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Conquer Your Fear and Increase Your Confidence

Updated: Nov 11, 2018

Are you tired of becoming paralyzed with fear at the thought of standing before a group to make a presentation?  Are you interested in conquering that fear once and for all?

Guess what? You don’t have to suffer anymore—there is a solution. 

Dorothy Sarnoff was an actress, a voice and speaking coach and author of Never Be Nervous Again.  After conquering her debilitating stage fright using a technique many actors use that entails pushing on a wall and grunting, Dorothy tailored the effective exercise so it was more user friendly. 

The instructions below are for an exaggerated form of this exercise. Once you are comfortable with the location of the rectus abdominis, you will be able to practice the Sarnoff Squeeze anywhere without drawing attention to yourself.


  • Stand or sit in a straight-backed chair

  • Lean slightly forward

  • Put your hands together in front of you in a prayer position with your elbows at a 90 degree angle

  • Push your palms together so that you feel pressure in the heels of your hands and under your arms

  • Say “ssss” like a hiss through slightly parted lips (make sure not to clench your teeth)Contract the rectus abdominis muscles (see explanation below)

  • Relax the rectus abdominis muscles at the end of your exhalation, then inhale gently

  • Repeat several times


The rectus abdominis is made up of the eight muscles commonly referred to as your “eight-pack” or “abs” and we all have them even though they may be hidden! For the purpose of this exercise, focus on tightening the top two of these muscles that stretch over your ribs, just below the sternum. This area is also referred to as the vital triangle, which includes the diaphragm and these two muscles, in many meditations and other breathing exercises.

The hissing portion of the exercise is essential in engaging the diaphragm and results in a purposeful and controlled exhalation. When nervous, you may find yourself taking deep breaths in hopes of slowing a racing heart and clearing your mind. However, it’s the exhalation that truly produces the calming effect that you desire. A quick exhalation is actually counterproductive to your deep breathing and causes the lightheaded feeling associated with hyperventilation. Making the hissing sound while contracting the rectus abdominis will give you far better results than deep breathing alone. 

There are many testimonials, including my own, describing the miraculous results from using the Sarnoff Squeeze. There is a physical reaction that occurs which prevents the production of the fear-producing chemicals noradrenalin and epinephrine. Can you imagine getting up in front of a group and being fearless, confident and comfortable? You won’t have to simply imagine, you will witness it. The trick is you can’t just read about it, you have to practice it.

So, breathe in, tighten those muscles and let out a big hiss!

To learn more about this and other anxiety controlling techniques, contact Amy via email or at (702) 784-7687.


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