I have to make a presentation at a conference next week. Thinking about it makes my heart race and my thoughts rev like Kyle Busch in a 45-mile-per-hour zone. I’m wrestling tigers again.
I’m not sure where I read this (I read a lot of stuff), but it’s helped calm me when fear rises up and threatens to dissolve my mojo. That physical reaction I’m feeling is the same one cave women felt when a saber toothed tiger threatened to turn laundry day into an all-you-can-eat buffet. The thing is, that reaction was appropriate for cave women, who needed to fight or fly at the prospect of a tiger lurking in the grass.
It doesn’t seem fair, but my body reacts the same way to the thought of tripping over my words in front of a bunch of mild-mannered communications professionals. Oooo…scary. Still, it happens and it’ll be back with a vengeance the morning of my presentation. So I have to keep telling myself, “There are no tigers.”
That’s really what I say to myself. It helps remind me that, although I have enough adrenaline coursing through my veins to leap over the podium and sprint to the safety of my hotel room, I’m not facing anything life-threatening.
Once I wrestle the “tiger” into submission, I’m able to think more clearly and keep my wits about me. I’m not lulled into post-dinner couch sitting relaxation, but that’s a good thing. I like to call that little edge of anxiety that remains my mojo. It’s there to remind me I care about what I’m about to do.