If someone asked me what makes me more motivated to run than anything else, you know what I’d say?
Without a doubt, speaking in front of a group. Whether it’s a presentation, speech, or the likes, it makes me so ready to run away that it could be my warm for a 5K.
The idea of having so many eyes focused on me, judging me and what I’m saying, is terrifying. Thinking about it makes me certain that I’d freeze up and pull a Michael Bay if someone asked me to do it anytime soon.
My fear comes from my belief that the listeners aren’t going to find me entertaining or captivating. Then, everything I say will fall on deaf ears. They’ll just think I’m unprepared or uneducated about the subject, and then I’d be humiliated. To make matters worse, they’d all likely notice how I felt, and I’d be able to see it in their eyes.
It’s important that I get over this fear. At some point, I’ll have to give a presentation, speech, or something of the sort. I don’t want my fear to control me and send me running for the hills.
THE ROOT OF PUBLIC SPEAKING FEAR
Blog posts and YouTube videos about how to giving presentations are a good place to start. However, to get to the heart of what makes speaking in front of groups so difficult, it’s important to look inside yourself. Focusing on external things lends too much attention to things we can’t change.
When we look inside ourselves, we’re able to see that our full potential to give presentations and speeches is blocked by internal barriers, like doubt, fear, and anxiety.
Anxiety is a tool that we need for survival. The brain developed this response over millions of years to protect us from threats like wild animal attacks and other dangerous situations.
We need anxiety the same way a car or a house needs an alarm: to alert us when there’s danger.
The term social anxiety refers to nervousness in social situations, and everyone has it in varying degrees. It serves an essential function in our lives. It makes us more aware of those we care about and helps us nurture our social connections.
So why does that alarm sometimes make our social lives so overwhelming?
A mix of our personality, demeanor and past stressful social experiences can set our alarm to hypersensitive mode.
Whatever the underlying cause that made your “alarm” hypersensitive, the most important thing to know is that there are effective approaches for overcoming social anxiety and boosting confidence.
CHOOSING HOW TO MAKE A CHANGE
When people face situations that make them anxious, avoidance is the most common action they take. Avoidance keeps people in their comfort zone and prevents them from experiencing the feelings of anxiety.
However, we know that avoiding uncomfortable situations also takes us further away from getting what we want, like speaking with confidence when giving a presentation or speech.
There are plenty of effective solutions that help individuals build confidence, feel less anxiety in social situations and start doing things they imagined were impossible.
Experts worldwide recommend Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) as a very effective technique for overcoming anxiety in social situations.
CBT exercises empower you to understand how your mind works and build new skills to react more positively to situations that would usually cause you anxiety.
Participants in clinical studies created new brain pathways through repeated CBT practice. To put it another way, CBT gives you superpowers to reprogram your brain to feel more confident.
In the context of psychology, a therapist is a trained individual with a license to guide patients through CBT exercises.
Finding the right therapist can often be a lengthy and challenging process, and some people may not know where to begin. Besides that, many people think that face-to-face therapy is intimidating and can be too expensive.
Digital and self-guided approaches can also be a useful first step if you are unsure whether or not to seek further help. It is a convenient alternative if face-to-face therapy doesn’t interest you.
Research suggests digital CBT can be just as effective as having face-to-face therapy with a therapist.
These solutions are available around the clock and are readily available via smartphone or computer, wherever you are. Other advantages include: it’s discreet and confidential.
COMMITTED TO IMPROVEMENT
Youper is a personal digital solution designed to increase confidence by overcoming anxiety in social situations. Youper re-invented Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to make it fun, interactive and engaging.
Dr. Hamilton, psychiatrist, and Youper co-founder, says that building confidence and meaningful relationships can be just like climbing a challenging mountain. To get to the summit, it requires time and dedication.
Along your journey, think of Youper as your guide and the backpack full of tools. We ensure you reach your destination safely and successfully. You can even fit us in your pocket with our free app.