When you need to make a presentation at school, to your boss, or to some other group, does your heart beat a little faster, do your hands get cold, and do you have a fluttery feeling in the pit of your stomach? Those reactions are totally normal—but what makes the difference between stressed-out and successful is how you interpret these symptoms.
For example, Person A might think: “I’m scared out of my mind. What if I blow it? This could be my whole career right here. I can’t do this!” Person A is a wreck by the time he or she begins the presentation. In contrast, Person B thinks: “I’m so excited! What an opportunity to get my name and face up in front. This is really going to boost my career. I can’t wait to get started!” Person B has a much greater chance of giving a top-notch presentation.
You have direct control over how you interpret the events around you. That’s a simple truth, but it takes practice to achieve. Over a lifetime, we get into the habit of looking at things either optimistically or pessimistically. So the first step in managing stress about all situations is to take the time to become aware of your tendencies—and then work hard to change them.
ed2go online courses by Patricia Addesso