Someone recently emailed me, asking how to get past stage fright. I answered, but while I was writing it I thought it was so relevant that I decided to ask if they’d mind if I share it with everyone here. They agreed, so here’s my response. Enjoy!
Getting past nerves and shyness is something that nearly every singer has to master, but it doesn’t have to be that hard. It’s all a matter of how you see it (as is most of life).
You see, we choose thoughts of shyness just as we choose the thoughts that accompany that nervous feeling. The biggest difference between me and you isn’t the nervousness, but what we feed it mentally. Most beginning performers sit back and stress before they sing. They mentally go over all the things that could go wrong, they tell themselves they’re going to forget their words, and they just work themselves up …I do the opposite.
Before I go out on stage, I’m jumping up and down to get pumped up! I’m visualizing the performance going EXACTLY the way I want it to go, imagining the whole song going perfectly, and the audience responding with a thunderous applause. This may seem silly, but when you feed that nervous energy with positive thoughts like that, you generate excitement. When you feed that nervous energy with thoughts of fear and doubt, then performing is going to be about as fun as getting a cavity filled at the dentist.
I’d use the same trick to get over shyness. We choose thoughts of shyness (I know I did for years!!!). But, the easiest way to get past that is choosing to view ourselves differently. You are the only person who can change you, and the first step to any change is changing your thoughts. See yourself as an outgoing, talented singer whose on a mission to share your gift with the world! At first, it’ll be really hard, but it’ll get easier.
Try this exercise… Take 5 minutes before going to bed each night to close your eyes and see yourself ENJOYING performing in front of a crowd of people. See these mind movies as vividly as possible, really giving them detail. The reason this will help is that it’ll give you performance experience, even though you didn’t have to physically live it. To your brain and subconscious mind, it’s all the same. I know this exercise may sound a little weird, and it will take some commitment, but if you do this, I promise you that singing in front of others will get easier.
I genuinely hope that this helps and that you try these exercises. Do them for at least ninety days and you’ll be shocked at the difference you’ll see. Alrighty, well I need to get back on my newest project. Thanks for writing and I hope you have a wonderful rest of the week!
ps – I just created this cool video outlining some steps you can take to actively banish stage fright from your life. Check it out and hit the “Like” button below if you find it helpful!