Managing Performance Fear- Tip No.2
Fear in performance stops us in our tracks. Confuses our mind. Stops us from singing. At times it can remove us from our power. However, I never want you as a performer to get rid of fear. The fact is fear will always be there when you are performing. Why is fear there? It enhances our ability to perform at our best. Fear aligns us with a more fine-tuned awareness that drives our performance. It can shake us to the very core, so much so that it forces us to present ourselves in that very moment. It helps us look at things like we have never looked at them before. It signals us to a more defined sense of ourselves. It mirrors the fact that we are truly alive in every moment. It is an awareness that is bringing you to a deeper truth in ourselves, that maybe you have not yet been willing to face.
So in not getting rid of your fear, I want to share our latest tip this week on how to manage fear so it will get easier for you to be with it when you perform.
Tip 2- Presence in Focus
We hear the word presence/ mindfulness floating around us nearly every day in the media. Singing is presence. The special thing about singing is that without doing anything, you actually jump straight into the present moment. Singing is like somersaulting into the here and now. This for some people can be a frightening moment in itself. We get so lost in the effervescence of the moment that your mind goes ‘shit I have to get out of here, I am not here that much…get me out of here’. Usually what happen’s in a moment like this is you miss a note, start talking yourself out of your singing abilities and get totally distracted to where you were 20 seconds ago. I suggest at this very moment, bring a loving thought back of – ‘YES I CAN DO THIS‘. Secondly and most importantly, like a zen buddha bring your focus right back to your voice, the words in the song, the notes, everything that is the simplest form of the actual construct of singing the song. Stay there, until the feeling passes. Watch in awe as you gently start flying back into the now as you continue on to sing to your hearts’ content.
Two weeks ago, I had to sing a song at an event that I had never performed at before. My performance fear which is usually about 4 or 5 had elevated to 10.5 on the fear Richter scale. I remember the moment so vividly, halfway through the song I lost a note and the old familiar phrase of ‘ oh no I am going to mess up the song and ruin the rest of it’ hit me on the head. But in seconds like an angel tapping me on the shoulder or more like shouting at me. ‘Come back to the song Clodagh, you can do this’. I did exactly that and suddenly I was flying again. It does work!
In the words of the great Alexander Graham Bell, “Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until bright into focus.”
Come back to us next week and we will have another tip on managing performance fear. Any other questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.