The Power of Presence to Banish Nervous Habits

how to overcome nervous habitsUncontrollable giggling.

Babbling.

Nervous gestures.

You never do anything like that …. do you? 😉

Every one of us acts in a very specific way when we get nervous.

People who know us can tell. No matter how hard we try to come across as calm, cool, and collected, our unconscious habits give us away.

Maybe we talk too loud. Or too fast.

Maybe we pace. Tap one foot. Can’t stand still.

Or maybe we sweat. Not just a fresh sheen of perspiration, either. We’re talking visible drops of sweat.  

It would be nice if we could turn off our nervous habits at will. “Oops, I’m sweating! Okay, armpits, turn off the tap.”

But we can’t. Nervous habits don’t listen.

And we live in fear that someone will notice.

What if it happens with someone you really like? What if it happens on a date? What if it happens with the person you want most to impress in the entire world?

You can imagine the frown. The revulsion. The quick end to the conversation. The horrible feeling of let-down.

But that doesn’t have to happen.

You actually DO have control over your nervous responses.

Your heart doesn’t have to start racing. You don’t have to panic. You can stay relaxed and be yourself in any encounter, no matter how gorgeous he is.

The key is what experts call presence.

Presence is one of the foundations of charisma. It’s what makes a person stand out in a crowd.

how to overcome nervous habitsWhile everyone else is focusing on their phone or hurrying to get where they need to go, the present person strolls in complete confidence, taking in every nuance of his or her surroundings, open to synchronistic encounters.

When you’re present, you’re in the now. You’re not lost in your thoughts or your fears or your worries. You’re in your body. You’re grounded.

That’s important, because one of the things that happens when you get nervous is that your mind takes over. It goes into protection mode, blocking out everything but the urgent situation at hand.

Your sympathetic nervous system kicks in, preparing you to fight or flee. You become oblivious to everything but your performance … a performance that now feels like a disaster.

Here’s how to stop the cycle.

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Getting What You Want From Your Guy

Getting What You Want From Your GuyTell me if you’ve heard this one.

There’s an old metaphor people sometimes use to describe relationships. They say relationships are like a checking account.

You make deposits when you do something nice or meaningful for your man. When you need something from him, that’s like making a withdrawal. It’s a simple analogy that mostly works.

Mostly. But here’s the problem with it.

People don’t really keep tabs on how often you do something nice for them. In fact, people are more likely to remember negative encounters than positive ones!

That’s not great news if you’re hoping a sweet gesture today will win you a favor tomorrow.

But fear not. There’s another way to get your guy to do what you want.

In a classic study dating all the way back to the 1970’s, researchers uncovered a strategy that consistently motivates others to fulfill YOUR requests.

No, it’s not magic. It’s not manipulation, either. It’s something far more simple. Plus, you can put this strategy to work in your relationship today.

If you want something from your partner, give him a REASON to act.

I know. It sounds insanely obvious. In fact, you’ve probably tried variations of this approach, yourself. But there are a couple of secrets to making it work every time.

The key is a two-prong approach – one thing you should avoid, and one thing you should include.

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How to Have All the Romance and None of the Regret

how to live without regretsDo you have any relationship regrets? Things you said or did you wish you could take back? Things you didn’t do that you wish you had?

You might think, “Well sure, James. Most of us do.” And you’d be right…as long as you take into account a surprising statistic.

On average, women are roughly two times more likely to have romantic regrets than men.[i] (In contrast, men tend to have more work-related regrets.)

And what’s really fascinating is that the longest lasting, most powerful romantic regrets are not about mistakes. They’re about missed opportunities.

Which means you’re more likely to kick yourself for NOT flirting with the cute guy at Starbucks than for making a fool of yourself if you do.

It’s all about risk. Short-term risks, like embarrassment at a failed flirting attempt, carry more weight in the moment than long-term risks, like regret. Fear of failure can be a powerful motivator.

But I tend to agree with Lucille Ball who famously said, “I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done.”

At the end of the day or the end of the decade, wouldn’t you rather look back and know you were daring enough to go for it? Even if you don’t always succeed, wouldn’t it be better to regret the things you tried and failed than to regret the things you were too afraid to try?

If so, then you’re ready for a crash course in regret-free romance. Below is a three-step plan to help you carpe that diem.

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Don’t Miss this “Accidental” Kind of Romance

how to find romanceIf this has ever happened to you, you know how frustrating it is.

You’re single. You’re not happy about it. You lament to a friend, someone who is NOT single, and she smiles benevolently.

Then she says the one thing all single people hate to hear: “Maybe if you stop looking for love, you’ll find it.”

Talk about rage-inducing advice. And yet, maybe there’s something there.

Consider this. The guy who invented the microwave oven was actually working on military radar equipment when he accidentally melted some candy in his pocket.[i] Super Glue didn’t start out as a successful adhesive, but as a failed gun part.[ii] And Play-Doh was originally intended to be a cleaning product![iii]

In each case, someone realized what they’d found by mistake was actually a priceless discovery.

What if something like that is happening in your love life? What if you miss an unexpected kind of romance because you’re too busy looking for something else?

The trick isn’t to stop looking for love, no matter what a well-meaning friend may have told you. Rather, the trick is to look for love with eyes wide open, ready to find it wherever and however it pops up.

And even after you’ve found love, don’t stop looking for it.  Because some of the most powerful forms of love are “discovered” only after you become a couple.

I have two strategies for you. One for when you’re single, and one for when you’re dating. Used together, these tips will ensure that you don’t miss out on something amazing.

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