I once heard a speaker making the distinction between the physiological reactions of two performers. One was someone who was scared to death to go on stage and the other was a person who couldn’t wait to get out there and be in front of the crowd.
It was pretty fascinating stuff.
The person with stage fright said that they could sense the fear as they were about to go out on stage because their heart started to race, their palms got real sweaty, there was a lump developing in their throat and they started to shake with nervousness all over.
The person who was jacked and ready to get out there and perform said that they knew they were ready to rock when they felt their heart start to race, their palms get all sweaty, had a lump in their throat and actually started to shake with anticipation.
They had the exact same physical reactions, but their minds were interpreting the information totally differently. How interesting is that?
It seems that the major difference between stage fright and being a natural born performer all exist in the mind.
The truth is that all of life is like that. Shakespeare was right. It’s all a stage and we are merely players. How do you feel before you go out to perform?
Attitude is such a vital part of our lives, and yet sometimes I think we totally disregard how our mental approach to things can make all the difference.
Think about the examples from above. One of those people was stricken with fear when they felt the sweat form on the palms of their hands, and the other started to get excited. One of the people viewed the energy shift as negative and the other thought of it as positive.
It really solidifies the belief that perception is reality, and that self perception is maybe the truest and strongest form.
Another good example is the popularity of horror films. No one would ever come right out and say that they like to be scared. In fact, the idea of being alone in the dark is enough to push some people over the edge. But yet there are lines that go around entire movie theaters, as people wait their turn to pay to be frightened. It makes me think that the rush we receive, if we interpret it as “fun” or happening to us as a result of watching something that is “just a movie” makes it okay and actually makes us feel good in a strange way. Whereas, if we are in bed at night and hear a noise that comes from downstairs, we are more likely to interpret that as “scary” and potentially “dangerous”, so it freaks us out.
I would challenge you to try and shift your attitude about some of the things in your life that you might be hesitant about or even afraid of.
Think of the adrenaline rush as a positive thing before you speak to a group of people, or meet with someone who strikes you as a little intimidating. Convince yourself that it’s fun to feel a little jittery before taking on a big assignment. See if can make a difference for you.
Bring the crowd to it’s feet or stay backstage…it’s all up to you!