Labelling Emotional Arousal
I organised a Xmas party for my fellow gym seniors, who as regular as clockwork, attend the gym three mornings a week. I had tried to think of everything that would make this Xmas party successful. I had made name tags with Xmas stickers and bought some lucky door prises and gifts for the band and the host and hostess. In short I had been planning and working towards this day for at least two months. I was so well prepared. So why was I as nervous as Hell? I couldn’t stand still or relax in any way and I was carrying around an overwhelming sense of dread and foreboding. “Will people enjoy themselves? Have I forgotten something fear, fear, fear. Then suddenly I remembered something, something extremely important. I was doing something outside the ordinary and I felt my efforts would be evaluated in some way and it was this that was causing my state of arousal. We all feel a state of arousal when we step outside the ordinary, particularly if we think we are being judged. I’m sure my fellow Natural Bodybuilders know what I’m talking about. It’s that feeling we get just before we go on stage to compete. Having remembered this I immediately chose to relabel my state of arousal, from dread to excitement and immediately I changed the label to excitement all the positive things about my preparation, and the joy of creating what I had created surged through me I began to eagerly anticipate the party. So before you go out on stage to compete my fellow Natural Bodybuilders, when your arousal is at extreme heights, try changing the label of this arousal from fear to excitement and your feeling of pride in what you have achieved will flow, and so will your confidence. A great body doesn’t happen without a great deal of work and dedication. You have earned the right to feel excited about yourselves. So next time that surge of arousal hits you make sure you label it excitement and go forth with confidence and pride.