|Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash|
In this post I want to talk a little about stage fright (or fear) and provide you with a explanation about why we feel like that and hopefully help your realise that you can bring yourself into a more confident state.
Now, I know from experience that even the most bubbly, outgoing people can suffer from a lack of confidence at times of exams, tests etcetera.
Other people can get “butterflies” just by having to head down the road to the local shops, and there are many more steps and levels in between.
Confidence (or the state of being confident) is an odd thing because it relies on our interpretation of circumstances. For example, two different people can observe the same event in two completely different ways.
When I first began working in the world of entertainment I found that before I was called to take the stage I would regularly get physical manifestations in my body these are the things that we often call “nerves”.
The kind of things I am talking about included
A dry mouth
A nervous cough
Butterflies in my stomach
And at the risk of appearing indelicate…….. an urge to visit the loo with alarming frequency.
So to say that I found this an embarrassing situation is something of an understatement! This situation went on for years and I would regularly chat to other people about how I felt and I was surprised to discover that it was a situation that was far from unique to myself. Many performers that I encountered also related tales of being afflicted by the very same symptoms.
It struck me as being very strange that there were other people who said that they never felt any nervousness at all!
So one day I was chatting with one of these people who were not suffering stage fright and I made a startling discovery………..
I asked the lady I was talking to (who said that she did not feel any nervousness before going on stage) how did she feel before a performance. Her response was incredible and not the list bit what I was expecting. To say I was surprised is an understatement.
She said something that went something like this:-
“Well when I am getting ready to go on stage and I notice that I have,
A dry mouth, a nervous cough, butterflies in my tummy, sweaty palms an urge to visit the loo and that my heart is pounding. I know that I am in the zone, that I am excited and ready to give the best performance I can!”
So I asked the same question of a few more people that I am aquainted with and I found that most of them told me the exact same thing.
So I did a little more research and discovered that these symptoms were exactly the same because the body produces the necessary chemicals to put us into the state of readiness.
There is very little physiological difference between fear and excitement. So if you are scared, but nothing bad actually happens to you (e.g. you find a strange masked man in your house with a knife, but it turns out that he is actually making you a peanut butter sandwich or similar), then it is very easy to change that fear into excitement, or even mistakenly think that you had been excited all along.
So based on the above revelation I created a small technique that has to my certain knowledge helped a number of people switch their nervousness to excitement of anticipation.
I asked them to imagine a supremely confident version of themselves standing in the room where they are; to see them in full living, breathing colour; to observe how this confident version is standing.
Next take a mind movie of that person and imagine that you are wearing a bracelet on your wrist. That bracelet is actually a movie camera and so you transfer what you are seeing into that bracelet and leave it on your wrist.
And then the next time you feel “stage fright” grasp hold of that wrist and see the confident version of yourself standing there in front of you, step into that person and feel the same way as they are.
I have used this technique personally and have taught it for a number of years to clients who come to me with confidence issues.
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About Dave I am a coach; speaker; radio presenter and founder of The Blue Sky Company. I am also a therapist and owner of a virtual light centre called Rainbow Bridge. My therapy work includes music therapy; crystal therapy and I am qualified as a Reiki Master / Teacher and currently studying a Colour Therapy course,
If you would like to know more about the blog or my therapy work etc, then please email me.
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