How to Control Nerves

Everyone gets nervous. Whether it’s an audition, interview or a performance, it’s totally normal to have that butterfly-feeling in your stomach. Despite how you may feel about them, nerves can be good and if you channel them in the right way, they can help you.

Here’s how to control your nerves and use them to your advantage.

Accept that you are nervous
The first step to overcoming your nerves is to acknowledge that they are there. When you accept them, you can learn how to control them better.

Use techniques to calm your nerves
There are a variety of exercises you can do to help soften the nerves. A simple trick is to take three deep breaths, close your eyes and visualize the situation playing out seamlessly. Also, set aside 10 minutes before any situation to get into a relaxed headspace. What makes you feel calm and collected? Perhaps it’s listening to your favourite songs or meditating. Do this before walking into any situation and you will instantly feel more confident.

Start the day well
Have you ever slept through your alarm and from there everything seems to spiral out of control? You’re late to work, spill coffee down your blouse, forget important meetings and generally feel stressed out? How you begin your day is vital to how the rest of the day will pan out. Wake up early, eat your breakfast and leave with plenty of time spare. Doing this will help you to feel in control of your day and any situation.

Use nerves to your advantage
Think about it. If you weren’t passionate about something, or you just didn’t care, you wouldn’t be nervous. There would be no reason to be. The very fact that you have something to be nervous about is a good indicator that you are living fearlessly and becoming the best version of yourself everyday. Take this as a sign that you are on the right path.

Gain some perspective
Whatever it is that is making you nervous, what is the worst that could happen? Our minds have a way of thinking the world is ending if we embarrass ourselves or fail in some way. If you mess up, the world will keep on spinning. Knowing this should make things easier.

Be prepared or prepare to fail
Sometimes we are nervous because we are not confident in our ability to handle the situation. This is usually a consequence of inadequate preparation. Whether it’s a piano recital or a meeting, be prepared. Do your research, learn your lines and know what you are doing. This will lead to smooth-sailing day.