Well, It was a normal day at the office when suddenly I get the news that I have to present in front of sixty people the next morning. “OMG, SIXTY PEOPLE!” that was the only thing I can think of at that moment, to freak out over the idea of speaking publicly in front of a huge crowd.
Of course, for me, this was a huge crowd because the last time I had presented was in front of five people MAX!
Anyway, the information addict that I am (which I love by the way), I went home and started researching public speaking; what makes a good speech, how body language and tone of voice affects audience engagement, eye contact, etc.
And while I was moving from page to page, grasping as much information as I can, I came across a video for Simon Sinek- for those who don’t know Simon, he is the great author of a kickass book called Start With Why.
In the video, Simon mentioned the one question Olympic players are always asked after they finish playing: Were you nervous? And the athletes always replied: No, I was excited!
He continued to explain how they chose to interpret what they were going through as excitement and how our bodies biologically respond to nervousness and excitement the same way; our hearts beat faster, our stomachs tighten, hands get sweaty, and minds start working at insane speeds.
And then he moved on to how he himself was so intrigued by this that he actually started applying this in his everyday life.
That’s freaking crazy I thought to myself, and then decided to try out this technique out myself that same night.
I started telling myself I was excited, that it’s such a wonderful opportunity to get the chance to speak in front of so many people, and how this opportunity will teach me a lot and give me more experience in the field of public speaking. I even started telling my husband how excited I am that I was doing the presentation the next day.
I meditated that night and throughout my meditation, I kept focusing on the idea of being excited and slept with that feeling in my body.
I woke up the next day with the feeling of excitement still in me, I went to work, went into the room, looked around, all the audience were there staring back at me. I took a deep breath and started talking. An hour and a half later I was done, not a single sweat, no shivering voice and not a single word I wanted to say was missed.
I felt proud of myself but completely shocked at the same time! Not because the presentation went well, but because in that moment I believed that the mind can be manipulated and that our thoughts can be easily transformed. I learned that all thoughts including fearful thoughts are a result of our imagination, and have no basis whatsoever. I learned that my fear of public speaking was simply a thought I was repeating to myself until I believed that thought and it became “who I am”.
Now, I do this all the time. I play with my mind and thoughts because I know that I am the one who has the power to control how my thoughts affect me and not the other way around. By that, my life has not changed but my experience of life has changed radically.
“The greatest need of our time is to clean out the enormous mass of mental and emotional rubbish that clutters our minds”
― Thomas Merton
Peace & Love,