Have you ever felt stage fright, where you were supposed to perform and anxiety took over? You started sweating. You tensed up. You did not want to see the audience. All you wanted to do was run away!
Barbra Streisand, Andrea Bocelli, Rod Stewart, Carly Simon and Donny Osmond have all famously experienced stage fright, so you’re not alone in that regard. Stage fright can surprisingly happen to any singer anytime, famous or not.
What are some ways to overcome stage fright?
Tips for Overcoming Stage Fright
There are things you can do to calm yourself down before a public performance. Try spelling out the word “relax.” Do push-ups or jumping jacks. Pray if that helps you. Practice “reframing” the scene in your mind, so that you see things differently, and they’re not as scary. If stage fright is really messing with your life, a counselor can certainly help you figure out specifically what works–for you–to overcome it.
It’s a good idea to take the focus and pressure off yourself. Remind yourself that you’re going to sing in order to make the audience finally allow themselves to feel their emotions. Convince yourself that you have a purpose to your singing, and that purpose is to uplift, encourage, help or even heal others through song. Remind yourself that you don’t have to be perfect. Even if you do mess up, you can just keep going and the audience will forgive you– heck, they might not even notice!
Oftentimes, performers can be very hard on themselves. “I am my own worst enemy” was not only a popular rock song years ago, but also a leading mantra for many performers, whether they’re singers, actors or dancers. Keep in mind that while you, the singer, know exactly how it “should” sound/go, the audience isn’t as familiar with the material as you are, so if you were to say the wrong thing at the wrong time, they’d be none the wiser in reality. Just knowing and reminding yourself of this fact can be very comforting before a performance.
Furthermore, stop any negative self-talk. Instead of complaining about all that could go wrong, start proclaiming aloud positive thoughts about what will happen. Sometimes all it takes is to speak confidently to somewhat “trick” your mind into actually being confident. There’s a reason boxers and fighters use certain songs to “pump them up” before their fight… so, as a singer, listen to a song of encouragement before you’re “on.” It can truly help!
Stage fright can be overcome. There are relaxation/breathing techniques a counselor can show you in order to calm down. Moreover, you can do your part to adjust your thinking to not “awfulize” the situation.