Transform your stage fright into a powerful presence that radiates to others.
By Annacarin Nilsson, inspired by the book ”It’s your time to Shine” by Sandra Zimmer
The process of transforming stage fright and fear of public speaking is all about developing presence and authenticity
Stage fright may have different causes, such as fear of feelings in front of others. Fear of becoming the center of attention, which also triggers feelings of shame – shame simply for being who you are. Sometimes it may come from a previous bad experience. It could have been during a speech or a completely different situation. This negative experience has subconsciously grown a trauma that underlies the fear felt in exposed situations. Sometimes you are just afraid of the power you feel within, as Nelson Mandela wisely expressed in his installation speech.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
No matter what the causes are. To regain your potential you must begin to re-integrate the different aspects of yourself amid the intensity of being the center of attention. You must learn to stay present so you have access to your whole self. With all your parts working together when you present, perform or communicate in front of others. This is the objective. Even though it seems daunting, it is not as difficult as you might expect.
Inside yourself, you can relax in the tension and discover a new, safe ground within your own body. Find the quiet place of power and presence that has always been there waiting for you to access it. When you do make a connection with this internal realm, passion and energy starts to flow through your body and you are freed up to speak, perform or communicate from a deeper level. To heal stage fright, you have to relax in the center of attention and reclaim the openness and innocence of a small child.
The process of transforming stage fright and fear of public speaking is all about developing authenticity. Authenticity means that your outer expression matches your inner reality. That is, what you are thinking, feeling, perceiving, believing and wanting. To some degree that is all expressed in what you say and do. Authenticity is giving yourself permission to express your inner life genuinely in the outside world of other people. It is permission to feel your real feelings and think your real thoughts and share those with others, in a way that seems appropriate to the relationship and situation.
On the internal side you have to re-integrate feelings, mind-set, body and voice so that they are interacting and supporting the same and true expression. Breathing and alignment is the core to get grounded and safe inside. Your mindset has to be transferred to a safe place, where you are strong and in contact with your resources. When you are authentic, present and flexible in your interactions, your voice, words, thoughts, body language and feelings will be expressed in a natural way. You are in contact with your passions and your beliefs.
by Annacarin Nilsson