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  • Writer's pictureLiza Engel

Taming the Tremble and Perfectionism - Embracing Your Authentic Voice

You're on the brink of stepping into the spotlight, your mind buzzing with insights ready to be shared. And yet, as the moment arrives, your hands embark on an involuntary dance of nerves, a vivid betrayal of the calm poise you envisioned - your usual confident self has disappeared into a blank void. And you feel certain that everyone has now zoomed in on your show of nerves. This isn't merely a bodily defiance; it's the echo of your adrenaline responding to the blend of anticipation, a sprinkle of fight or flight and the ghost of perfectionism. That desire to precisely nail every word can inflate our fears, turning our bodies into arenas of nervous display.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

But how do we navigate these signs of nervousness entwined with the inner critic's stringent demands for flawlessness? Grounding techniques offer physical and emotional anchors, silencing the voices in our heads demanding perfection and steadying our quivering hands.

Deep, Intentional Breathing

I am repeating myself because breathwork is such a game-changer. Through deliberate breath exercises, we can calm into our minds, assuring ourselves over our distracting thoughts and mitigating the physical symptoms stirred by anxiety and self-imposed pressures. Please see my blog post on the power of your breath.

Physical Grounding

In the face of jittery hands and the hunger for a flawless delivery, grounding ourselves physically can work wonders. Planting your feet firmly on the ground, you're reminded of your steadfast presence in the now, diverting your focus from the pressures of imperfection. Embrace an object—a pen or the fabric of your clothes - as a tactile anchor. Don't try to squish the life out of it; notice how it feels. This will allow you to refocus and take a break from the stress reaction.

Engaging Your Senses

Our senses are potent allies in drawing us back to the immediacy of the present, shielding us from the wheel of overthinking. By pausing to catalogue the sights, sounds, textures, aromas, and tastes surrounding us, we ground our thoughts, easing the pressure to attain perfection and, instead, channel our energies into the present moment so that we can deliver our message with genuine compassion - for ourselves and our audience. If a three-year-old can do this, so can you.

The Tension-Release Dance

I know a successful woman who dances in the bathroom before a big speaking event. At the very least, you will start giggling, and those hormones and neurotransmitters will make you feel better in seconds. If that is too much for you or you don't have the space to dance, I have the next best solution. All you need to do is make a tight fist. There's something profoundly liberating about deliberately tensing our muscles only to let them melt into relaxation. It's a physical release within our bodies, reassuring us that we will be ok.

Passion: The Heartbeat of Engagement

Beyond these strategies lies my favourite approach: letting passion lead the way. You've surely done your work to get you to this moment. When preparation meets the raw energy of passion, the result is magnetic.

"Perfection might impress some, but it is passion that truly resonates with everyone. Even without perfection, passion captivates and leaves a lasting impression."

Remember these grounding truths as your hands dare to quiver and your heart races at the thought of stepping into the arena for a big moment. They're not mere antidotes to nervousness but affirmations that the quest for perfection should never overshadow the power of authentic connection, communication, and the unfiltered expression of your passion.

These tips work for stage moments, big and small, as well as first dates and job interviews. May these insights not only be your shield against the tremors of anxiety but also your guide towards embracing a more forgiving and compassionate perception of yourself. With each step and word, allow your genuine self to emerge, radiant and unapologetically you, with your imperfect perfection.

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