Have you ever had butterflies in your stomach?
It is a term that has been used to describe that nervous feeling one gets normally just before moving out of their comfort zone. With adrenaline pumping, that fight or flight response kicks into gear. Some of the most common examples of potential butterflies in the stomach would be public speaking, first dates and job interviews. We are facing people we know little to nothing about and the expectations is we have something good and important to say. Our voice is now front and center, our future and/or reputation may ride heavily on this encounter.
Public speaking was not a source of great anxiety for me, I don’t know why but speaking in public came naturally. I get an initial small sensation of nervousness that quickly dissipates as soon as the first introduction is complete. Good thing that, as I make part of my living standing up in front of people for presentations and workshops. For others though, it is a dreadful prospect to be asked to speak in front of an audience. Toastmasters has provided tips, support and opportunities to help many get over this fear. Butterflies will lessen as participants get more comfortable with their new skill.
First dates had me fighting off the butterflies, while putting on my clothes and makeup the importance of breathing itself took on a whole new meaning. I remember the first time I saw my husband… butterflies. An unplanned meeting of the minds after one of his gigs (former bass player in a band), our first date, first invite to my New Years party (for four) and subsequent first kiss, all had butterflies flying around like they were high on caffeine. At our wedding the butterflies were momentarily flying but couldn’t get full lift off, I was exactly where I wanted to be and once I saw my man there was no room for anything but love.
Job interviews, Wow! I have seen people just fall apart at the thought of doing a job interview. It is such a real fear that places the butterflies in overdrive. A hands shaking, voice stuttering, no digesting, face flushing experience for some individuals. Much like public speaking there is a real feeling of vulnerability, others are hanging on your words and essentially you are on stage. What you are wearing, your body language, facial expressions, everything under the microscope. Each person in that room with you has gone through the exact same experience at one point or another but that is of little comfort when you are in the hot seat. I like helping people get over their anxiety with job interviews and use unique tools to accomplish that goal, but I have been around long enough to know it is a big hurdle for many people.
Sometimes the butterflies can tell you not to go in a certain direction, they can act like a warning sign. Flight may be a good thing. When trying to make a decision or simply even exploring options I have often found those butterflies help me understand whether I’m going down the right path or not. Paying attention to our body and all of its little internal signals is not to be taken lightly. It fascinates me that we have been created with an inner knowing and have the ability to conquer our fear or follow our bliss if we just let those butterflies do their thing and then move on.
Caught a few butterflies today, but feeling much better now.
What makes you nervous and how do relieve those butterflies?