Updated: Dec 23, 2021
It's a beautiful night. The audience is excited for a promising music filled evening. Singers are taking turns at the mic singing their favourite songs at the top of their lungs. The atmosphere is vibrant and you know it's going to be special. There is a lot of talent out there for sure. Everyone makes it seem so easy! But can you measure up? The song you chose for the event is absolutely going to win some hearts as you have practiced it to perfection. You were confident singing it over and over at home in your living room but all of a sudden reality strikes and you start doubting yourself... The thought of putting yourself out there suddenly makes you feel small. Judging by your increasing heartbeat and dry throat, you're not too sure anymore it was a good idea to begin with... Can you handle the pressure?
You are reminded that this has happened before. Every time in fact. You love to perform and you've been told that you're awesome but it doesn't seem to matter because your nerves are about to get the best of you.
Your throat is dry.
You feel like throwing up.
You look awfully pale.
You feel cold (or super hot).
You start trembling like a leaf.
In a split second, all of the mistakes you have ever made during previous shows flash before your eyes:
Your voice starts sounding shaky and unsteady.
Or simply not coming out right.
Not being able to project because your throat is so damn dry.
Missing a high note that you were counting on to impress everyone.
Stumbling on the runs.
Running out of breath.
Forgetting the lyrics.
Does your hair look all right?
Will they hate your outfit?
You want to crawl back from where you came from and disappear into the ether!
Meanwhile, it's almost your turn to step on stage.Your heart is jumping out of your chest, it's beating so fast! There is no turning back but you can't stop your mind from playing tricks on you...
You're nervous about making mistakes.
What if you make a fool out of yourself?
You worry about what people will think of you and your singing.
Will they even think you are any good? Or make fun of you?
What if you become the butt of their jokes?
You know that you have stage fright. But you thought that facing the music might be a good way to get over it. And yet your voice is shutting down and you have stomach butterflies. You are sweating profusely which adds to you already feeling self-conscious. With this kind of stress, there is a risk that you will mess up and lose face. You worry about... Ok, ok! OOOKKKAAYY!
Who cares?! Just stop it!! Get over yourself!
In his book Effortless Mastery, musician and author Kenny Werner reveals a simple approach to overcome fear of performance: stop caring. Yes, this is the problem. You care TOO MUCH!
Because you care to do well (and who doesn't), you are pressuring yourself to be successful. To move everyone with your marvelous singing! To show them all what you're made of. To make new fans. Even make it on a tv show... Be remembered for your unique incredible gift. The stakes are high and you desperately want to meet your expectations. Your ego is in charge and pride is the driver!
Don't let it. Stop caring right now. Step on your ego! Who cares about making mistakes. It's part of life and how we grow. Transform your stress into excitement.
I remember very well the first time I tried this strategy. I was about to sing at a French event in Toronto but started to feel under the weather about a week prior. I fought the cold for the whole week hoping and praying that it was going to go away. But alas, it didn't. It actually worsened and the morning of the event, I woke up with a bad sore throat. It was too late to pull out. I showed up feeling terrible that no one was going to hear my “beautiful” voice and that I was going to be a mess!! From that moment on, I stopped feeling nervous because I had already accepted defeat. I walked on stage not feeling nervous one bit. And it felt INCREDIBLE! I had a moment of epiphany. I didn't want to feel nervous ever again. And of course I sang just fine.
At this point you must realize that you just have to give in and do the best you can. Accept that it might be a disaster but it's all right! Who cares?! At least you had the guts to put yourself out there and have fun.
Of course another alternative to not caring is to actually care. But you have to care about the right stuff! Like caring about fixing whatever is NOT working with your singing. Doing so will boost your confidence and surely improve your ability to perfectly execute your songs on command. Armed with impeccable vocal technique and an ego in-check, you are sure to be a great sensation!
Do you need guidance with the vocal technique part of the equation? No problem; I'm here to help! And I do care; a lot! Because I want you to win! I only have a few spots left this week for clients who are serious about making positive changes to their singing and who wish to take advantage of my free consultation session offer. If that's you, click on the link below and let's chat:
Break a leg,