Performance Anxiety

visualize.pngby Linda Ratcliff

Stage fright is experiencing intense feelings of nervousness before or while you’re playing your instrument in front of people. In fact, it is also called performance anxiety.

But the truth is, when we feel this way, we are determining the outcome in our imagination before it actually happens. We are visualizing a complete mess-up, and we expect to either strike or strum the wrong strings at any moment.

You’re not alone.

When I used to perform on the piano, I remember standing back stage waiting to go on, desperately trying to remember even the first note.

Jim Carrey almost put off performing for life, after a bad experience as a stand up comic when he was 15.

After forgetting the lyrics to a song during a concert in Central Park, Barbra Streisand stopped performing live for 27 years - out of fear she'd repeat the incident.

Carly Simon once fainted on the stage, right in front of her audience - from stage fright.

One way to overcome this is by visualization.  Now, you’ve probably heard it said that all you have to do is imagine that everyone listening to you is sitting there in their underwear.

But I recommend that you visualize a successful performance – playing every note perfectly and with expression.

Be fully prepared before you plan to play for someone, and then shift your negative thoughts into positive thoughts.




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