Hypnotherapy for Fear of Public Speaking
Public speaking is a biggie in terms of what people come and have hypnotherapy for; I see several folks a week for this.
We’ve all heard the statistic that people fear speaking in public more than they fear death…and it can cause intense fear and discomfort during the talk or presentation, but also in the days, weeks and even months leading up to it.
Here are a few of the things you might be worried about if you fear public speaking:
- That you’ll somehow lose control of your body, freak out, your mind will go blank or have you’ll have a panic attack
- People will judge you negatively
- That you’ll look or sound nervous
- That you won’t be good enough and it will affect you in your life or career.
What I’ve noticed from working with lots of people on this issue is that often the fear is a learned behaviour; a past experience with speaking in public, whether at school or work, that has stayed with you. I’ve had several client tell me about an incident at school where they got up to speak and were laughed at or ridiculed in some way, that led to an intense fear ever since.
I had my own experience with this at University. I got up to give my presentation and I felt so terrified I couldn’t see straight and my lungs felt like they were on fire. (I’m happy to say I’m pretty comfortable with public speaking these days having had hypnotherapy for it myself and I get more comfortable with it all the time).
The subconscious mind latches on to intense experiences and the fear created is a means to try and ‘protect’ you from a similar situation in the future. In this case, the fight or flight response is actually doing the opposite, and creating more problems rather than protecting you. This is good news because it means we can unlearn it and turn it around.
Here are a few tips on overcoming a fear of public speaking
Reframe the fear
Evidence has suggested that those that perceive the fight or flight response as something helpful which will enhance their focus and keep them on their toes are less likely to suffer it’s negative effects.
Remember that the feeling of fear or nervousness is just caused by adrenaline. It can be helpful to think of it as additional energy that is fuelling a great speech.
Bruce Springsteen was known to get nervous before performing but would tell himself that the sensations we spurring him on and improving his performance!
It’s not about you
What other people think of you is none of your business. I mean this in a nice way!
What people think is made up of their own experiences, their upbringings and their beliefs and even the sort of day they’re having. It’s not about you.
So you can give back that responsibility knowing that what other people think of you is their stuff, not yours. Just focus on being yourself and doing your best.
Direct your attention outwards
When you fear public speaking, you may find that you become very conscious of yourself, your own thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations.
Work on directing your attention outwards and on to your audience by focusing intently on what you see and hear in the room and by focusing on the message that you’re getting across.
When we’re fearful we tend to take very quick, shallow breaths. Taking deep belly breaths helps to send a message to our nervous system that we’re relaxed. So breathe in deeply and let your belly expand, before slowly exhaling.
Put these tips into practise and get in touch with me to chat about how hypnotherapy for fear of public speaking could help you.
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