Stage Fright: I am here to live out loud!No More Butterflies: Overcoming Stagefright, Shyness, Interview Anxiety and Fear of Public Speaking
If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.
You are not alone
Unfortunately so many people keep silent because they suffer from immense stage fright. Even the most confident performers can suffer from stage fright. Stage fright is common for everyone from Hollywood actors to professional presenters. If you have stage fright, then you may start to feel nervous, shaky, or even completely debilitated at the thought of performing in front of an audience. Stage fright can be a positive kind of excitement but sometimes the fear can be really intense and as the result too many people keep silent! This is sad, especially if someone has something to say.
Our body’s response to stress: Fight or flight?
Stage fright is related to the fight or flight syndrome. When a human is confronted with a threatening situation the sympathetic mode of the autonomic nervous system releases adrenaline into the blood stream. The adrenaline acts to produce most of the symptoms that people associate with stage fright: shallow, quick breathing, increased heart rate, trembling, and jittery nerves. While these responses may be appropriate for an organism that is facing a valid threat to survival, none of these effects help with the concentration jugglers need to perform at optimal levels.
Unfortunately, the autonomic nervous system does not distinguish between real threats and perceived threats. If the mind perceives the threat as large enough, even though a rational analysis would say otherwise, the sympathetic system starts pumping the adrenalin.
It isn’t only in your mind. It is also in your body. It takes thirty minutes or more for the adrenaline to dissipate, so the adrenaline and the symptoms associated with adrenaline persist in the body long after they are needed for the fight or flight. One result is the jittery nerves of stage fright.
Frequently someone who is prone to stage fright misinterprets these symptoms to bolster the belief that the cause for the stage fright is genuine. Therefore the symptoms then translate into more adrenaline released into the blood, and a self-reinforcing, enforcing feedback loop of stage fright escalates.
Do you have something to say?
We will never hear the advice of many excellent experts because of their stage fright. And many potential leaders are silenced by their fear; great minds are avoiding leadership positions or are not fulfilling their full potential because they are unable to speak up.
Overcoming stage fright will help you to inspire others to follow your vision, explain to them how their tasks contribute to the big picture and persuade, not coerce, them to do the right things. If stage fright is keeping you from reaching your potential, it is never too late to free yourself by unlocking the leader within.
Leave that cycle
If you have stage fright you aren’t alone. Many performers do. Learn to leave that cycle. If you have something to say; let me help you with your stage fright. Live out loud, and be heard!