Performance anxiety or stage fright is a state of being anxious or fearful that is aroused by the need to perform for an audience. People that have stage fright can experience some form physical shakiness, dryness in the mouth, lack of focus or a shaky voice and an overall negative emotional state.
I have been practicing hypnosis for about ten years and I have observed that people with performance anxiety have a common pattern in their thinking processes. The expectations about one’s performance are often negative and disempowering. For example thoughts like, “ I am not good enough. I am nervous and look bad. The audience judges me and thinks I am awful. They want me to fail. They see that I am nervous and laugh at me. I am ridiculous” are the type of belief statements a person with a performance anxiety would process before or during their performance, or both.
It is unfortunate that such negative beliefs statements in one’s mind affect a person’s behavior in a negative way. As Henry Ford said “ Think you can, think you can’t, either way you are right.” So, if you think you are not that good, then you act poor, aloof and don’t give your 100% as you should. Even more, instead of focusing on your performance or speech, you begin to focus on the audience, and how it is “judging you and against” you. That’s right, as ridiculous it sounds, the performer with stage fright often perceives an audience as some sort of enemy, that judges them and wants them to fail. This is what I like to call a “thought virus” of the mind, a limiting belief that infects the subconscious and makes you act accordingly. If you believe that someone is your enemy and is out to harm you, what would be your first reaction? Probably, to be alert of your enemy, not to share what you have and try to protect yourself, so you become defensive.
In order to have a successful performance the opposite must happen. There ought to be a profound connection, trust and openness with an audience. On a deep level a performer must believe that their audience loves them, wants to hear them or see them perform, because of how great they are and how much talent or wisdom or knowledge they have to share with the audience. A performer ultimately is a giver of something incredible, be it a beautiful dance, music, voice, new information about something or some wisdom. So, if you are a performer you must believe on a deep level how unique and great you are, and how much greatness you have to share with your audience. Your audience is your friend. Your audience wants you to shine, succeed and share your talent with them. Once the person accepts such powerful belief statements deep in the subconscious mind – their performance will improve and they will stay positive, confident and focused.
About 1/3 of my clients seek assistance for helping them gain confidence as performers and public speakers. Performance anxiety or stage fright is a third popular issue in my hypnotherapy practice after smoking cessation and weight loss. I have worked with dancers, violin and oboe players, singers, corporate leaders, public speakers and actors. There is nothing more exciting than helping people reconnect with their highest potential, so they can share their bright light with their audiences.
“I had taken public speaking courses before through Toastmasters, but I was still anxious about an important presentation to 100+ people at an industry conference. I decided to try hypnosis, even though I was somewhat skeptical about its effectiveness. Elena was very professional and took time to explain how hypnosis can help with my type of phobia. After one session, I was able to control my anxiety leading up to the event. I felt very confident during the presentation.” -John S, 39.
“Elena Beloff changed my life! She made it possible for me to have a viable career as a performing musician. When I went to her, I had a terrible and debilitating stage fright. After three hypnosis sessions I can now play to fully packed houses without any trouble! For my entire playing career, I had severe anxiety. It was characterized by a shortness of breath, a high pulse rate and blood pressure and a belief that the audience was antagonistic or hostile. I had tried everything to control my stress from beta-blockers, meditation/yoga, to medication all to no avail. The night before an important event I would have trouble sleeping and would lose my appetite the day of the performance. These could be anything from playing for my peers to playing for a paying audience. The issue was not who was listening because whomever they were, they were against me and wanted to see me fail; at least so I thought.
After no improvement with the various methods I turned to hypnosis. Convinced by the dismal track record, I felt I had nothing to lose. However, to my great surprise, after the first session, I immediately felt a difference! During the interview at that session, we searched for the cause for the anxiety, the trigger to the stressful feelings. Once found, Elena was able to remove that trigger and replace it with a positive affirmation, which could be activated subconsciously when it was time to perform. Since hypnosis works on such a deep level there is no conscious effort needed in order to create good feelings; it just happens. At my next performance, much to my amazement, I did not have to do any mental cheerleading; I simply did not feel the once familiar anxiety. In fact, if anything, I had to get used to feeling calm for a performance, imagine that!
If you have experienced any of these feelings that I once did, don’t hesitate, make an appointment! It is amazing how easy and successful hypnosis can be and how quickly it can change your life!” – Ian Shafer, 33, a professional oboe player
SCHEDULE A SESSION with NYC Hypnotist Elena Beloff . CALL 646 450 8167. Let the stage fright become your stage delight! New York Hypnotherapy with Elena Beloff is your Solution to Problem.
Watch a sample hypnosis session for audition anxiety. NYC Hypnotist Elena Beloff works with Dennis.