Yesterday was a big day for me. Yesterday I directed my first episode of one of Trinity’s TV shows. Yes, yes, please hold your applause for my awesomeness. I know, you just can’t help yourself. It was a big deal to me to direct this episode because we film live. If something goes wrong, it will be broadcasted all over campus for all to see. I felt like there was a lot of pressure for me to get everything perfect.

As a first time director, I was pretty nervous. I was in charge of what was on air for an entire half hour. Thinking about how many things could go wrong just made me more and more nervous. What if the cameras screw up? What if the teleprompter stops working? What if no one understand what I’m saying? What if I say the wrong thing? The world will positively end. However, yesterday came, the show aired, and here I am today, still alive from the potentially tragic event.

Getting your shot at doing something monumental is one of the best, most terrifying feelings. Whether you’re directing a play, being the lead actress, or giving a speech, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with nervousness and fear that you might mess up your first time at doing something. However, there are a few things to keep in the back of your mind that can keep yourself grounded as you prepare for your moment of awesomeness.

Prepare and Get There Early

You’re only as good as prep work. This is true for several reasons. First of all, preparing and being thorough will help you work through all of the potential kinks that you may encounter. Secondly, preparing yourself will help bring down your anxiety. You won’t be as nervous for what might go wrong because you will be ready for the situation and have a backup plan. Before I directed the show, I went over the show’s rundown list and made notes to myself about when I needed to signal cameras to do certain things, when to tell hosts to go on air, etc, etc. Preparing will make your life a lot easier, and the more thorough you are, the less nervous you will be.

Getting to wherever you need to be early is always a good move, no matter what. If you cut it close, you’ll have more stress added to your plate. Instead of concentrating on what you need to do before your big moment, you’ll be stressing about how late you are or wondering how you’ll get everything ready before your deadline.

Admit that you’re Nervous

A Psychology Daily article suggested that when  you get nervous because of a presentation or big event, you can actually help calm yourself by admitting that you are indeed freaking out a little bit. Take a few moments to freak out by yourself, and then pull yourself back together. It’s a way of releasing your anxiety before you get out in front of people. If you don’t allow yourself to release that anxiety, it will keep expressing itself behind your words and actions. Get it all out of your system before you continue forward.

Keeping calm, or at least keeping your anxiety at bay, is an important part to success. So let all of your nervousness out, let it wash over you, admit you’re scared. Once you’ve done that, there’s nothing left to do except to be awesome.

Brace Yourself for Mistakes

This is life. Mistakes happen. Things mess up. Directing the show yesterday was certainly not perfect. I kept forgetting to countdown the time left for segments. But I was well-aware that this was still only my first time directing the show, and that mistakes happen even to the most seasoned directors. It definitely bummed me out that the mistake happened, but once it happened, it was over. I kept calm and the show continued on.

The world will not end just because you make a mistake. You may feel like it will at the time, but put it in perspective. This is just one of many moments in your life, and you will have many, many more to be perfect. The most important thing is that you learn from your mistakes and are constantly improving on your performance. The only way to get better is to recognize what your shortcomings were and to step up to that next level.

Do you have any tips on how to keep calm when you’ve got a big event on your hands? Let us know in the comments!