick comes out.
I always visualize myself going through the strenuous situation. I find that by role-playing different scenarios, I feel more confident in the heat of the moment. Another useful tip I have learned is to simply write down my visualization.
I won’t blame you when that happens because I take it as our weak moments. I don’t always make the best decision in such situation, but at least I try. Sometimes it opens up to more chances, which is definitely better than nothing at all.