Section VI Perception Interventions: Responding to Feelings of Stress A friend of mine was presiding over a session at a conference involving several speakers. After the first presenter was through and a polite round of applause was offered, the second speaker approached the podium and soon, in mid-sentence, fainted. Later she told my friend how nervous she had been and the threatening thoughts that had invaded her mind. When my friend related this story to me, I could not help but recall a bar mitzvah ceremony I attended. The 13-year-old boy was in the middle of a prayer when his knees buckled and he dropped to the floor. In both of these instances, there was no physical threat. Rather, the threat was what other people would think of them. Would they “perform” well enough, or would they be thought of as incompetent? Fortunately for both the presenter and the bar mitzvah boy, they recovered and finished what they started out to do. This is not always the case.
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