When I decided to pursue a childhood dream of singing and went along to my first performers evening, I was mortified when I got up to sing. As I opened my mouth I heard a weird strangled sound more reminiscent of an injured animal! My diaphragm locked up like a tight fist and my lips wriggled around independently like a pair of worms! The rest of my performance that evening is thankfully a fuzzy haze!
I had the classic Fight, Flight or Freeze symptoms one might experience in the face of eminent disaster such as being attacked or having a near miss in a car.
Singing was something I wanted to do, so I decided I was not going to be beaten by this poor experience. Using my training and experience as psychotherapist and hypnotherapist I applied to myself, all the techniques and practices I might offer a client experiencing performance anxiety.
I liken public performance to standing naked in front of a group of people! You really are exposing your most vulnerable self. This means your self-esteem is very much linked to your performance. Trouble is, if your good sense of self is totally dependent on others having to like you or think well of you, then you’re even more vulnerable because that’s is something you have no control over.