By Kanan Parmar
The great leader, Nelson Mandela once said , “The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
There might be times when you become nervous while you’re on stage or you might even start stammering while you perform. Well, these are clear symptoms of stage fright. Stage fear, also know as performance anxiety is the phobia in an individual while he/she performs in front of an audience or even while performing in front of a camera. Stage fear is also associated with social anxiety. It is mostly evident in those individuals who are introverts.
Symptoms of stage fear includes, racing heart beat, rapid breathing, dry mouth, shivering hands and body, sweating, uneasiness and strain in bodily movements, nausea or even becoming unconscious in extreme situations.
Here are ways to conquer your stage fright:
- Do not overthink about what might go wrong with your performance. Believe in yourself and be confident. Never forget to smile while performing. Do not doubt yourself.
- Before stepping your foot on stage, deeply breathe in and breathe out. Breathe mindfully.
- Try to isolate yourself for a few minutes before performing.
- Practice relaxation exercises for a calm and healthy mind. This will prevent you from getting anxious on stage. Yoga and meditation are proven to relax your mind and body. Only a calm mind can help you stay focused.
- Be optimistic. Think about the positive outcome of performing.
- Follow healthy lifestyle habits such as exercising and maintaing a proper balanced-diet.
- Prepare your material/content in advance. Practice as many times as you can and always practice in front of a mirror. You may also practice in front of your family or a trusted friend.
- Maintain a good posture and do not look lazy or shabby on stage. Stand straight and open up your chest.
- Relax all your muscle tension so that you do not have strained movements.
- Do not stand like a wall. Hand gestures and some movement is always appreciated but also, don’t overdo it. Stay natural and be yourself.
- Always know that it is OK to make mistakes while performing on stage. Remember, nobody is perfect and even well-know personalities can make mistakes.
- And lastly, stay hydrated. Water is indeed a magical drink and it can help in reducing your adrenaline rush.
Stage fright is not caused due to any underlying disease and that is why it is definitely possible to get rid of your performance anxiety/fear. The success mantra is,
“Don’t fight your fear, instead, work with it and then work against it!”