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Kicking performance anxiety to the curb - Sarah Marshall

So, you’re feeling sick to your stomach.. Your legs are jittery, (in fact everything feels jittery and uncoordinated!)...

Your heart is beating so loudly you can hear it in your eardrums...

You’re breathing too fast and desperately afraid you’re going to vomit... You rush to find a bathroom only to find you can’t actually vomit but you need to wee for what seems like the 50th time in the last 20 minutes! As you wash your hands you notice you’re sweating profusely...what’s with that? It’s not THAT hot.

Now you are probably asking yourself “why did I sign up for this?"

Yes. Pre-performance nerves can sometimes make the job seem too hard.

So next time you feel like this... rather than focussing on all the weird and uncomfortable sensations your body is feeling...try these steps instead.


Recognise your body is preparing you to do something extraordinary!

With extra oxygenation of muscles you can move faster and with greater confidence knowing your body is primed to be energised rather than lethargic or sleepy. Your braIn is activated, able to respond quickly, think fast, to recall and deliver lines effortlessly with emotional intent. With your digestive system shut down you won’t be bothered by bodily functions. No pressing urge to use a bathroom or feeling hungry mid-performance.

Your body is priming itself to help you perform your best.


Ready your mind

As you know, your voice only responds to what your brain asks it to do. It is therefore imperative to ready your mind so that is primed and able to focus on the task at hand so you can perform your very best, as you might on a good day in the practice room!

Stand in a Superman pose (legs apart and stable, hands on hips, shoulders back and head erect) (Cuddy et al, 2015).

Breathe - inhale for 4, hold for 4, exhale for 4 and hold for 4 - repeat 4 times