Episode 24: How to Overcome Anxiety and Become ‘Performance Ready’ – Interview with ‘The GPS Girl’ Karen Jacobsen

If you [can] speak to a group of people feeling completely calm about who you are…miracles [will happen] in every area of your life.

Karen JacobsenFasten your seatbelts: this week I am speaking with the wonderful Karen Jacobsen, AKA ‘The GPS Girl.’

Yes folks, she is the voice in tens of millions of GPS units around the world, helping directionally-challenged people reach their destinations.

She also helps people recalculate their personal journeys and work towards their ‘destinations’ (ha!) in life and business at thegpsgirl.com.

Apart from being a coach, speaker and voiceover artist, Karen is also a¬†successful singer-songwriter. Talk about being multi-talented! (PLUS she’s an Aussie. Woo hoo!)

I met her here in New York at a National Speakers Association event, and as I got to know her, I was surprised to discover that she used to suffer from severe anxiety as a child, and struggled with it well into adulthood. So I’m super excited to have her on the show to share with you how she overcame this anxiety, and how you too can learn to manage your nerves in stressful situations.

In this episode you will discover:

  • How she landed the gig of the ‘GPS girl’
  • Her ‘Two Things’ about hearing your own voice:
    1. Be willing to let go of self judgement
    2. It gets easier the more you practice
  • If you can achieve those Two Things, “there is such breakthrough potential in every aspect of your life”.
  • Why you should practice in front of a mirror – I do it, Karen does it, and here’s why you should too!
  • How Karen used to suffer from chronic nerves and anxiety as a child so badly, she would suffer crazy abdominal pain
  • What she learned from her vocal teacher – “50 rehearsals equals one performance”
  • What it means to always be “performance ready” and how you can do this in everyday social situations
  • Why you should take opportunities to speak in front of people as often as you can
  • A lesson from¬†John Demartini: “The quality of your life is the quality of the questions you ask yourself.”
  • What you can do to reduce your nerves before a high pressure situation:
    1. Breathing (you’ve heard it before, but that’s because it WORKS). Long breaths in, long breaths out. Repeat.
    2. Find a word that sums up how you want your presentation to go. It could be “educate” or “inspire”; something that you want your audience to FEEL.
  • Physiologically, there is a very small difference between anxiety and excitement. Tell yourself – I am committed to being excited, not anxious. You can trick your brain into being excited!

Get in touch with Karen:

Website: http://thegpsgirl.com/
Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/thegpsgirl
Give her some Facebook love: https://www.facebook.com/thegpsgirl

Challenge of the Week:

Work towards being ‘performance ready’. This means: take any opportunity you can to speak in front of people. And be spontaneous! For example: next time you’re out for dinner with your friends, get their attention and just say how grateful you are for the occasion and for the lovely food (or whatever). Think of this as a ‘mini performance’. The more you do this, the more confident you’ll be when it comes to a bigger ‘performance’, like a presentation, meeting or interview.


  1. Hi Christina, thanks for bringing this awesome and inspiring interview! And so glad to get to know your name and your wonderful story Karen :) I’ve felt like I had the chance of my lifetime when I got to work at Rockstar Games which sounds similar to your GPS gig. Best of all!

  2. Great work Christina! Invaluable lessons and ideas to be had about communication, life and overcoming ‘fear of’s..’ even for the jaded.

What are your thoughts?