Top 10 Facts about Stage Fright
After going through all the articles about performance anxiety on the internet, I have created the top ten most common facts to give you an overview. Enjoy!
1) Expectation with no plan
Many musicians think stage fright will go away over time. For some, it does. For many, it does not. There are countless personal stories about how musicians have tried to wait it out. However, once they return to the stage, their anxiety is still there.
2) No one really wants to hear about your anxiety
There's a certain stigma about having performance anxiety. It can make people around you nervous if you talk about it and decrease your perceived value as a musician. However, we must talk about it and support each other. We need to value our mental health just as much as our performance success even if it means admitting to others that you get nervous.
3) Physical and cognitive effects
Musicians report that they experience shakiness, sweatiness, lack of focus, negative thoughts, dissociation, trembling, dry mouth, etc. These are common examples of the symptoms of performance anxiety. Which ones do you experience?
4) You're not actually alone after all
Countless articles refer to our cultural icons as those with performance anxiety. Crazy right? The ones that we look up to still experience the physical and cognitive effects. Examples include Glenn Gould, Renée Fleming, Pablo Casals, Adele, Barbara Streisand, and many others. Performance anxiety gets the best of of the best from all different performing arts worlds.
5) Give yourself a break
When I lecture around the country, one of my main messages is to let everyone know that concerts and auditions are not normal environments. They are considered hyperactive environments which means even the most confident people can get nervous. So what's the lesson? Don't think there's something wrong with you if you keep getting nervous.
6) Beta blocker debate
The pill that reduces physical manifestations of anxiety is here to stay. Whether you should use them is up to you. To find out more, click here to view my video about it.
7) Using imagery
Imagery is a great strategy to incorporate not just for stage fright, but for your everyday practice. Click here to view my video on how to use it.
8) It's about your perspective
Whether you're nervous or excited, your body is triggering the fight or flight response. Try to translate it as excitement the next time you see yourself shaking.
9) Yo-Yo Ma says you have to accept life as it is
That's right. Accept your mistakes during live performances and auditions. No one has ever given a perfect performance- even the professionals. Also if you make a mistake, move on. Spend zero time in the past!
10) The desire to be great
Overcoming performance anxiety is not easy. You face lots of obstacles and are constantly tested. This is why you need to have a strong internal motivation of wanting to become your best self. It doesn't make sense to embark on the journey to establishing powerful self-esteem and confidence if you don't truly want to experience greatness.
So there you have it! Leave a comment below about what you think of these and contact me with any questions!
P.S. If you want to find out more about performance anxiety, sign up for my free e-course!