Move Past Fear and Become a Powerful Public Speaker

The fear of public speaking is the most common phobia. It has been said that people fear public speaking more then they fear death. Although that may sound extreme most people aren’t faced with death at the next sales meeting and so the speaking fear is more real and more immediate.

Many people make their fear worse by their behavior. If a person with performance Anxiety forces themselves to speak in an effort to move past their fear, what likely will happen is reinforcement of the negative feeling and the more it is reinforced the worse it will become.

Another way you might make this fear worse is by avoidance. This often starts in school, by selecting classes where there is no speaking required or choosing a career where speaking and presenting is not necessary. When you have a fear and you avoid the thing that triggers your fear, once again you are reinforcing the message to your mind that you can’t do presentations and so the fear becomes more imbedded. The best way to move past a fear or phobia of this type is to clear it out on a subconscious level where fears are stored.

When I work with clients who have this fear we start by clearing out old experiences that may retrigger the fear. By moving past the initial cause of the fear you begin to gain more control. The initial cause could be having a panic attack when giving a presentation in school, or perhaps a speech in college or simply introducing yourself in a meeting. Fear of public speaking is not a fear that you are born with since we are born with only two fears, fear of falling and fear of loud noises. Every other fear is taught or learned. Once the triggers are removed we can work on developing the skills and confidence to not only be able to speak, but to become an engaging and exciting speaker.

Stress Management using Hypnosis

According to the American Medical Association approximately 80% of the patients who visit an internal medicine doctor are there due to the long term effects of stress. Long term chronic stress or a person’s perception of the stress causes a great deal of physical damage and is underlying almost all disease. Symptoms like headaches, back pain, stomach problems, rapid heart rate, fatigue, nervous habits, cognitive problems and the list goes on and on.

Stress is a normal physical response to an event or problem that makes you feel threatened or overwhelmed. Our nervous system is sensitive to danger in order to keep us safe. But the same system that helps us avoid physical danger can be the system that creates long term chronic stress and damages our mind and body.

When the fight or flight response kicks in we are sent into a focused, energetic and alert state. This state can help you to meet challenges, make you sharp when doing presentations, help you to react quickly in an accident or other dangerous situation. However the problems arise when we stay in this state too much or when every little thing that goes wrong sends us into hyper drive. When adrenaline and cortisol are released constantly the damage it does to the body is extreme. Over time it will damage and inflame every system of your body and this includes the brain. Things like memory problems, the inability to concentrate, seeing only the negative and constant poor judgment are directly related to chronic or high levels of stress.

To break this pattern, it is important to take back some control. Using hypnosis to calm the central nervous system is the first step I take with my clients. Then we work to change their thinking regarding the stressors in their life. Alleviating negative habits like procrastination, too much alcohol, improving sleep and connecting more to others will make a big impact on the perception of stress. Also to be able to self-soothe is incredibly important to the reduction of stress.

You have more control then you might think. The simple realization that you are in control of your life is the foundation of stress management. So do something that makes you feel in control and you will feel your sense of well-being grow.

Fear during Swimming for Triathletes

Fear of water is something that many people have either due to a previous near drowning incident or simply because as a child they never became familiar with water during play. Fear of swimming in a triathlon however is usually a totally different kind of fear.
Sometimes, it is more about a feeling of overwhelm. Other times it could be from the crowds and fear of being hit while in the water (a very real possibility). Other times it could be from a negative experience of exhaustion while out in deep water. Still other times it could be the athlete pushing themselves to do a sport that they don’t like in order to compete in a triathlon. Another possibility is the fear of failure creating Anxiety and that feeling can be transformed into panic.
hypnosis and hypnotherapy can help in all of these instances. When I work with a triathlete we start by finding out the underlying cause. Whether it is actually a fear of the water or something else that is causing the problem. Once we have determined where the fear is coming from we can change and reframe the problem.
We first start by calming the nervous system and allowing the person to feel that they have permission to relax. Too often driven individuals don’t allow themselves to relax because they feel that it is not moving them toward their goal. The fact is that by taking time everyday to relax and diffuse stress and Anxiety they gain the ability to perform at a higher level without all the tension. Olympic athletes know that if they become too tense they will not perform at peak. Physically it is impossible to perform well when physically tense. Mental tension creates physical tension. We then move on to clearing the subconscious mind of unrealistic fears and anxiety. This allows the athlete to feel more calm and in control. Finally we use mental rehearsal during hypnosis. When a swimmer is able to see his/her self successfully completing the race feeling calm and focused during hypnosis they will find that when they actually do the swim it feels familiar and much more comfortable.
By taking charge of the mind and allowing the mind and body to work together seamlessly, the athlete has a much better experience. They feel in control, calm, comfortable and their performance will improves too!

Director Michael Bay’s Fear of Public Speaking

Last week I watched the video of Michael Bay attempting to speak at the CES show.  He had a teleprompter but it obviously wasn’t working properly and he completely blanked.  My heart went out to him since that is one of the worst feelings and to have it happen so visibly is gut wrenching.

So how could this have gone differently?  First of all to not depend on technology because sometimes it will let you down.  But the main fix is to get rid of the fear so that if there is a problem, you forget your notes or your power point won’t boot up you have the ability to present.

How do you get rid of fear of public speaking?  This is usually a deep seated fear of being judged or criticized or sometimes it is based on a bad speaking experience as in the example of Michael Bay

The way I help my clients move past this fear and become a speaker free of those extreme fears is a 5 step process.

  1. First step is to help the aspiring speaker to have more control over worry and negative thinking.
  2. Then to find positive experiences and moments of confidence in their past and use these positive memories to increase their ability to feel confident now.
  3. The next step is to take away the negative emotion and fear from past negative experiences. Also to work on changing any negative beliefs about themselves.
  4. Use NLP phobia cure to further clear out the any negative emotions associated to speaking or presenting.
  5. Finally I use a process of visualization in hypnosis to see the speech or presentation going well, sort of a mental rehearsal.

Occasionally I may need more than one session for the earlier steps in the process. But usually by using these 5 steps, using hypnosis, NLP and perhaps some regression therapy, I am to help someone change from a fearful, worried presenter to someone who feels much calmer and in control in any speaking situation.



Have a Holiday Free of Anxiety

This is the time of year when there is a great deal of pressure to have a wonderful time with family and friends. Anytime there is pressure or expectations it causes stress since we can’t control the outcome.  Stress will cause an increase in Anxiety. Even getting together with your family can create turmoil and conflict. The desire to have a great time and make everything perfect is also part of the problem.  The unrealistic expectations triggered by watching TV or movies of the “perfect” holiday season make people feel unsuccessful if they don’t have the perfect holiday.

How can we change this mindset and enjoy ourselves with less stress and Anxiety?

  • First it is important to remember what we are celebrating.  Get back to basics by getting in touch with the meaning of the holiday.
  • Stop watching TV and movies that make you feel “less than” and depressed.
  • Help someone else by giving to those less fortunate or joining some type of organized charitable endeavor.  Helping others will make you feel better about your situation in life.
  • Get out in nature.  This time of year it is harder to motivate ourselves to get outside, but nature will get you back in touch with what is important.
  • Meditation and self-hypnosis are wonderful tools to calm the mind and create more positive brain chemistry.
  • Feel some compassion. In scientific studies feeling compassion gives positive brain chemistry to the person feeling for someone else.
  • Eat less.  Over eating this time of year usually involves too much sugar which will set you up for a crash. Blood sugar swings are a major cause of Anxiety.
  • Get enough sleep since sleep deprivation causes all sorts of problems including anxiety.
  • Choose happiness.  The fact is that we can choose to change the way we think and what we focus on.

And if you are still having a bad day, remember this; “The greatest discovery of any generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude”.  William James