Slow Yourself Down

09.03.2023 |

Episode #2 of the course 10 Strategies to Overcome Your Everyday Fears by Frank McKinley


Welcome to Lesson 2!

What happens to your body when you get scared?

Chances are you tense up, find your heart thumping, and make a quick decision whether to fight or flee.

These responses are totally natural.

When you’re in danger, it’s helpful to run or fight. But what if you’re just nervous?

Slow yourself down.


Fear Blinds Us

The first time I took the stage to give a speech, I wanted to get it over with. So I spoke quickly. I tried really hard to remember everything I wanted to say. And I was so eager to get done, I didn’t connect with my audience.

Fear changed my objective. We normally give a talk to share a message. My mission was to get finished without dying.

If you’re in sales, you’ll starve with this attitude. Your social life will suffer because you won’t feel free enough to make new friends. You won’t grow because you’ll be locked into your comfort zone.

You can’t make scary situations go away. You can respond differently to them.

The first thing to do is slow down.


Move 25% Slower

Dr. David Schwartz tells you to walk 25% faster if you want to look confident. That works if you already have some confidence.

How do you get it?

By moving slowly.

Resist the urge to speed up when you’re afraid. If no one is threatening you, it’s okay. Slowing down will help you calm down. Soon your heart won’t beat so hard. Your breathing will become deeper. And you can focus more on what you want to say or do than how you look while doing it.

When you slow down, you can pay attention to your surroundings. That gives you the ability to listen, adapt, and connect.


Prepare to Perform

If you’re giving a speech or studying for a test, you already know you should study the material.

There’s one more thing you can do that will help you perform better under pressure.

Practice relaxing.

Do some stretches while you study. Imagine yourself performing well without rushing. Make a full sensory experience of it. Step into the picture. What do you see? What do you hear? How do you feel?

Practice mentally and physically. If you expect tense situations, imagine what you’d do if you were totally confident. Not sure? Ask someone you know would perform well in the same situation what they would do.

Then do it.


Forgive Yourself Easily

It will be hard to slow down at first. That’s okay. Remember action cures fear. Do the best you can, and next time you’ll do better.

The win here is getting control over your fight-or-flight response. When you’re not in danger, don’t let your body give in to fear’s triggers.

Don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re moving toward a more courageous life. Congratulate yourself!

Every journey has miles of steps. Take them all and you’ll get where you want to go. Forgive yourself when you struggle.

Then you’ll be free to do what you want no matter how you feel.

In our next lesson, we’ll look at how procrastination can help you overcome fear. See you there!


Recommended book

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown


Share with friends