With Strictly Come Dancing well under way I was thinking back to my brief appearance on the show.
I’m sure you are now thinking 'I bet the Argentinian tango was his speciality - those cat like moves that he exhibited when prowling into the office reception …..’ Even if I was playing James Bond with a string of number one hits my dancing skills would always prevent me getting on as a contestant although, in my mind I’m the best partner Aliona never had.
I actually was asked to help with the contestant Jo Wood - who was struggling with her nerves. A problem that we can all relate to. I just wanted to share the story because one of the key factors in helping Jo overcome her fear is something that I feel we could all do a little more of.
So the scene is set - 4 weeks in to Jo’s time on Strictly and she suddenly hits a barrier - not only is she very nervous before and building up to the big live show on a Saturday night ( watched by 10 million viewers ) but to compound this she feels that in this particular week she can’t do the dance either. Enter her knight in shining armour. Jo was very friendly and open and we had a great afternoon going through some simple techniques that can help control nerves. However the magic moment came when during a run through of her dance I realised that it wasn’t the dance that she couldn’t do but a complicated lift at the end of the routine. So every time she started rehearsing the dance she started worrying about the one thing she wasn’t comfortable with. Not only did she not enjoy the stuff she was doing well she was getting more and more tense at the thought of the complicated thing that she feared being ‘just round the corner'.
Like so many of us - Jo was letting ‘one’ thing undermine her approach to the whole event and undermine her confidence. Think of all those times we go into a meeting, presentation or speech not thinking ‘ great - I know my stuff, I look good, I sound good and this is going to show me in a great way. NO what we normally do is ignore all the good stuff and go into the meeting, presentation or speech thinking - 'what happens if I forget a chunk of it - what happens if I’m asked a question I can’t answer etc…. When we’re fearful we nearly always get drawn to the negative.
Like Jo - you do have to make an allowance for the difficult lift but don’t let it ruin the many great things that you are already doing really well and immediately taking for granted. Keep a balanced view and allow yourself to think positively. Jo actually went through the dance a few times stopping just before the lift and she actually did 95% of the dance brilliantly - so that when she came to do the lift section just before the close of the dance, she did it so much more positively that the obstacle was easily overcome. Quite literally, with much more bounce in her step. She was no longer expecting it to go wrong. As so often happens, if you keep expecting something to go wrong theres a good chance it will. Sometimes we almost ‘will it ‘ to go wrong.
Dealing with our nerves is something we can all relate to, so it is something we frequently cover in our courses and coaching sessions. To find out more click here. For other hints, tips and observations follow us on Social - Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.
So, whether your presenting, selling or even cooking think positively. Strictly Positive.