Overcoming stage fright - Managing stress: the solution is within us!

Overcoming stage fright – Managing stress: the solution is within us!

Stage fright? A panicky fear!

I've already said it, I've experienced stage fright, I've suffered terribly from it. My stage fright was such that I was almost unable to intervene in a conversation, even sometimes in a small group, simply because there were, within this group, a few people I didn't know.

At the beginning of my career, we used to do school animations, I still remember myself, completely panicked at the idea of being alone with my trumpet in front of a class of 25 students and the teacher to present my instrument and play some small selected pieces!

If someone had told me that one day I would give lectures (already there, I would have thought that it could only be in a dream) and even more lectures to explain how to avoid stage fright, then, for me, it would have been like science fiction!

And yet, I've given many concerts, I've led many conferences and training seminars without the slightest unpleasant symptom, on the contrary, with a real pleasure to share what has brought me so much!

Talking on the radio? Unthinkable!

I was lucky and honored to have been invited by Gaëlle le Gallic on France Musique to present my works, to develop my pedagogical concepts, during four one-hour programs, then also in local radios...

But never before would I have accepted to go "talk on the radio" (a fortiori 4 times 1 hour)! I would have been unable to say two words, to answer questions without having a knotted throat, without having the panic fear of babbling!

Stress? It is however necessary!

Stress is necessary, it is even indispensable in certain cases because it will allow our body to react to danger with a survival solution.

As I have already said elsewhere, our brain is programmed for the survival of the species and the individual.

If man has been able to survive throughout these millennia and prosper despite the dangers he has had to face, it is thanks to this alarm mechanism, this reflex system discovered by Pr Laborit, which has roughly two main reactions: fight or flight.

If you are assaulted in a deserted street, your brain will start a fight, that is to say that it will provoke, through the autonomous nervous system (neuro-vegetative system), a flood of chemical reactions, changes in hormones, neurotransmitters etc...

Fight or flight

This is to increase your physical abilities to allow you to run very fast (if you have time) or to fight (to try to save your life).

All living beings are programmed to cope with short-term stress so that they have the resources to deal with emergency situations. This is the survival mode.

And it is still present in our modern life, even if it is no longer fully adapted.

For example, if you are skidding with your car on a sheet of ice, you are extremely stressed; your body will trigger the same physiological changes as when you were attacked, and once you have stabilized your car, it will return to normal functioning. However, these reactions will still be inadequate. Fighting or running away will not be the solution.

But this is not very serious because it will only last for a few moments.

Unfortunately, our modern life keeps us in this state of fight or flight (not adapted) almost permanent: the traffic that will make you late for your appointment (and in this case, you've probably noticed that you're looking at the slowest, softest motorist on the planet), the conflict you had before you left with your boss, your neighbor, your mother-in-law, the tax bill or the unexpected bill that arrived in the mail this morning, the pressure you feel before a meeting speech or a public performance, the recent crash of your computer, etc. etc...

And it is important to know that simply rethinking these stresses and reliving them mentally produces the same damage as actually experiencing them. Therefore, you almost never get out of this state of intense tension and your stress becomes chronic.

You can well imagine that when your body sets this survival mode in motion (fight or flight), it consumes a colossal amount of energy that it cannot use for the "normal" functioning of your body.

It is therefore the open door for the appearance of illnesses, acute then chronic (anxiety, anguish, depression, migraines, asthma, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, body pain, weakening of the immune system, problems with fatigue, sleep, memory, skin, weight, thyroid, cardiovascular, digestive, gynecological, sexual, psychosomatic diseases, aggravation of existing illnesses, accelerated aging etc. etc.).

I have been well aware of these stress problems and I can assure you that you too can, very simply, perfectly manage the good stress and totally free yourself from the bad stress, the one that can generate so many different pathologies.

The solution, we have it in us!

The solution, it is part of us, it is our “inner resources”.

It is more precisely our mind, this unsuspected power that we rarely use to its true value. It is our mind that will bring the definitive solution to this type of problem. But we must know how to use it wisely because, as I often say, it can bring us considerable help if we use it correctly, but it can also be formidable!

In the past, I could never have imagined that one day I would be able to feel an immense joy in performing in public, which would replace the great suffering caused by that damned stage fright.

What a joy to be totally freed from this burden that poisons life, that devalues, that frustrates, that makes us lose a little more self-confidence each time and that generates anger (since we know that we are perfectly capable of performing).

What a joy to feel able to speak in public, in meetings, to dare to ask for a salary increase, to pass a job interview, a driver's license exam or any other test, to go to the dentist, all this without feeling the slightest fear or apprehension.

What a joy it is to possess, thanks to a better knowledge of mental functioning and learning processes, a reliability in our technique (in any discipline and at any level), which allows us to be optimum in all circumstances.

Imagine the serenity with which we will approach our performance if even the idea of a “failure” can't touch us...

The hindsight that I have...

What allows me to say all this with as much confidence is the hindsight I have.

For more than 35 years that I have been sharing this knowledge through my teaching, books, conferences and training seminars that I have led in France and abroad, and now through the video training that I offer, I have been able to observe the constant, astonishing, often spectacular results.

Other articles on stage fright :

The difference between “real” stage fright and “small” stage fright

What led me to research and find solutions to eliminate stage fright

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