We’ve all been there.

Speaking in front of a large group.

Asking a woman out.

Moving in for that first kiss.

Nervousness comes over us and literally derails us from what we want to do.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

There are things you can do.

Your first instinct is likely to resist the nervousness – to push it away.

But when you resist it, you actually make it worse.

You tighten up your breathing and brace yourself for this flood of emotion that is coming at you.

You try to slow it down by tightening your body but you’re actually speeding it up and giving it more power.

When you feel nervousness, that fear of doing something you’ve never done before, the solution is actually to allow it – to embrace it, and, more importantly, to create space for it.

Something happens in your brain when you embrace a feeling like this and allow it.

You realize cognitively that you’re in charge of your own sensations.

And that gives you tremendous power to overcome challenges in the future.

Nervousness comes from a reaction in your primitive brain – it’s perceiving that you are out there on your own, alone from the group.

You’re “on the stage”, isolated from others – and your reptilian brain translates that to real danger.

But there is no danger.

There’s no tiger ready to attack you.

You’re not lost in the woods, cut off from the rest of the world, at risk of dying.

But your brain thinks so.

Your brain is malfunctioning – it’s seeing danger when there is none.

It’s confused.

It’s trying to figure out why you’ve been isolated and why you’re not part of the group.

Moments of nervousness are just like those times when you were a kid and a friend jumped out from the bushes and scared you.

In that moment, you’re jolted with a sudden terror but very quickly, you calm down because you realize it wasn’t real – there was no danger there.

You even laugh about it and say to yourself, “Oh, that’s just my dopey friend”.

That’s the exact thing you can tell your brain when it is panicking in a moment of nervousness.

You can tell yourself, “Oh, that’s just my brain confused that there’s danger here but there really isn’t.”

Here’s another important point about nervousness – trying to make it go away is not a good use of your energy.

However, acknowledging the nervousness is.

As we get older, we’re more likely to say to someone, “Oh man, I’m so nervous right now”; we’ve been through the experience so many times that we no longer try to hide it like when we were younger.

That same frankness, with yourself, can really help.

Your hands are a little sweaty?

That’s ok.

You can tell yourself, “Sweaty hands are normal – it’s just my brain freaking out a little.  I’ll be fine.”

This acknowledgement – this awareness – provides a breath amidst the nervousness and creates some space for the nervousness to just to be there.

Nervousness is just your brain being fooled but your ability to allow it, and calmly talk yourself through it, is one of the most important skills you can learn.

If you can handle nervousness, or any negative emotion for that matter, you will truly have found a new superpower.

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