intimidation get over it
Intimidation by any other name remains the same and it’s not a good thing. Here are some aids to help get over it easily.
Most of us have been intimidated at some point, whether we care to admit it or not. Some may have experienced bullying as a child in school and now as adults find it difficult to free those negative feelings that were ingrained in our mind and spirit. For others it could have been a parent, a sibling or a guy on the bus that didn’t want to stand up for the twenty minute ride. By using a few simple techniques you can turn the tables and come out the victor.
The word intimidate comes from Medieval Latin and apparently originated somewhere between 1640 and 1650, as thought to be by some The Age of Reason. Not surprising at all when you look at history. It was a time of extensive tensions among powerful governments, horrific conflict and slaughter between Catholics and Protestants, yet by the same token, an era of great artists the like of Rembrandt and profound philosophers such as Rene Descartes. All of which are daunting on their own.
As a verb, intimidate means to make timid or fill with fear. Therefore if we are intimidated we are allowing ourselves to be influenced by the intimidator. Make sense? Intimidation is considered to be more of a mind game we play with ourselves than anything else. So, how does one become empowered to avoid being put in this situation?
Who or what is causing the intimidation, when and where does it occur?
First, the reason for experiencing the emotion has to be pin pointed to be understood and put in perspective. There are countless situations which arise that can cause someone to feel intimidated. It may occur when being ‘nudged’ by an employer to do things their way, when its believed there could be a more viable alternative. Taking an oral exam in a group situation when one participant is obviously doing better with the challenge than you is a sure trigger. Maybe it’s being asked to give a speech in front of a group of your peers. That thought alone could send a usually confident person into a tailspin. Perhaps you’ve been invited to a social function where you won’t know many of the guests or you worry about what to or not to wear. You’ve joined a bowling league and throw three gutter balls in the first game while team mates get strikes and spares hand over fist. Whatever it is you can get over it.
Why is the next question.
Secondly, why you’re feeling intimidated should be addressed and is, quite possibly, more important than who, what, when and where. Are you fearful of losing your job if anything contradictory is verbalized to an employer trying to sway you to the dark side of their opinion? Or what if the idea isn’t as good as you think, how demoralizing would that be in front of co-workers? Do you feel you lack the knowledge to answer questions posed to you in a test setting? Or do you think others in the group are simply smarter than your average fifth grader? Are you afraid you’ll stutter and stammer when public speaking or break into a sweat that requires a towel to mob you brow? Do you worry about mingling with guests you don’t know and ending up blending in with the furniture? Or worse, making a fool of yourself by saying something as introduction like Baby did to Johnny in Dirty Dancing, ‘I carried a watermelon.’ Do you wonder if by having a lower average than team mates you’ll let them down? Or not getting the trophy at the end of the season will be your fault? Again, whatever it is you can get over it.
How do you empower yourself to overcome intimidation?
Experts have varying opinions on how to overcome what is most often a lack of self confidence or self worth.
Case in point, remember high school finals? It wasn’t necessarily that you didn’t know the answers to the test questions. It was that you allowed yourself to be intimidated by your own lack of self confidence or trust in your knowledge. You crammed for countless, sleepless nights and knew everything inside and out. Yet when faced with a piece of paper with multiple choices you froze. Had you known how to empower yourself you would have aced the test, no problem.
How could you have done that, how can you empower yourself in any situation where you feel intimidated? Put yourself back where you were when you felt comfortable and confident, where you knew you were in control. We all have our own fear factors, and triggers for those fears, which can manifest themselves into intimidation. If we allow intimidation to take control we lose confidence in who we are and what we’re capable of.
The only person who should have influence on our self worth is the one we see in the mirror every day. Don’t become your own worst enemy. Instead become your own best advocate.
When you sense intimidation rearing its ugly head because you’re nervous or lack confidence think about the times you didn’t. Recall situations when you encompassed the role of an expert, a teacher. Whether it was coaching little league, teaching your kid how to ride a bike or cooking the best pot roast ever matters not. At any given moment in your past experience you empowered yourself to be confident in the knowledge you knew what you were doing and exactly how to do it. Make that memory your happy place and revisit it often. Just close your eyes, take a deep breath and let your confidant, strong side take you to where only you can go. No one else knows that place, no one will know where you are in your heart, soul and mind. Within that happy place is the moment of triumph, when you take control of your fears, shine and show your true colours and come out victorious.
The best piece of advise I ever received was from my dad, a Scotsman. He told me when I was very young that if I ever felt intimidated to picture the queen sitting on the throne… not the actual throne, but a porcelain one. It works like a hot damn! I’ve stood in front of large crowds and imagined them all sitting on a toilet, pants down around their ankles, toilet paper stuck to the bottom of their shoe and I become calm and content with the knowledge that when it comes down to basics we’re all the same. And there’s nothing more basic that nature calling.
Be careful when going through the process of overcoming intimidation, however, that you don’t become the intimidator, it’s a fine line and one that can be too easily crossed.
Now, get over it and git ‘er done!
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