Tuesday, July 31, 2012

#34: Believe in Yourself

I have a new technique for dealing with stressful or upsetting situations. Whenever I feel that familiar tightness in the pit of my stomach, or find my thoughts wandering to a unsettling situation, I simply remind myself that I had cancer. And I beat it. I can deal with whatever's next.

Delivering presentations over the past year and sitting in at least one job interview has forced me to get a lot of mileage out of this technique. In both scenarios, intense preparation and constant visualization left me on the verge of panic. I didn't know if I could handle failure. The only thing that calmed my nerves and helped keep what was at stake in perspective, was knowing that I had been through, and survived, much worse. Even the worst case scenario couldn't be as bad as hearing "you have a cancer".

Every time, I chuckled smugly to myself and shook off all the negative thoughts. My mind cleared and allowed me to access all my notes and preparation so I could speak confidently and calmly. My fear of failure was totally unfounded - I was successful in both my presentations and the job interview.  

This technique isn't reserved for cancer survivors. We've all been through our own version of 'the worst' and lived to tell the tale. That's all the information you need to believe in yourself.

The funny thing about this technique is, just by accepting the worst case scenario, it's more likely that you'll never have to actually deal with it.  

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