Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by heidi. heidi Wonders, “how do get over stage fright” Thanks for WONDERing with us, heidi!
You're sitting there in class, fidgeting nervously in your seat. You glance up at your teacher, silently praying that she doesn't call out your name next.
Before you can avert your eyes, your teacher makes eye contact with you. The next second you hear your name being called. Suddenly, your stomach feels like it has relocated itself somewhere down around your feet.
You slowly stand up and shuffle to the front of the class to give your speech on an interesting current event. As you survey the faces of your classmates, all your thoughts flee your mind as if being erased from a chalkboard.
You stand there like a deer in the headlights, unsure how to begin. Your mouth feels dry. Your palms are sweaty. It's suddenly way too hot in the classroom. What's going on here? Are you having a mental breakdown? Nope! You're just experiencing stage fright!
If this scenario sounds familiar, you're in good company. Many people experience stage fright. In fact, it's so common that it has its own technical name: performance anxiety. Many people, including famous actors, athletes, and musicians, regularly feel the pangs of performance anxiety when they have to perform in public.
Performing in front of others can be nerve-wracking. The stress you feel is real, and that's why your body reacts like it would in the case of real, physical danger.
When you step on a stage or before a room full of people, your body's "fight or flight" mechanism kicks in. This reaction creates the symptoms associated with stage fright, including a racing heartbeat, hyperventilation, dry mouth, sweaty palms, trembling muscles, nausea or butterflies in the stomach, and even blurry vision.
The cause of performance anxiety is no mystery. It's the stress and anxiety associated with speaking or performing in front of others. When we have to perform in public, all our insecurities surface. We worry about how we look, how we sound, and whether we'll make mistakes. No one wants to look or feel silly in front of others, so we easily get stressed in these situations.
Since so many people experience performance anxiety, it seems like it shouldn't be a big deal. But it can be. It can affect your self-esteem and have a negative impact on your performance in school or on the job.
Fortunately, we often know in advance when we will need to perform in public. This allows us to take some steps to conquer performance anxiety, allowing us to step out onto that stage without any fright whatsoever.
Perhaps the best strategy to fight stage fright is to be prepared. Know what you're going to say and practice until you know it by heart. In the time leading up to your performance, eat healthy and get plenty of sleep. Taking care of your mind and body will help you fight those stressful feelings.
Expect the stressful feelings to come, no matter how prepared you are. That way, when they arrive, they're not a surprise. You expect them and you're ready for them. When they come, put them out of your mind by giving yourself a pep talk. Take deep breaths. Psych yourself up to perform and turn that nervous energy into positive energy! Act natural, be yourself, think positive thoughts, and focus on engaging your audience with the message you've practiced.