Don't Let the Exam-Season Become a Disaster...Here's my advice to...
Beat Your Fears....Okay, time for some honesty, most men don't want to admit that they experience a variety of fears just as women do. Instead they try and maintain a confident, fearless exterior at all costs.
It's a shame because most women are happy to own up to their fears of, say, delivering a presentation or making a speech, and find they get lots of moral support.
I've taken five of the most common areas of fears that men confide in me. Apply the strategies for overcoming them to practically any other fear.
Fear Zone No. 1: Social Fears like Speaking in Public and Presentations
Significant Problem Areas: You're not alone if you have social fears around doing things in public as these are probably the most common fears men confess to in private with between seven and 13% of people reporting them*. Such fears revolve around being the centre of attention and knowing others are observing you and perhaps judging your social performance. Typical fear zones include speaking in public, making a presentation at work, giving the best man's speech, having to take charge socially, e.g., in a restaurant with a large group, having to take charge of arrangements for the office party, etc.
Physical symptomatology and/or behaviours: Feelings of panic, sweaty palms, palpitating heart, clamminess, blushing, dry mouth, coughing fits, losing your voice, lack of eye contact, etc.
Strategies and Action: *Practice is crucial when having to do something in public. Taking presentations, allow plenty of time to familiarise yourself with the content.
*Visualise yourself as an audience member and what you'd like to get from the presentation. This helps hone your content.
*Preplan an outfit you feel comfortable and confident in. Never buy something new without trying it on any knowing it works for you - tight buttons, short sleeves, etc., will make you feel self-conscious.
*Rehearse your presentation in front a trusted friend or family member to get feedback.
*On the day allow yourself plenty of time so you don't arrive in a panic - that'll increase physical symptoms of fear.
*Go somewhere private to shake out tension in your arms, shoulders and neck and get on top of your breathing.
*Focus on one or two friendly faces while presenting and/or visualise yourself at your best.
*Finally, reject the irrational belief that everything hinges on this one performance - it doesn't.
Fear Zone No. 2: Romantic Fears When It Comes to Meeting Women
Significant Problem Areas: There's loads of pressure on social interactions of the romantic type. Men are expected to be confident and yet not arrogant, knowing and worldly without being a know-it-all, and entertaining without showing-off. Typical fear zones include working out whether someone fancies you, striking up a conversation with said girl, once you're talking working out the appropriate moment to suggest buying her a drink or asking for her phone number, etc.
Physical symptomatology and/or behaviours: Butterflies in the stomach, racing heart, excessive sweating, speaking too fast, going blank, nervous laughter, putting your ‘foot right in it’, etc.
Strategies and Action: *A positive mindset is crucial to overcoming these fears. Talk-up your three best points as a potential boyfriend.
*Focus on these everyday before you going into social situations where you might meet someone.
*Posture is crucial to sending out an attractive vibe. Skulk into a bar - inwardly thinking you're bound to make a fool of yourself if you meet someone - you'll get ignored. Walking in with great posture automatically puts you in the running.
*Practice good posture and body language at home checking out how different you look when you stand confidently compared to looking insecure and work.
*Next think through three relevant, topical areas of conversation - the last film you saw, book you read, gig you went to or new restaurant you tried, etc. This should reassure you that you can ask if she saw that film or likes that music, etc.
*Remind yourself regularly that the women you'll meet will probably be feeling equally as insecure about striking up a conversation, etc.
*Make your motto ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’ - believe it and repeat it.
*Finally, never take a rejection as a failure - it's not! A woman may say No to a date because you remind her of her ex, she's going out with someone, she's going to a busy phase and doesn't want anything serious, etc.
Fear Zone No. 3: Practical Fears like Enclosed Spaces and Heights
Significant Problem Areas: These practical fears are guaranteed to make a man feel silly you're in good company has around 5% of the population* hate being in fear-inducing zones like enclosed places such as lifts, small offices with a number of colleagues, packed into a car, squeezed on a tube or train, or being somewhere high up like a roof terrace or a glass lift, etc.
Physical symptomatology and/or behaviours: A feeling that you can't get your breath, rising panic, dizziness, hyperventilation, sweaty palms, etc.
Strategies and Action: *Take yourself through what's called systematic desensitization - this is where you take systematic steps to gradually expose yourself to what you fear - like enclosed spaces.
*Taking lifts as an example, discreetly stand outside a lift and while doing so relax your major muscle groups, shake any tension out of your hands, etc.
*Next practice slow and regular breathing - breathing out on a count of three and reading back in on account of three.
*As you gain control of your physical symptoms of fear through your relaxed body and breathing you can plan your next step.
*The next day this might be to press the lift button, and if no one is around, get on top of your breathing and relaxation as you look inside the left.
*Keep reminding yourself that you can do it, you can stay relaxed and face your fear.
*Once you feel you're on top of your breathing and relaxation you should take the lift one floor. This might be the next day or within the same day.
*Now you can build to taking the lift as far as you need.
*Finally all of the above can be done with a trusted friend or family member until you feel confident to do it on your own.
Fear Zone No. 4: Personal Attractiveness Fears Like Concerns about Their Body
Significant Problem Areas: Fears around personal attractiveness strike to the core of male confidence and not just about being attractive to women but also how they stack up to other men. Typical fear zones include feeling ashamed of being overweight, having a receding hairline and/or boldness, being short in stature, and sadly being ginger or freckled, etc.
Physical symptomatology and/or behaviours: Avoidance of undressing in places like gyms, yo-yo dieting, wearing ill-fitting styles to cover up received body issues, choosing ill-suited hairstyles to cover up hair loss, avoiding social situations, etc., feeling panicky when in unavoidable social situations.
Strategies and Action: *Begin with general confidence boosting - reminding yourself that you are more than that particular physical attribute.
*Highlight the best aspects of your personality to focus on - anything from GSOH, kindhearted, thoughtful, intelligent, a good listener, etc.
*Research** has shown that a genuine smile can make you incredibly attractive. Women are attracted to natural warmth so go into a social situation reminding yourself of your best aspects and smile when you catch her eye.
*At the same time learn to focus on your best physical attribute, e.g., remind yourself you have a glint in your eye, cheeky smile, lovely laugh, etc will stop, that have been complimented on in the past.
*Target your fearful thoughts - again reminding yourself that if there’s simply an aspect or two of yourself you're not happy that this shouldn't drag down all your other good qualities.
*Fashion and hairstyles can be used to great effect to highlight your best qualities and play down your worst. Mostly women are mistresses of disguising tricks and there's no reason why a man you shouldn't dress or groom to downplay your least favourite attribute.
*Finally, if what causes you fear is something you can change - like drinking less beer to shrink that paunch - then change it and stop wasting time worrying about it!
Fear Zone No. 5: Sexual Fears Including Impressing Her in Bed
Significant Problem Areas: Nothing is guaranteed to make a man feel like a failure and fear taking things further like sexual fears. Common fear zones include seducing her and having sex with her the first time, fearing your foreplay repertoire will be lacking, your size will be lacking, your climax to quickly, and generally won't satisfy her, etc.
Physical symptomatology and/or behaviours: Lack of desire, loss of erection, premature ejaculation or delayed ejaculation, avoidance of sexual activity, panic about impending sex.
Strategies and Action: *First and foremost know how your own body responds sexually. Through unrushed masturbation (you won't learn much if you're trying to be quick for whatever reason!) get to know what feels pleasurable and also when your "point of no return" is. This is the point where you'll definitely ejaculate - no matter a charging rhino’s coming through the door!
*On learning to identify this point of no return, stop stimulating yourself when you reach it, relax and only restart stimulation when you've got control of that point. Repeat this many times and then take this into your next sexual experience, slowing yourself down before you reach your point of no return so you can last longer.
*Next - and equally important - always be prepared to ask a sexual partner what you can do to please her. This is by far the best way to a woman's sexual pleasure and should reassure you! Armed with what she wants you can get down to it.
*Having asked her what she'd like always be ready to respond when she asks what she can do for you. She doesn't want you to get tongue tied - and of course she doesn't want it to sound like a bossy-boots - that she wants to know what works for you.
*Don't be threatened about trying new things - remind yourself that it should be fun to experiment and not anxiety-provoking. Spend time looking through a sex guide to get a feeling for new positions and techniques to try.
*Always take your time with a new sexual partner and don't go to bed until you feel confident with her. Don't buy into the myth that men have to try-it-on the minute they meet someone. It'll make a refreshing change for her if you're prepared to flirt, build to foreplay, and build to full-on sex over a period of time.
*Finally don't rely on excessive alcohol to relax yourself - it can ‘relax’ you far too much!
*Institute of Psychiatry
**A study from Aberdeen University
A similar article was published on MSN Him channel
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