Get Excited; Re-Framing Anxiety for Your Success
I’m about to hop onto a thrill-seeking ride at Luna Park!
My heart is pumping, and I am feeling the rush of dread and anxiety take over my brain and emotions as I board the iconic Hair-Raiser Ride. I feel numb and lost for words. Standing next to me is a young woman full of excitement and bubbling enthusiasm, she exclaims that she ‘can’t wait’ to experience this ride of her life!
So why is it that I’m feeling petrified and almost debilitated by my fear and anxiety, whilst the person standing next to me is jumping with excitement and anticipation for what is about to be a thrilling ride for her?
It’s all about your Interpretation!
“Change the way you interpret any event in your life and experience a fresh and rewarding way to live life!”
Fear and excitement release the same chemical reaction and have the same physiological responses. This means that whether we experience fear or excitement, the rush of adrenaline that we receive throughout, or bodies is the same.
The ground-breaking research of Professor Alison Wood Brooks, Get Excited: Re-appraising Pre-Performance Anxiety as Excitement, Harvard Business School discovered that we can improve our performance by creating the intention of being excited rather than frightened of the experience.
To create the intention of being excited means that you simply focus on a positive outcome and experience rather than focusing on the negative or failure.
Traditionally we have all been taught that to manage anxiety we should breathe and calm ourselves down, but this is counter-productive because it re-affirms the anxious and fearful feelings and the experience is a heightened anxious state, which is not what we want.
Instead and according to Professor Brooks a far more effective way to manage anxiety is to re-frame or re-appraise anxiety as excitement. Excitement creates an opportunistic mindset, where you begin to see the experience as one of growth, learning and opportunity and you get a far better result.
Professor Brooks recruited 140 English speaking students and gave each student a 2-minute public speaking task on the topic of “why you are a good work partner”. She told the students that they would be recorded and peer reviewed. After preparing their 2-minute speech but before delivering it, she randomly told the participants to either say “I am excited” or “I am calm”.
The results were amazing!
Those who told themselves “I am excited” felt more excited, spoke longer, were perceived to be more persuasive by their peers were confident and competent.
How do you turn your anxiety into excitement?
If you’re thinking you need years of expensive and tedious therapy or counselling- you don’t!
The beauty of re-framing anxiety is that it can be done with a minimal and easy approach. Simply by saying out loud “I’m excited” or hearing another say “Get Excited” is enough to shift your interpretation of any anxious situation.
When you say “I’m excited”, you can shift your fearful or anxious state so that these negative feelings do not take over and stop you from reaching your goals. By getting excited you can embark on new adventures, such as public speaking or meeting new people or even taking a roller-coaster ride with confidence and success. Breaking through your fearful and anxious state is the start of something new and exciting and creating a life you love!
Going through a relationship break-up?
If you are going through a divorce or separation you can apply the same attitude. At first the divorce may be a shock and huge disappointment BUT in time and with an attitude of opportunity and even excitement, you can transform your divorce from obstacle to opportunity for growth, for a better and healthier life, work and relationships moving forward.
Pamela is passionate about helping, supporting and empowering her clients to rebuild their lives after a relationship break-up, divorce or separation!
To contact Pamela directly, email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com