I’ve been a singer ever since I could remember. A really good one, too;) I’ve also been performing ever since I could remember. And, I have also always have extremely intense performance anxiety. Can’t think of a time when I didn’t feel sick or wish I would die before and while onstage (I really, really wanted to die. That’s not an exaggeration. I wanted death over having to go out onstage in front of people.) – extreme nausea, feeling out of my body, completely detached.
In fact, I’d say that the only way I made it through performances in the past was to be in this state where I was really not conscious. I’d finish with a performance and have no clue what had just happened. Not in a good way. None of this bodes well for a person who dreams of performing for large audiences. Or any audiences. I got to the point where I even had trouble singing in front of ONE PERSON. Except maybe for my family. When I sang by myself, everything was good and it felt like flying…I loved it and knew it was a part of what I’m here to do.
And I have always had the desire to perform and share this love with others and have known that’s also a part of what I’m here to do. The struggle between the desire to perform and the anxiety tore me up.
I took a break from performing for many years because it took such a toll on me physically and emotionally. I got to the point where I would actually be physically ill before performances. So I just stopped. After working with The Healing Codes on several other issues, I decided it was time to address performance. I’d begun a jazz duo and had several opportunities popping up to perform in great venues. In fact, I started doing The Codes on performance a week before a film premiere I was booked to sing (I’d recommend not procrastinating;). I was under the gun.
Not only did I pull it off with flying colors, I actually almost enjoyed myself! Two weeks later (I continued to work on performance along with some other issues) I was singing at my now regular venue and found that the following happened (this is my favorite part!): You know how you’re performing or speaking or something along those lines and you get to the point that is hard or that you usually mess up?
There’s that thought of, “Oh, God, here it comes…I’m gonna mess it up, I’m gonna mess it up…this is going to be horrible.” Well, I was singing a song that has a high part that is a little tricky to change from lower range into upper range and I always used to cringe just before that part. That thought kicked in – “Oh, boy, here we go…I’m gonna mess it up…” And then the most amazing thing happened – a NEW thought came in and took over and it was this: “I can do this. I’m going to take a really deeeep breathe from my belly and NAIL THIS!!!”
And I did! That same thing happened again and again that night. And it just happened automatically. I didn’t try to make those thoughts change. They just changed!
Now I find that the “I can do this” thoughts come more frequently and easily than the others. And man, oh man, is that nice. I’m actually getting to the point of really, really enjoying performing in front of people. And people respond to that enjoyment. After my last performance one of the audience members came up to me and said, “I had to leave the room during the first song. It was so beautiful it made me start crying. You really need to be in New York or something!” It feels good to reach people and to perform in this way I’ve been wanting to for so long. And more opportunities are popping up for bigger audiences and venues without my doing anything!
Thank you Alex.