How to Overcome Stage Fright

It can actually be easy to nail that optimal performance and overcome stage fright.

Easy? Yes way.

Firstly, anxiety is not always detrimental to performance.

You may already know this though.

Except for that time that you were standing side stage or about to walk into a board room or exam room, or waiting for the conductor’s cue to indicate ‘show time’ was only moments way and all of a sudden you felt petrified and incompetent. Even gone blank.


What happens with Stage Fright?

Shallow breathing, sweaty palms, dry mouth and throat, heart palpitations, even vomiting and incontinence. Not to mention those annoying self-defeating thoughts that convince you of a dire outcome. Failure. Not good enough. You’re not ready for this. What will people think.

All cascading in what seems like a one-way destination to………panic and stage fright.


The best way to raise the curtain on overcoming stage fright is to actually let anxiety in.

In fact, the more you try to push it away or avoid it, the more it will interfere with your performance. Embrace it as an essential element of your efforts and take it along for the ride. Breath slowly. Pay attention to non-anxious objects. Describe (with your mind) other non-anxious things (e.g. 5 objects you can see and/or touch).

Still don’t think this will be enough?

Try these.


4 simple steps to help over-come stage fright include:

  1. Get enough sleep and eat well in the lead up to your performances
  2. Master your performance tasks before the performance so you are well rehearsed and confident
  3. Use mindfulness skills to focus on the tasks of performing i.e. dance steps, song lyrics/music score, exam content, and accept the experience of anxiety rather than ‘struggle’ with it. Mindfulness Skills
  4. Think about what is truly important to you with regards to the performance i.e. your heartfelt values.


Understanding your relationship to Anxiety is the key!

Stage and/or job performance, and interviews and selection panels, can all be enhanced with psychological ‘know how’ and an understanding of how you might be unnecessarily struggling with anxiety.

Stage fright is something that can threaten careers or can diminish optimal performance.

Not to mention enjoyment.


Where there is a will there is a way

Drama monologues, dance auditions or competitions, school music recitations and/or other types of performances can all be conquered with anxiety along for the ride.


Learn all you can about the nature of anxiety, and then learn all you can about how you experience and respond to anxiety when you perform. Set performance goals. Stay focused. Schedule time to get to know your personal strengths – Goal setting and strengths

Practise new performance skills often.

Can you remember a time when stage fright got the better of you?  Can you recognise some of the features of stage fright in your performances?

Get help with performing well with anxiety from the team at Attuned Psychology.

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