Boost your Positive Intelligence. Build core mental fitness skills.

How to Reframe Nerves as Anticipation

I stood on stage in front of 200 people at the Masonic Temple last fall. After spending weeks preparing my 5-minute spiel, I was ready. Not nervous but filled with anticipation.

Want to know how I did it?

Content = Competence

Start with your content: your three (3) key points, the examples you will provide to support your argument, and how you will reinforce the main messages. Provide strong visual images and personal stories as they are great learning tools. They help your audience remember what you said.

Your content provides the foundation for reframing nerves as anticipation. As you memorize and practice your content, you shape what you want to say to suit your intended audience and, concurrently, you develop your own voice.

To be clear, I’m talking about more than public speaking. Anything public facing (e.g. attending meetings) requires content, which simply means subject matter knowledge.

For example, I talk about Shedding Rigidity in HR differently to an HR audience versus a manufacturing industry audience. My key points remain the same but how I deliver the message varies. With HR people, I focus more on the policies themselves while I emphasize the application of policies with the manufacturing industry.

Competence stems from knowing the material so well that you can deliver it in a way your audience understands.

Nervousness —– Anticipation

How you interpret nervous signals from your nervous system depends on your perspective. On a recent Mel Robbins podcast, I heard Mel explain that there’s no physiological difference between nerves and excitement.

In other words, you can perceive any experience with nervousness or anticipation. Your body’s responses remain the same so it’s a matter of which perspective you choose to adopt.

Holistic Reframing

Here’s a healthy way to interpret nerves as anticipation holistically.

Physically, butterflies in your stomach are your body’s way of saying, “Pay attention!” Your vagus nerve, which intersects the stomach, is telling your brain that something important is happening.

Emotionally, you may decode those butterflies as nerves. Depending on your point of view, you will see butterflies as good or bad. What have you learned about binary thinking, though? It can lead to tunnel vision.

Mentally, see your nerves in a positive light. Nerves simply mean you care. Reset your nervous system by translating the body’s signals as a sign of confidence. Your nerves make you focus!

Spiritually, view nerves as your opportunity to grow, to make space for something new, and to share something you’ve learned with others that can potentially help them grow too.

Tools to Shift from Negative to Positive

To move from nervousness to anticipation, or to turn from a negative mindset to a positive one generally, I have a few suggestions:

  1. Consider your physiological response (shallow breathing, butterflies) as an alert not a warning;
  2. Acknowledge your fear by identifying the saboteur. Then choose to see things differently (positively) by shifting to your Leader Within;
  3. Try tapping, also known as the Emotional Freedom Technique;
  4. Do 4-part breathing.

Result? Confidence

Returning to the Masonic Temple for a moment, I switched from negative nerves to positive anticipation with deep breathing. I tapped in the afternoon before I left for the event.

The common thread? I got out of my head and into my body by tapping and doing breathwork in those crucial moments before going live.  

I used the other techniques like mental reframing and spiritual growth when I had the opportunity beforehand.

I hope some of these tools work for you. Let me know what you think!

You have to be open minded in order to grow. The coaching that Laura gave me opened my eyes to what and how I was doing things and allowed me to see the bigger picture. I am not done yet but I already see the changes in my everyday life.


I think coaching is a great way to help you clear your mind when you get stuck with overwhelming situations or when stepping into changes in your life.


Coaching is life changing. It pushes you outside your comfort zone and challenges your perspectives.  It is highly motivating and the exercises and techniques used are both fun and informative.  I think the main benefits of coaching are to see yourself, others and the world more clearly.  I think coaching is valuable to anyone regardless of where you are in your life or career.


I honestly never thought I’d need a coach. I thought coaching was for CEOs and industry VIPs. I didn’t think it was for the “little guys” (i.e. me). Now, I’m of the belief that everyone – yes, EVERYONE – needs a coach. Coaching has really benefitted me and I’m so grateful to have had that time with Laura. It’s changed my life!


Laura is very patient. She took the time to understand what was causing me to be stuck where I am today and help me build a better vision so I can continue to grow.


I think Laura’s coaching was what I had been waiting for. Laura was so approachable, kind, and open. Her willingness to help and support made a difference for me. I found in her coaching new strategies, ideas, and perspectives that I could incorporate into my goals and objectives that I didn’t see before.


Laura is an incredibly intuitive, positive and caring coach. Her techniques helped me recognize both my strengths and areas I might want to explore as I embark on the next chapter of my career. The exercises she employed were instrumental in providing self perspective and challenging my frames of reference.


Laura is a natural coach. Her probing and compassionate questions helped me learn about myself: my value system, interests, goals and strengths.


Coaching sessions with Laura gave me new perspectives on how to process specific feelings and situations in life.  She showed me how to sit with my emotions, acknowledge them, and then use visualization strategies to move through them.  I now feel more confident and in control of how I choose to walk through life.


From the beginning, Laura put me at ease, creating a safe, open space for me to talk and share freely without fear of judgement. I loved the variety of approaches she used depending on the topic we were working on and it was fun being able to try out things I wouldn’t have considered before! With Laura’s coaching, I substantially grew my confidence in the workplace, overcame fears, dealt with issues I’d been carrying around for many years and, most importantly, learned to value myself and define a path forward into the future.


Laura’s coaching was a breath of fresh air and EXACTLY what I needed at that point of my life. I didn’t realize how impactful coaching was going to be, but by the end of the sessions together, I left feeling refreshed, inspired and genuinely curious about what my future held for me. Because of Laura and her coaching, I believe I became a better person – someone who is more open-minded, someone with a clearer focus, and someone who is willing to explore opportunities and possibilities far more than I ever did before.


I engaged Laura for coaching as I took on an expanded role leading an asset management company in Canada. As a female, I knew I would be a role model and had high expectations of myself. I was feeling overwhelmed and anxious.

In our first few coaching sessions we worked through exercises that allowed me to reflect on my purpose, leadership style and what mattered most to me. I continue to be grounded by the clarity I achieve in my coaching sessions – allowing me to be resilient and confident when challenges came my way.