I don’t remember where I learned this, but there’s a trick that sometimes works when you’re super nervous/anxious about something you have to do: Change the self-talk from “I’m so nervous/scared/anxious” to “I’m so jazzed/excited/tingly.”

This probably doesn’t work for people with serious anxiety problems, and it only sometimes works for me, but what’s neat about it is that the physical sensations are really quite similar between nervous and excited. It isn’t a crazy stretch to convince the mind of the switch.

I personally don’t have problems just before or in the moment of a high-stakes, bear-could-eat-me event. Usually the feeling is more like “Geez, why did I compromise my week (or month) dreading this?”

It’s all the days before where I have this anxiety and dread, and often about something I really like and want to do, by the way.

So this is the strategy I’m employing in the days before a stressful thing: “I’m excited for this,” “I’m ready for this,” and maybe with a little splash of “I’m pretty good at this.” The tingly energy that’s already here might very well be excitement. This may not even be a lie.