Chaos to calm blog shannon geher you got this nerves to nailed it

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From Nervous to “Nailed It”

Five ways to get over the jitters when doing something new.

5 Key Ways to Tackle New Opportunities with Confidence

Embarking on a new endeavor can be a thrilling, yet nerve-wracking, experience.

I found myself nervously in this position when after decades of working in marketing and editorial direction in the corporate world (for companies like and, I embarked on a freelance writing career. 

I had never been a freelance professional writer, a calling that had been in me since I minored in English at Cal Poly, SLO.

I went about it the way I go about everything: Jump in and learn to swim. I scouted jobs on freelance-for-hire websites and landed an interview for a gig ghostwriting a business and life memoir for a prominent CEO who faced challenges with writing due to Parkinson’s. 

Yes! I thought I got an interview! Look at me go!  I drove on a high to Calabassas (a ritzy suburb in Los Angeles) in my old black Toyota Highlander I called “Stealth Kitty,” listening to a favorite high school mix tape on its cassette player. “This is so exciting,” I said out loud, to Vanessa Williams, Boyz II Men, and Oingo Boingo. 

But as I began my ascent up a mountain lined with fancy estates and manicured lawns, I started to panic. I was completely out of my element. “What am I doing…here?” Breathing deeply to calm myself was difficult; I had injured my rib that week. 

I had to pull Stealth Kitty over just before I got to the house. Filled with self-doubt and imposter syndrome, I was, frankly, freaking out. 

Leaning on my car, and closing my eyes in the intense sunlight, I faced my overwhelming fear (and sharp pain at every deep inhale).

I could either go in or go home. And I wasn’t going to go home. So I employed these strategies that not only calmed my nervousness but also helped me nail the interview and get the job! 

Five ways to navigate through the nervous feelings of doing something new

1) Draw on Past Successes: Remind yourself of past achievements, even if they seem only tangentially related. For instance, meeting a teacher at your child’s open house is not so different from meeting a new boss or client. These experiences prove you’re capable of handling new situations.

2) Positive Affirmations: Take deep breaths and repeat positive affirmations that resonate with your experience and abilities. Tell yourself, “I have a wealth of experience I can apply here,” or, “I’ve faced challenges before and succeeded,” “I can do this,” “This isn’t life or death,” or, “Just do your best and that’s all you can do.”

3) Seek Support: Sometimes, we need an external voice to remind us of our worth. A quick call to a friend, family member, or partner for a pep talk can do wonders. Your community can highlight your talents and reassure you that you’re more than capable of taking on this new challenge.

4) Embrace Discomfort: Growth often comes from stepping out of our comfort zones. Remind yourself that, regardless of the outcome, the experience itself and going for it is a win. Expanding your horizons is an opportunity for personal and professional growth.

5) Focus on Your ‘Why’: Remember why you’re pursuing this new venture can be a powerful motivator. Whether it’s personal growth, financial reasons, or a passion for the field, a strong ‘why’ can push you through fear and toward action with courage and calm.

Facing a new experience or situation can be daunting and make you feel nervous, but it’s also an opportunity for remarkable growth and learning. I’ve used these techniques even recently when I started a book club to create a new community in my new hometown. By employing these strategies, you can navigate the jitters and embrace the new experiences life throws your way. 

Every great achievement begins with the decision to try.

Chaos to Calm Contributor Shannon GeherAbout Shannon Geher

Shannon is a passionate, creative, collaborative dreamer/producer with over twenty years of experience in content creation, editorial management, book writing, social media strategy, online marketing, and business development. She is co-author of “It’s Not a Rumour: A Rock n Roll Journey Through Life and Alzheimer’s” with rocker Freddy Moore, and has penned numerous ghostwritten published nonfiction works in the parenting field. Currently the Director of Content at Be Courageous where she enjoys bringing the concepts of courage and calm to the business world and beyond.

Shannon is a mom of two awesome college “kids” and lives in Upstate New York. She can often be seen with her husband, holding his hand and a cup of coffee walking amid apple and Christmas tree farms. You can follow her on LinkedIn, Twitter, and on her Substacks: The Writer’s Life, Capturing Courage, and, Why Do We Say That?