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The Pebble Beach Lesson

How to Never Be Nervous Again

Several weeks ago I had one of the greatest honors of my life. I officiated the wedding of my little sister! Leading up to the wedding I had many people ask me if I was nervous. I could confidently tell them I wasn’t nervous, I was really excited and it was all because of the “Pebble Beach Lesson.”

What is the Pebble Beach Lesson?

Well, throughout my life I have had many different experiences that have caused me stress and nervousness – everything from job interviews to important presentations. Earlier in my life I can remember the nervousness I felt leading up to the event and how miserable it made me. My heart would be racing, butterflies were in my stomach and I couldn’t sleep.

Then one year my Dad took my brother and I on a trip to California to play one of the greatest golf courses in the world – Pebble Beach. I will never forget the night before we played. I was so excited that my heart was racing, butterflies were in my stomach and I don’t think I slept a wink. It was that night that it hit me – the physiological response I have when I am nervous (heart racing, butterflies in stomach, and trouble sleeping) was the exact same physiological response I have when I was really excited for an upcoming event.

Yet, when I labeled that physiological response as nervousness, the time leading up to the event was difficult and sometimes miserable. While when I labeled that physiological response as excitement, the time leading up to the event was fun and exciting.

So what if every time I did anything that caused this reaction in my body I labeled it as excitement rather than nervousness? Would this work? Could I increase the joy in my life with this simple mindset change?

Well, I am happy to report that the majority of time it does work and it has significantly improved not only the joy in my life, but I believe, the performance that I display when the actual event occurs (presentation, job interview, etc.) because I enter the event with an excited mindset and not a nervous one.

I encourage you to try this as well. The next time you have an important event, are feeling the physiological response of nervousness and someone asks you if you are nervous respond with a confident, “Not nervous, just really excited!”

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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