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How to Overcome Nervousness: 7 Simple Habits

“Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.”
Benjamin Franklin

“If I don’t train enough, of course I’m nervous.“
Haile Gebrselassie

It starts with just a little tremble within. Then a pressure builds up.

A hand or foot starts to fidget. Your palms become moist and you start to feel not quite like yourself anymore. The inner calmness you felt has flown out the window.

Nervousness is back, like an old friend you didn’t want to see.

Just in time for that date you had been looking forward to for the past week. Or the important meeting at work or your presentation in school.

So what can you do at this point?

Back down, come up with a poor excuse and cancel? Plow through the meeting or date while being not quite your best self?

It is certainly possible. I have done both.

But an even better approach has in my experience been to find strategies and develop habits that help me to handle this challenge.

Here are 7 of my favorite habits for dealing with and overcoming nervousness.

1. Prepare if possible.

A bit obvious. But doing your preparation in time and not at the last minute and doing the preparation well – without trying to do it perfectly – rather than somewhat sloppily make a big difference.

You’ll feel more sure of yourself and relaxed about what you are about to do.

  • If you have an important meeting, do your homework so you know what will or may come up in the meeting.
  • If you have a date, perhaps try to think of 2-3 interesting topics/questions to bring up in case the conversational flow hits a stop.
  • If you have a job interview, think about what they may ask you and figure out some good answers.

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