Everyone has a time when they go to their first networking meeting either in person or online and they have to do their 60 second pitch. They are very nervous and they have it in their mind that, either they are going to forget their pitch or nobody will be interested in hearing what they do.
This is so common and we have this fear that is triggered when we are put in a position to put ourselves forward.
It could well be that we have networked before many times and never really felt at ease doing our pitch or talking to a group of people at the event.
We need to remember though that our mind can’t tell the difference between imagination and reality and so our minds are imagining what could go wrong.
Things like – what if I forget my words, what if my pitch is too long, what if nobody says anything afterwards or what if I have a panic attack? All these things are imagined by your primitive brain as it wants to keep you safe and wants you to react to these triggers so that it can release the correct hormones into your body to help you to cope with what it thinks will happen.
Always remember that “A Thought is Not a Fact” but a negative thought can cause reactions which are completely out of line with reality.
Have you ever put together a presentation that you will give to a group of people in your networking hub or in your work environment?. The presentation has 20 slides and you have practised it many times. Your primitive brain is telling you that something will go wrong and you think about what will go wrong 20 times knowing that you have practised this 20 times but 19 of those times have been disasters.
Here, we are negatively forecasting the future, of course and our anxiety about the presentation is causing our negative thinking to become dominant in our mind. Our primitive mind is not an intellect so it can’t be innovative and convince you that all will be well.
Our primitive brain is there to keep us safe and, if we have become very anxious about giving presentation and decided that we will find an excuse not to do it, then our primitive mind has won and will enable us to keep safe. Each time we do this, our patterns of behaviour are looking at what has kept us safe previously and we can see that we have found a solution. However, this is maladaptive as it does not root cause of our anxiety issue.
So, the next time you have a fear of giving your 60 second pitch or giving a presentation to a group of people, think about all the things that could go wrong and ask yourself what evidence is there that confirms this? NONE. Your pitch will go well or your will learn a new way to deliver it and your presentation will go very well and there will be a long q/a session.
Your confidence will be sky high and you will know that a “what if” is simply a thought and not a fact.