A blank verse of performance anxiety

Have you ever been out of sync on your performance day. A blank verse is a poem written with regular meter but unrhymed lines. We go blank like blank verse over prepared for a meeting or talk and mess it all. Dev in a workshop on anxiety was curious to know why he goes blank at the moment. Dev starts firgetimg the lines of trembles on stage sometimes he has dropped the idea all together and took a foot back. Some beliefs, I work with participants like Dev in the workshop are

1) Performance anxiety invariably arises from “must”. There is some must statement going in mind. These rigid beliefs about self audience or perfection tend to increse the anxiety “I must perform well”. “The audience must like me” These beliefs in workshops are worked and takes time.

2) Musts don’t come alone, they are paired with awfulizing: must don’t solely contribute to this they are complimented with awfulizing. “It would be terrible, if the audience doesn’t like me” ” it will be dreadful if they heat me”

3) Demanding acceptance by the audience: the demands usually don’t stop to self but also encircle the external factors like audience “I must be liked by the audience or else I am a total loser” “every one in audience must listen carefully”

4) Perfection is a tin of worms don’t open it: perfection beliefs makes us triggers anxiety and procastination both.Thinking my presentation must be perfect just adds more problem. As perfection is mirage the more you try the get it the farther is goes.

5) Self rating & self downing : these label are descendent of beliefs above. “If I don’t perform well or I am just nothing.”

6) Anxiety about anxiety is the catch22. They think “If I am to perform it’s awful if I am nervous and I just can’t stand it”

Every point here needs a detail post will try to write it. Until then if anxiety strikes you before going onstage give up a must , and enter. Read about anxiety and coping strategy here.

“You can practically get over it if you keep working, working, working, failing, failing, failing and not take yourself too damn seriously” Albert Ellis

Reference : Performance Anxiety: A Workbook for Actors, Singers, Dancers, and Anyone Else Who Performs in Public By Eric Maisel

Originally published at connectguru.wordpress.com on April 24, 2015.

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