Many years ago someone pointed out to me that fear is nothing more than False Evidence Appearing Real (F.E.A.R.). Whatever the mind can perceive, it will conceive. So, whatever you think is real, shall become real to you. This is a fundamental truth of human conditioning. I personally had suffered a lot of nervous situations when giving a speech or presentation, but I had to learn how to manage it.
The fear of speaking and expressing one’s feelings has been rated as being worse than death itself. This means that most people would rather die than give a talk or presentation. This fear has been named Glossophobia by the experts, also known as the fear of public speaking.
Our society is fertilized and maintained by modern technology such as television, computers, mobile phones, text messaging, chat rooms, emails, and the internet. These new means and methods of communication have catapulted us into the next generation, and at the same time have developed a sterile ground rendering us helpless in knowing how to interact with other people. Nowadays, it seems normal for our youth to speak faster. They don’t have the same technique for making conversation, face to face. Many have lost their self confidence, are less assertive, less talkative and live a life peppered with stressful moments. You can live next door to someone for decades and never know them.
We seem to be losing the ability to communicate effectively. It cannot be due to a shortage of vocabulary since there are over 1.5 million known words in the English language. A well educated person recognizes more than 20,000 different words. The average mother-tongue speaker knows around 4,000 words but utilizes less than 2,000 common words in daily usage. The problem is knowing what to say and how to respond. For some it is trench warfare and the first casualty of this war is self esteem. Behaviour suffers as we are forgetting how to physically and verbally express ourselves and communicate. It can all be very frustrating.
Imagine for a moment that you have just been asked to give a five-minute presentation or you are attending a job interview. What happens to you physically and mentally? Your heart starts racing, you feel hot or cold and your breathing changes. Your thoughts swirl round and round causing turbulence inside your mind and your stomach shuts down, rendering you confused as to whether you should be sick… or rushing to the bathroom. Which one is it going to be? The resulting F.E.A.R. has caused your body and mind to lockdown. What is the cause and affect of this type of fear, and how can we managing it? First of all, we need to take a closer look at how the human mind works.
When do you get creative ideas? I remember reading about the famous British comedian Benny Hill. Apparently, his housemaid always found scribbled bits of paper lying around the bathroom after he had a shower. And when he ran out of writing paper he used toilet paper to jot down ideas for his comedy skits. Everyone loved him and he was very funny. Benny said he always got his best ideas whilst showering. This is due to the body’s relaxed state inducing Alpha waves and therefore opening the corridors of creation within the brain.
One noted author who previously explored this science was Joseph De Bono. He discovered that the human brain operates on different wavelengths measured in cycles per second. These frequencies are known as the Alpha (10.5 cps), Beta (14cps), Theta (7 cps) and Delta (4 cps) wavelengths. Dr De Bono worked on the premise that the higher the brain frequency, or cycles per second, the more stressed a person would be and this blocked the creative part of the brain. Finally, Alpha was recognized as being the most creative conscious operating wavelength. The Beta wavelength was associated with stressful outcomes and found to produce less creative situations. Theta is the wavelength we mostly experience when we are asleep. Delta is a deeper wavelength, like a person in a coma. Therefore, Alpha brain waves are the preferred wavelength for consciously producing creative, positive, calm and productive outcomes.
Cycles per second
* 14 Beta – stressful
* 10.5 Alpha (is the conscious creative wavelength)
* 7 Theta – when asleep
* 4 Delta – in a coma
When under stress your brain’s wavelengths increase and become beta waves moving further away from the Alpha state of mind. It is impossible to experience road-rage when in Alpha. Just as it is impossible writing a speech for a wedding when you are in a Beta state of mind. It just can’t be done! People who get angry just before a test or job interview are less likely to have positive results than people who simply remain calm and optimistic about it. So the next best thing to do is take note of when your mind goes into Alpha naturally, without any effort on your behalf.
One of the most popular methods is simply to meditate or relax. Meditation creates Alpha waves in your brain. What we are looking for is a state of mind free of influence created by alcohol, tobacco or drugs. It helps to relax the brain waves naturally and remain in a state of non-stress. Having established these parameters we can safely examine how the brain automatically produces an Alpha environment.
There are occasions when your brain automatically and naturally produces an Alpha state of mind. This usually happens when you are having a shower, sitting on the toilet, meditating, day dreaming and simply resting. It happens without much effort on your part. These are situations when your best ideas will unexpectedly bubble to the surface stimulating the more creative part of your brain and energy increases. But you must be prepared to capture the moment.
When you find yourself in the shower, hot tub, spa (Jacuzzi) etc. your brain goes into Alpha. Most men like to read the newspaper when sitting on the toilet because their brain goes into Alpha and they feel relaxed, safe and comfortable. It becomes a sanctuary for taking in information and thinking without any stress. That is typical of the Alpha state of mind. Always have a writing pad next to the toilet and shower for writing down ideas as they appear in your head. Also, have a paper and pen waiting by your bedside. It is not uncommon for some people to wake up and write something down at three in the morning. It can be difficult remembering that thought later. Always carry a small writing pad with you, just in case an idea lights up when you least expect it. You must capture the moment! Some of the content in this article was created exactly this way J
When you eat, the mind responds to the body’s changes by going into Alpha to aid the digestive process.
It all starts with a thought –
Thought leads to emotion, which leads to action and produce results. If you are thinking that you can’t do something, then change the way you think and you might feel different about things. Our thoughts are so powerful that they produce the driving force behind our actions. Your personal motivation starts with a thought. What is not real may seem to be real, depending on what we are thinking.
This simple exercise will help you appreciate the power of thought. Close your eyes and imagine cutting a piece of tangy lemon. Lemon juice oozes onto your finger. Now bring that slice of lemon slowly to your lips. Before it even gets there your mouth begins to salivate and you can almost taste the sharp tangy flavour stimulating your taste buds. Your brain cells store emotion based on past experience. Each time you receive the same stimulus it will produce the same emotion. Therefore, to change the outcome you must replace the old emotion with a new experience. In other words, record a new associated thought over it. The way you feel depends on the way you interpret what you see, hear or touch. What you think causes the reaction to it.
Long after the content of your talk or presentation has been forgotten, the people who listened to you will still remember the feeling that was associated with it.
Develop the skills necessary to make an impact when you speak. Learn techniques on how to use your voice effectively, reduce fear, project a better image, manage nervous situations and motivate yourself and others to act. Increase your self confidence. Personal improvement starts with a single thought in your mind.
Learn to manage difficult situations, discover your hidden potential for self expression by minimizing F.E.A.R. and resonating with more strength.
Sal is dedicated to helping people become more aware of what they can achieve with a focus on acquiring better leadership skills, developing more confidence, becoming more assertive and creating a better work ethic. He has created a website http://www.speaknpresent.com which now serves as a resource for anyone who wishes to improve their speaking and presentation skills.
Sal Provino has been involved with coaching, tutoring and training for the past 25 years and specialises in personal and team development. Most people find it difficult to believe he was once extremely shy and introverted because he now speaks with articulation and passion. Since then, he has conducted his own local Radio Show, has held countless seminars and courses on Speaking Skills, writes and publishes his own ebooks and has been a professional M.C. at more than four hundred weddings and public functions.
He strongly believes anyone can have an enjoyable and memorable learning experience given the right programming. As Sal puts it, “It depends on the type of software you are uploading to your necktop computer”. His passion is to help people excell when they speak and present… http://www.speaknpresent.com
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