Demo Anxiety

This story is my own personal experience before I became a practitioner. It illustrates a common situation in the professional workplace and how it was handled productively using EFT or Emotrance.

This happened when I was still working for Microsoft. At the time I was working on an important future feature for our product. 

One day my manager came and told me that our General Manager who sponsored our project is in India and that we should show him a demo of my work in a couple of hours.

I had already given demos and talks  on what I was doing to my team. But for some reason the fact that I had to give a demo to the project sponsor in my office made me extremely anxious and uncomfortable. I could feel my heart beating faster and heat in my chest and face :).

I was surprised by my own reaction but I already knew enough about conditioned responses to not waste time criticizing myself for 'illogical behavior' :).

Given that I was learning EFT and Emotrance at that point, I thought I should try them to stabilize myself or I was pretty sure I won't be able to talk through the demo well.

Given the strong body sensations I had as described above, I used Emotrance to release them and after I felt better, just did a few rounds of EFT  on "this anxiety", "anxiety about demo to X" etc. 

In about twenty minutes, I was back to my usual state. Sometime later the GM and a couple of other important people came in and we had the demo. I did it just like I would demo to others, answered questions, discussed potential futures, costs involved etc. They were very happy with the demo and it ended well.  

Much later, my manager told me that demo was great and that it had a material impact on my annual review!

Comments

When people first hear of Emotrance or EFT, they think they are mainly meant for issues involving deep trauma or extreme states of stress and depression. 

However, I think they show their value most often in everyday situations. Modern life is a "death by thousand cuts" involving family, friends, profession, and social relationships.  None of them seem big enough individually but cumulatively they determine the quality of our lives.

Most professional lives are littered with innumerable situations which have the potential to trigger unpleasant emotional reactions - giving a demo, giving a technical talk, asking the boss for a raise, getting a review, negotiating a new role, dealing with authority figures, cutting a deal with an important customer, tight deadlines, unproductive reports, pointy haired bosses etc.

If we observe closely, you can see that this is not a local phenomena. I have seen even very senior people feel anxious about product reviews when the stakes are high. So these reactions are not confined to junior positions, the same dynamic holds everywhere and people at every level can benefit from being able to resolve their anxiety in important situations.

Since many people don't understand emotions, they don't identity their reactions as something that can be changed. So when it is unavoidable they go ahead and suffer through it and get the work done.  

Sometimes they avoid anything that could trigger these reactions in them by staying in narrow zones, like settling for an unhappy job instead of interviewing elsewhere or waiting for the company to promote them instead of actively negotiating their growth path with their manager.

If you wish to learn EFT or Emotrance, the professional workplace is a fertile area to pick up problems which can be useful 'proof of concept' tests to work through. If you observe your past and current behavior for a little while, you can easily come up with a list of issues that trigger anxiety in you. 

Usually there is a professional upside to resolving them, so positive feedback loop between learning the methods and resolving the issues is likely if you go down this path. 

In case you are not convinced that everyone has these issues, then this interview should convince you that even our Prime Minister is not immune from these issues.

Just observe his reactions in the interview and instead of seeing it as a character or leadership issue, see it for what it is - the triggering of an emotional stress reaction. 


Further reading

  1. Understanding conditioning
  2. Introduction to Emotrance
  3. Learning a new technique

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