What to Do if Authority Figures Make You Nervous


close up of a man's crossed arms

Photo by Roland Samuel on Unsplash

Interacting with authority figures makes many people nervous, whether it's one on one or in a group meeting.

It's easy to feel hyper self-critical, judged, or powerless.

Let's do a quick exercise to prepare. 


Listen to this exercise on the free FocusMinder app - it's available for your mobile device or Windows.


Stand up.

Notice where you feel the nervous or unsettled energy.

Clammy hands?

Distracted mind?

Lump in your throat?

Shaky legs?

Heart fluttering?

Something in the pit of your stomach?

Now visualize that the turbulent energy could slowly drain out of your body, leaving behind a settled, calm feeling.

First it drains from your head,

then throat,


arms and hands,

torso and belly,




In the space you've created, invite in some extra confidence, an intention to shine your best self, and a desire to glean wisdom and perspective from the interaction.

If you perceive the situation will be especially uncomfortable, make space to hear the kernels of truth but let any harshness roll off your back.

Take one deep inhale and one long exhale.

Now go confidently to your interaction. 


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