Sharon Ferrier
Latest posts by Sharon Ferrier (see all)

I want you to try something for me.


imagine walking into a garden with a lemon tree. You reach up and pluck a bright iridescent
yellow lemon. As you walk back to the kitchen you can feel the weight of the lemon in hand.
You gently dig a fingernail into the rind, and you are hit with the lemon’s tangy floral scent.
You then slice the lemon into segments, pick up a segment and take a bite.


So, is your mouth watering yet? What memories does the smell and taste of a lemon bring
back to you?


Our psychology and physiology are inextricably linked. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “You
become what you think about all day long.”


The challenge is thoughts, their accompanying emotions, and the physiological reaction to
them, hit us at random times. They are not within our control; we can only control our
reaction and behaviour.


Here are three ways to manage your mind.


1. Thoughts are not facts


imagine your teenage son borrows your car. When you next see your car, it has a scratch
down the side impacting all four panels of the car.


Your thoughts could range from:


– He’s scratched my car! I’ve told him he drives to close to thing, I’m gonna kill him!
– Gahhh! Someone has keyed my car!


Through to:


– OMG! My darling boy has been in an accident I hope he’s okay!


Our brain is constantly trying to make sense of the information it receives. It is influenced by
multiple cognitive bias is and will jump to conclusions. A thought is just a thought, and not all
our thoughts are useful or helpful.


2. Challenge your thoughts


If we accept that thoughts are not facts, we can then challenge them.


Ask yourself:


– Is this true?


– What feelings and emotions are this thought generating?
– What if I changed my mind?
– What would I do if I did not feel this way?


What are some of the conditioned thoughts that are holding you back?


3. Create a gap


You don’t need to act on your thoughts. Viktor Frankl famously said “Between stimulus and
response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our
response lies our growth and our freedom.”

Increasing curiosity helps us question the thoughts we have. We may also need to get used
to sitting with, and unpacking the uncomfortable emotions generated by the thought.


So, next time you tell yourself ‘I’m really bad at public speaking.’ Challenge your
thinking with:

– Where did this thought come from?
– Is it true?
– How is this making me feel?
– What action can I take to change this?
– What can I do right now?

Within every competent, confident person there is a maelstrom of negative thoughts and
emotions. The difference is they have more experience at managing them.

Sharon Ferrier
Latest posts by Sharon Ferrier (see all)

All Good Presentations Start With a Confident Speaker

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