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Get Her Phone Number... Even If You're Nervous

by Codydane

When you get nervous you fall back into a rehearsed tendency.

I'm a poet, and when I get up on stage to perform, I often perform some tricky and long pieces from memory. I get nervous, and I totally lose consciousness/train of thought. I just go entirely unconscious.

But the thing is, that when I'm done, I always say, "Wow, I didn't miss a word. I nailed it. How'd I do that without even thinking about it once?"

It's because I read through those poems hundreds of times. As I drive in my car, I read them out loud. I read them to myself in my head as I walk around. I read them when I open my notebook. I rehearse. It takes a lot of rehearsal to come off as unrehearsed.

When you get nervous, you will automatically fall back to your most rehearsed tendency. That's the key -- to make the right course of action, the rehearsed course of action.

I honestly don't think there are many people who are good at anything quick and complex (be it seducing, directing live TV, or selling), who don't get nervous every time. I knew a live TV director who had been doing the same show for 10 years and would still sweat bullets every time. But he was so rehearsed that when he got nervous, he went into autopilot.

Sit and rehearse the line you want to use until it becomes a part of you.

"You should write down your number" is what I always say. Try imagining using the words in a situation, etc. Say them out loud. Speak to yourself in the mirror. Think them. Be them. Live them. Love them. Say them to yourself backwards and forwards...

"Number your down write should you."

Do it all. Write them on your notebook. On the bathroom wall. Think them. Live them. Love them. And most importantly, just keep on saying them.

Then, you'll be in the situation, you'll get nervous (there's no dodging that), and your mind will immediately jump to it's most rehearsed tendency...

Your nervousness will force you to ask, because it prevents conscious control of action and allows only for the most rehearsed course of action to prevail.

Once you have done this, you have become the person with the skills, because on the basic level you automatically and without thought say the right things.