Creativity Portal - Spring into Creativity
  Home  ·   Creativity Interviews  ·   Imagination Prompt Generator  ·   Writing  ·   Arts & Crafts
  What's New » Authors » Prompts » Submit »
Inner Wizards - Empower the Wizard Within
Valery Satterwhite : How to Transform Performance Anxiety

How to Transform Performance Anxiety

By Valery Satterwhite

It's a funny thing. Life provides an abundance of timely lessons often delivered in unexpected ways that can easily go unnoticed if you're not paying attention. Once you're tapped into the messages presented to you to guide you in the direction of your dreams life becomes a whimsical series of out-of-the-blue events that propel you to move beyond what holds you back. And the truth of it is, the only thing can hold you back from living the life you dream of is Yourself!

I have learned how to remain tapped into my conversation with the Universe, my Higher Self, God, or whatever you want to call it. I playfully call this voice of wisdom, intuition and inspiration the Wizard Within. Here's how I experienced a profound transformational lesson that catapulted me beyond my current comfort zone and into a large public speaking opportunity. Oddly enough, the lesson was delivered to me as I observed the different behaviors my two cats exhibited during my recent move into a new house.

My cats, siblings and rescued as kittens from Hurricane Katrina, have lived together in the same environments with the same set of circumstances throughout their entire lives. Yet they are vastly different from how they show up in their day. This difference creates two completely different experiences resulting from the very same events. Dak loved the move. She had such fun. Each day there were boxes to explore, wrapping paper to tear apart, new cubby holes to crawl into. There were new people to greet as the movers came in an out of the house loading and unloading furniture and new windows to explore the outside world. Every day for Dak was a new opportunity to learn, grow and have some fun!

Willy, on the other hand, experienced the very same event with a different perspective. She did not enjoy the move one bit. She showed up each day terrified of what new change she would have to face and what new person would come into the house that could harm her. She didn't explore her new surroundings. She found the first 'hidey-hole' and hid there — for days. Terrified. Her world shrunk to the size of a tiny space behind the washing machine and she certainly did not have any fun.

Where Dak saw opportunity for fun and adventure, Willy saw a threat to her very survival. Same event, two different perspectives resulting in two different experiences. Learn, grow and have some fun!

"Be able at any moment to sacrifice
what you are for what you can become."
— Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

The same is true in your life. Events in and of themselves do not cause stress. It is how you view these events, what you have the events of your life mean for and about you that creates your anxiety. Simply put, You create your anxiety. If you don't like experiencing anxiety every time you are faced with an opportunity that requires you to "put yourself out there", do something that stretches beyond your comfort zone, then reach for another perspective. Look for ways the experience can help you learn, grow and have some fun.

I had a pattern of crawling into my proverbial hidey-hole when given an opportunity to speak in front of any kind of an audience. Oh, I Found Excuses And Reasons (F.E.A.R.) why I absolutely could not speak on that day in front of a particular audience but the truth was I was terrified. What if I fail? What if I completely embarrassed myself? My career, my life would be over! I'll never be able to show my face in this town again!

I viewed this opportunity from the perspective that the worse thing that could possibly happen to me if I spoke in front of this audience would, indeed, happen. If I ran and hid when I fell on my butt trying to learn how to walk I would still be crawling around on my hands and knees. It never occurred to me that people crash and burn in front of audiences every time and live to tell the tale. Hugh Grant crashed and burned in a public way when he picked up a Hollywood hooker and got caught. What did he do? He went on Jay Leno's show and lovingly laughed at himself and the audience embraced him. He has not been caught picking up a hooker or publicly humiliated since. Grant went on to continue a very successful career.

Others have publicly humiliated themselves and blamed everyone and every thing else on the planet for their misstep. These people continue to humiliate themselves regularly providing scintillating fodder for the newspaper tabloids. Instead of being embraced by their audience they are ridiculed, publicly. They learn nothing from the event. Their world of opportunity shrinks and they certainly are not having any fun!

So, if you noticed that you are anxious, in fear, of doing something know that this very thing is what your heart is longing for you to become. Do the thing that makes you anxious to transform your anxiety, whether it be public speaking, auditioning for a major career enhancing role, or attempting to give a dinner party for twelve when all you know how to cook is a hard boiled egg.

Live, live, live! Life is a banquet,
and most poor suckers are starving to death!

— Rosalind Russell as Auntie Mame, 1958

© 2009 Valery Satterwhite. All Rights Reserved.

Valery SatterwhiteValery will teach you how to Moxie Up! Her definition: The confident courage to achieve authentic greatness with unrelenting drive and passion. Claim your truth, own your power and command your stage. More »

8/21/09