Gratifying Your Nerves


All of us have had instances where we’ve felt really tense about an upcoming event. We might be bothered that we’re going to mess up in our final musical recital that we have to pass before graduation, or question if our body will collaborate in an approaching sporting event. We might fret about if we’ll remember everything we’ve practiced, if we’ll look professional enough or sound educated enough in our business presentation, or if we’ll nail that interview we’ve been waiting to have for months.

There are always going to be countless excuses you can give yourself regarding why you should doubt your abilities when it comes down to the wire. These types of things happen. And while you may not be able to completely eliminate these fears, there are some simple things you can do, as well as a few mental exercises to run through, that will help you plan for the best and get your mindset in the right place.


Stick to your routine. If you spent hours experiencing what you know you have to say and crafting the most effective way to present information, opt for what you prepared rather than shifting to something else last minute. When in doubt, stick with the familiar. Or, if you’re up against a physical difficulty, follow what you did in training instead of tossing something new at your body and hoping it will perform for you. There’s relaxation in consistency.

Get a good night’s sleep two nights before. No matter how well prepared you are, don’t count on getting good sleep the night before something big. You might have to be up very early, or you may be handling a little nervousness that it’s in fact go time. Bottom line? Get a good night’s sleep two nights before. That way, no matter what happens the night before, your body has some rest under its belt and that will count for something.

Get everything ready the night before, or even a couple of nights before. If you get everything together and check it all in advance, however, you’ll be able to take care of anything you may have overlooked and feel ready and prepared when you wake up the morning of.

Mentally prepare for any setbacks. Have a backup plan in your mind for if things fail. When the PowerPoint doesn’t work, the sound system cuts out, or there’s cruddy weather at your sporting event, you’ll have mentally planned it and you won’t freeze up or shut down due to less-than-favorable circumstances.


Take some time to think back on all your preparation when you start to feel nervous. It can be beneficial to comfort yourself by reflecting and realizing that you’ve put in the time for this moment. You’re not going into it blind. Consider all the hours you put in training your body, or the months you invested researching for the demonstration you should give, and the agonizing amount of time you spent articulating just the right thought. If you can mentally obtain to that place, you can view this final piece as a capstone, or perhaps a celebration. It would be entirely normal to be nervous if you hadn’t readied, but that’s not you. You’ve understood this. It’s in the bag. You’ve just reached take a minute to reflect, and afterwards bring everything you’ve come to the table, knowing it will be sufficient.

Are you focusing on all the things that could go wrong, the people you need to impress, or the instances where things went less than stellar during preparation? It can also be helpful to spend some time thinking about how you want to execute this experience. Most things like this don’t come around over and over, and you want to look back with no regrets.

If this event has something to do with work, think about those who have expressed their confidence in you by extending this opportunity to you. If you’re participating in an endurance athletic event, for example, it is inspiring to take some time to think back on the journey. Gratitude and reflection have a remarkable ability to get you to a healthy mindset, and they’re a mindfulness practice that inspires, lifts, and motivates.

And as for the other things that need to be negotiated, such as lots of people and crazy traffic? Get a coach and take a food or wine tour to unwind. For whatever event concerns are forthcoming, we’d love to help take care of some of that by offering assistance with transportation or being a part of the fun once the shindig is over.

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