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Hey, it’s Marie Forleo and you are watching MarieTV, the place to be to create a business and life you love. And this is Q&A Tuesday and today’s question comes from Miriam, and she writes,
“Hi Marie. I really appreciate your website. It’s been a great resource for improving myself. As a new business owner, a major thing I struggle with is shyness and speaking in front of groups of people. I’ve realized that this is a huge hinderance and something I need to overcome. Do you have any advice or guidance on how I can improve my speaking skills and overcome shyness? Thank you and have a wonderful week. Miriam.”
So, Miriam, let me tell you. You are not alone. Millions of people have this same fear and, I’ve gotta tell you, I have a special treat for you today. I have a special guest who has helped thousands of people overcome this same fear. And I know that’s a big promise, but what you’re gonna learn today in this MarieTV episode will change your life. And I’m not just saying that because this guest happens to be my fiance.
Josh Pais is an actor who’s been in over 90 movies and TV shows. And he’s also the founder of CommittedImpulse.com, high performance training for actors, artists, and entrepreneurs.
Joshie, thank you so much for being here.
Thanks for having me, baby.
So you’re one of the most brilliant people when it comes to this subject and I’ve seen firsthand how you’ve helped thousands of people overcome this very issue. So what’s the first step in supporting Miriam and everyone else who struggles with shyness or having some type of thing that’s blocking them?
So, one thing that I hear in that is that Miriam wants to overcome shyness.
And maybe… maybe shyness is awesome and maybe it’s not something to overcome and maybe trying to overcome it could be part of the… why she’s having a struggle with it.
Well, I think that’s genius and I know that one of the things that you teach is a completely new way to quote unquote overcome, for lack of a better word, anything that we’re struggling with.
So I know, Josh, that you have 3 really simple but really profound steps to dealing with shyness and to be able to really be your best no matter what you’re feeling. And step number one for you is you’re a vibrator.
And that’s profound.
That is profound.
That’s profound if you’re a vibrator.
So what does that mean exactly, you’re a vibrator?
Well, what that… can I tell the story about my daddy?
Ok, so my daddy was a theoretical physicist who worked with Einstein for 11 years and I grew up in the… in Manhattan, as you know, and in the summers I would go to Brookhaven National Laboratory and that’s where my dad, he would go off to work and he would do his thing and I would play with kids and ride around on my bike. And sometimes I would ride up to his office and he had a floor to ceiling blackboard. And I would come in and he would be, like, deep in, you know, thought and he was kind of, you know, doing these enormous calculations and some, you know, I knew the alphabet, I knew the numbers, but there were, like, all these other images and symbols…
…and things that he was… that he was drawing and I would just be like, “What is he doing?” I just remember thinking, like, all the other kids, you know, in New York, like, their dads were, like, truck drivers or school teachers. It was, like, things that were, you know, comprehendable to a 6 or 7 year old.
And so I was like the… “Tomorrow morning I’m gonna grill him. I’m gonna find out what he really is doing.” And so I was like sitting in the living room and he was, like, packing up, you know, his bag and I was like, “Ok. I’m gonna do it.” And I was like, “So, what… what do you do? What is your job?” And… and he said, “Well, Joshua…” and he said, “Do you see this table?” I was like, “You’re not telling me what your job is.” And I was like, “Yes.” And he was said, “Do you see your knee?” I was like… and then he said, “The smallest part of this table and the smallest part of your knee, when you break it down to the absolute smallest part, it’s the same thing and it’s atoms.” And he said, “And that’s what I explore.” He said, “I explore, like, the building blocks of the universe.” Yeah, exactly, I was just like…
And then he, like, picked up his bag and walked out the screen door and I was just like, “Woah, dude.” It’s like, “I’m atoms?” And then I was like, “I’m the same as the table.” And so why that story had such an impact on me is later in life when I was starting acting on Broadway and movies and television, there were times when I felt… I would feel so much emotion and sensation and shyness, you know, and I was like… and I didn’t know how to deal with it. And I tried to overcome it and then I remembered what my dad said that my body is a mass of atoms and it really… something really shifted for me in that moment and I… instead of looking at these feelings and they really… emotions really are vibrations in different parts of our body.
And all of a sudden it was like how could… why should I look at this sensation, and it’s really no more than, like, this, like, inside my chest. Why should I look at that as something bad?
Right, like if you felt shyness…
…what you associated to be shyness is a certain vibration.
Right, I identify it as shyness. But the truth is it’s just atoms that are vibrating. And that gave me a huge amount of freedom because I stopped associating it with something bad, it was just a vibration.
And that’s why the first one is you’re a vibrator. If we can just recognize that we vibrate and that’s just part of life and it’s not good and it’s not bad.
I think, I just wanna put a little pin in that thought, because that’s probably one of the most profound things that you’ve ever taught me is, you know, recognizing that as a human being and an alive human being, that we’re constantly vibrating and that we’ve only learned to label certain emotions and certain sensations as good and bad. And if we actually remove those labels and just really look at the pure sensations we’re experiencing in our body, the physical sensations…
…the vibrations, so to speak…
…that we have so much more compassion for ourselves and we get out of that realm of good and bad and we can actually just experience what it is we’re really experiencing without all those labels that put us into a whole mental drama.
So, I think… I think that’s really, really profound and if people really get that, you’re right, there’s a huge sense of freedom in it.
It’s really, really brilliant.
And we’re always going to vibrate.
Right, as long as we’re alive.
We might as well appreciate it.
Yeah. And when we’re not alive and we’re, like, floating around… like, “Remember when I used to feel shy and vibrate?” We’ll miss all that.
Which is so sweet.
So we might as well party with it now.
Right, right. So… so step number two that you have is nickname your vibes.
Nickname your vibes.
So tell us about nicknaming.
So, I mean, a lot of my students, you know, if they feel nervous, they… they’ll call it, for example, shushy, you know, or whatever they choose. And, like, shushy, if you go… if you’re about to, you know, put yourself out there, go in front of a group of people…
…or ask for a raise or whatever and you feel this and you go, “I’m… I’m nervous,” like, instant…
Or, “I’m shy.”
“I’m shy.” It’s like instantly… and that’s bad, we know that’s bad. But if you just go, like, “I’m shushy,” it’s like, “Oh, ok.” Like, “I’m shushy,” and it’s like a little, you know, Jewish leprechaun or something. It’s not… it’s not anything bad.
You know, all of a sudden it’s just like, “Yeah, I’m vibrating and I’m gonna go ahead with… with the task at hand.”
So maybe Miriam, you know, can come up with, you know, like maybe she can call it shazam.
I love shazam. Because imagine if Miriam was, like, stepping on stage and she was about, you know, to go out and speak in front of, like, 100 people…
…and instantly she gave herself a reframe. Like, rather than feeling shy she’s like, “Ooh, I feel shazam.”
“Yeah, come on.”
It would kinda be energizing.
So I love that and I love the power of… I think reframes are really, really powerful in our lives.
And I love the fact that we can have fun with this and you can name it anything you want.
So the third step, and this is, again, this is something really profound and I’ve… I’ve seen your work in action now almost over a decade and it’s… it’s incredible. Step number 3 you have is ride it, don’t hide it.
Ride it, don’t hide it.
Ride it, don’t hide it. And by that I mean if you take this… these vibrations that are happening and you just recognize that it’s creative fuel and that it’s something that’s going to propel you into action.
As opposed to, you know, trying to breathe it away and do all our, you know, techniques to get calm, it’s like just, like, let that… it’s just energy.
And let it just empower you to… to do whatever there… it’s creative fuel.
To go out there.
To go out there.
You know, a few things that you’ve taught me over the years, you know, when someone tries to hide what they’re feeling, you know, whether it’s nervous or anxiety or anything that they’ve labeled as bad…
…whenever you try to suppress or hide it, you actually display that quality even more.
Yeah, absolutely, because you’re just trying… it’s like, “No, I’m calm.”
Yeah. And I’ve seen this in action, again, when someone just rides it, meaning they allow whatever the sensation that is to be there and speak authentically from that place, ironically the person appears very centered.
And they are centered.
It’s like the idea that centered is something different than who you are in that moment is… it’s a… centered is like if you’re feeling this, like, you’re centered. If you’re feeling this, you’re centered.
It’s about telling the truth.
And the interesting thing is that when you speak from whatever is there, people are compelled to listen to you.
But if you’re feeling this and you’re trying to… you’re putting your energy to try to be, like, calm…
…it’s like people disengage. Like, they can’t listen because they’re getting a mixed signal.
Well, there’s a sense of dishonesty, right?
It’s like the person is feeling one thing and pretending or trying to show something else…
…which all of us have such acute BS meters… BS meters these days…
…which you can instantly feel like, “I can’t trust this person somehow.” You know, I think you’ve made a really good point when once that I heard you talk about where, you know, no one really wants to see… like, who wants to see, really, a calm public speaker?
It would be boring.
It… totally. Bother to see somebody reveal their soul, reveal their heart…
…even if there are a little bit uncomfortable. If they just keep going…
…it’s like you just… you’re just, like, you root for them and you wanna hear what they have to say because you know it’s coming from their heart.
Yes. And I think, I don’t know if we said this before, but one of the other things that’s been my saving grace that you gave to me was the idea and the concept and, really, the truth that if you allow yourself to feel something fully without resisting it, that it never lasts more than 7 to 12 seconds.
Yeah. Yeah if you just feel like if Mariam before she goes out on stage, you know, to speak and she feels this, instead of trying to put it down, like, just fully feel it. It’s like you’re on the roller coaster, you know, going up and it’s like you feel it…
…and then it’s gonna shift and move to something else and to something else. And you just want to let this information be your guide track.
Yes. That’s really, really beautiful. Josh, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule.
I love you.
I love you, too. And I really appreciate you sharing with every… everyone. I know you have so much more to give, but you’ve been kind enough to put it into little chunks for us to digest and be able to use and that’s beautiful.
Miriam, that was the A to your Q. I hope you enjoyed it and please use what we’ve shared and let us know how it goes.
Now, Josh and I have a challenge for you. If you’ve ever struggled with any type of sensation or emotion that’s held you back, we have a challenge for you to take on right here in the comments. Number one, and I’m gonna look at my notes. First, in the comments, tell us the sensation or emotion that you struggle most with that you’d like to quote on quote overcome. Number two, describe that emotion or that sensation in terms of vibrating atoms. So is it like a tightening in your chest? Does it feel like champagne bubbles? Does it feel like a heaviness or an expansion? Really describe it without dramatizing what it means in your mind. We wanna hear just what the atoms do, how exactly do they vibrate. And, number three, we want you to nickname your vibes and commit to riding it and not hiding it. I think this is such a cool challenge. As always, the best action happens after the episode at MarieForleo.com, so go there and leave a comment now.
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