Stage Fright -Auditions -Music -Performance -Screen Test -Acting ( Public Speaking -Speechmaking -Wedding Nerves )
Imaginative people can construct disproportionate fears from intrinsically harmless situations. Although auditions for acting parts or musical performance often have a lot riding on the outcome, there is often entirely unnecessary and lurid imagining about unlikely disasters.
Arts performance nerves, like stage fright result generally from thinking rather about audience perceptions, fear of forgetting and images of failure, than connecting with the right elements of competent performance. It is interesting to note how seldom sufferers worry about the vulnerability of fellow performers on whom their own success may be entirely dependent !
Equally, though some wedding nerves are to be expected - with worries around speechmaking, the very way we prepare can condition us to be overly self-conscious.
Thus, instead of being freely expressive and entering easily into the occasion, one becomes over-agitated and self-monitoring. Pre-occupation with the way we sound or how we act or how others see us - and trying too hard to get this right - only undermines performance. Driving test nerves are a clear example of a similar process from a different context where worry about it drives out concern with the task.
All sorts of signs and symptoms - like blushing, stuttering or sweating and awkward uncoordinated behaviour may then break out and fill our attention. The attack of performance nerves and fear of forgetting or doing things wrong now have all the allies needed to defeat us.
Often such a process can be so overwhelming that individuals unable either to go on or to continue with a performance but has to get away.
The worst aspects of this experiences are amplified and used to fuel even more graphic apprehensions about upcoming situations.
Exam situations and other kinds of test situation - like a personal review, driving test or sports competition can also present this in a different form.
It is very hard to inhabit a dramatic character or give a good account of oneself when already fighting a host of internalised fears and failures. Acting ‘ not acting acting ‘ usually proves to be a performance too far !!
Cognitive behavioural techniques are useful to analyse and identify the specific components of the de-stabilising processes - and how they run.
Ericksonian Hypnosis can then be used to disengage old patterns and to separate away the memories of old difficulties. These are replaced with newly constructed resources and awareness which connects a repertoire of feelings and behaviours which are confident, spontaneous and effective.
You may be taught self hypnosis or be provided with personally designed recorded tapes or MP3 tracks containing powerful reassuring suggestion in order to reinforce and further amplify the process.
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Contact Keith Bibby Copyright ©Keith Bibby - Clapham January 2011