As you evolved as a human being, you will be exposed to many different things or people or the environment that will shape you. They shape the way you think, feel and how you make decisions for yourself. Over the years, you would have accumulated enough “experience” to formulate how you wanted to live your life. Hence, you create and design your own formula that will produce the kind of life or lifestyle which you want to have.
Where does this formula come from?
Some say that these formula comes from your thoughts. That means, the way you are thinking will eventually lead to your outcome. While some say that the formula derives from something deeper than your thoughts – known as your belief system. That means, the “unconscious” version of you.
Your minds are categorized into 3 different systems:-
Your Conscious Mind is your awareness at the present moment. You are aware of what’s going on externally and internally. For example, when you are driving in a new town and you are looking for a specific location to stop. You know what to look out for, which direction you are steering your car in, when to press the brakes, etc. You are very conscious of what you are doing.
Our minds are about 5% conscious and 95% subconscious and unconscious.
Think of your Subconscious & Unconscious Minds as the storage room of everything that is currently not in your conscious mind. It stores all your previous life experiences your memories, your skills – all situations you have been through and all images you have seen.
These 2 parts of the mind is powerful and it is important because it allows you to operate and function more effectively. For example, you will unconsciously know when to breathe; what to do when you sense danger; how to react when you touched something hot, etc. You can call it your ‘human instincts’ or your life’s experiences embedded into every cells of your body.
The reason I gave you a short explanation about how your mind works is because I want you to understand the reason most people fear public speaking is because they don’t know how to handle the reactions that come from their subconscious and unconscious minds.
Do you know that your Self-Talks and Self-Thoughts are part of your 95%-mind communicating with your 5%-mind?
Ok, which mind-system is the one that talks you out of public speaking?
Answer: Your subconscious and unconscious minds!
Why? Because they were not trained to consciously prepare you for dozens of eye-balls, raised platform, solo and in front of the room, bright lights shining at you, speaking louder than usual and various reasons.
To say it differently, your subconscious and unconscious minds would not allow you to do what your conscious mind is not comfortable at doing.
What is the MAIN FUCNTION of your conscious mind?
Answer: “To keep you safe.” In short, to keep you in your comfort zone!!!
Next question: “Where does success begin and achieved? Inside the comfort zone or outside the comfort zone?”
(You got it! I’m sure you know it is OUTSIDE the comfort zone!)
Now, when you are new to public speaking – that means, you have never really done it before. Your teachers have never trained you and you have never practiced, of course you will feel nervous! Of course, you will find that it is scary experience! Of course you want to back off and sit down versus standing up to give a speech! Our subconscious and unconscious mind are kicking in, hello….???
Truth be told, you will feel nervous. Your emotions are a form of “message” being sent to your conscious mind to quit. (Often, it is not just one message… but many messages!)
How you counter-attack these messages is how you WIN – that means, how you will carry on presenting and speaking although you are super nervous deep within you.
You got to train your subconscious and unconscious minds to work with you as you continue to calm yourself down before you get on stage and when you get on stage.
Would you like to learn some winning steps to counter attack your negative self-talks?
Here are 5 Winning Steps for you:-
Step 1 in countering the attack is that you MUST let your conscious mind know that you are safe and you will be safe. Your conscious mind needs to know that you will be OKAY before and especially after doing those scary stunts.
(Think of your conscious mind as your mother, if that helps…)
For example, let your conscious mind know that public speaking is about serving other people. It is about helping someone to learn something you have learnt the hard way. Reassure your mind that everything will be in order; it will happen for a reason and out of many people you are chosen to be there this time, this day, this place.
Step 2 requires you to be very, very sensitive to the words and keywords your mind uses to respond to new situations. What are the usual or common “excuses” your mind gives to you? List them all down.
Check the circle that resonate with you:-
Step 3 is to look at the list and start asking yourself where else in your life do these words and keywords pop up? Are they supporting you towards progress or stopping you from growing? Are they the words you want to hear again and again every single time you meet a new challenging task, or do you want to start over-coming such thoughts?
Once you know how your mind “tricked” you to believe that public speaking is more fearful than reality, chances are your mind will trick you again in other aspects of your life when it feels insecure or sensed danger. Your mind might even use the same keywords to “protect” you. The good news is you now get to identify whether the mind-talk is empowering or disempowering you and what you are going to do about it.
Step 4 is to increase your “support” team so that your mind is guarded from such unwanted attacks. Hang around and mix with people who will support you to do public speaking well. Join a Toastmasters’ Club in your area. You need a ready set of audience to practice in front of, anyway.
Step 5 is to review what you have done right and wrong. Learn from mistakes. Keep doing the things that work and discard those that don’t work. Do not dwell in your past mistakes. Keep moving forward. You get better when you begin to speak more often.
These are the 5 winning steps that all beginners can do. If you want it bad enough, you will find a way to get your “support” team in place and practice. A memorable and impactful presentation does not depend on “luck” – it requires a lot of practice and sharpening to become good.
I encourage you to stop worrying about what might go wrong and start going for what might go right. You will want to speak more when you start going out there and making a difference in someone else’s life with your message.
Keep moving forward!
Serving you from the stage,
The Success Team
Energetic bunch of entrepreneurs who cannot sit still!
Contributor. Cynthia is a Public Speaking and Communication Trainer. She is also the founder of The Success Factory.