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Healing Stage Fright & Fear of Public Speaking by Telling the Truth

 

The secret to healing stage fright is to focus attention into your fear, into the sensations of tension inside your body.  Once you do that, you will find that the experience is not as bad as you expected.  Inside yourself, you can relax into the tension and discover a new, safe ground within your own body, a quiet place of power and presence that has always been there, waiting for you to access it.  And when you do make connection with this internal realm, passion-energy starts to flow through your body and you are freed up to speak, perform or communicate from a deeper level.

 If you pay close attention to how you feel during stage fright, you will notice that the feeling is very familiar, and about as old as your earliest memories.  It is the same feeling that you had when you were a small child – powerless, overwhelmed by the larger world and totally dependent on others for your very survival.  The only possible survival strategy was to please those who could nurture and protect you, and more often than not, that meant hiding your true self, lest anyone become displeased or disappointed with the real you.

 Tune in carefully, and you will experience that you actually feel like a small child when you become the center of attention.  I think it is this “small child” feeling that people are so reluctant to experience in front of others.  It feels so powerless, like we have no control. When we bring our mature consciousness to the same situation, the feeling of helplessness is almost too much to bear, so we leave our bodies.

 Without realizing it, we often automatically project the image of a critical, negative parent onto the audience, granting them tremendous authority to reject us (most assuredly, we believe) or accept us (hardly a chance of that, we feel).  We just assume they will respond to us with the same critical judgment we experienced as children, no matter that the audience is most likely friendly and excited to hear what we have to say!

 To heal stage fright, you have to relax at the center of attention and reclaim the openness and innocence of a small child.  Even someone who faced the worst barrage of criticism as a child still has a primordial place of innocence within, waiting to be uncovered and re-energized to empower the adult he or she has become. 

 Reclaiming this state of innocence simply means to accept the truth of your feelings and thoughts in front of others.  It means to drop the mask of adulthood so that you can stand present as you are before a group and really be there.  When you can drop the mask, you feel free to share your real thoughts, feelings, insights and awareness with others.  Only then can you truly heal stage fright.

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