Challenge your self-talk


I'd say I'm a fairly confident guy, but public speaking just kills it for me. I'm gonna try and keep these tips in mind. Mostly the one where the mind set is very important. I have very negative/anxious thoughts very quick. Thanks for this.

Yes, great question. See this blog for a list of "thought patterns" that get in our way.

The fear center in our brain is actually programmed to think negatively, and to be on the alert for any possible dangers. So these common thought patterns are normal, but they also create problems for us. So we have to work at coming up with new thoughts that are more realistic and constructive.

For example, studies show that people with public speaking fear/phobia tend to think of social situations as more competitive or hostile than they really are. Research shows that in most cases people are often thinking neutral or positive things, and people are much more supportive than you might think.

The best way to counter your "worst thoughts" is to come up with a new script. Repeat the script frequently to yourself.

Become aware of thoughts like:
• I know what people are thinking, and they don’t like me
• They think I’m an idiot or weird

What more realistic and truthful things could you tell yourself instead? You may want to say to yourself:
• I don’t know what other people are thinking
• The truth is, most situations aren't as competitive or hostile as I might think. Most people are supportive and friendly.

Dr. Cheryl Mathews Anxiety Coach