We have a choice to be ‘problem’ focused or ‘solution’ focused… Fright or fear comes from focusing on problems, real or imagined. If you identify the problem for even a second, then switch to solutions, things often improve right away!
1) ‘People won’t like me’– reframe the thought to: what can I ‘give’ to my audience? What can I share with them, or how can I help them have a better day? Perform to individuals with eye contact and share the meaning of the song. Become the actor/character in the song.
2) ‘I have butterflies in my stomach!’ –try physical relief: a helpful pose is to relax, lean over onto a chair or table, or hang your arms down. If you can do so easily, rest your hands on the floor. Try this before your show– it can calm your throat tension, and calms the stomach. It’s just hard to be nervous in this position. Exercise early in the day!!
3) ‘I might forget the words’– take time to prepare ahead of time, it is worth it for peace of mind; and realize that every performer makes mistakes–sometimes big ones! If you are expecting 100% every time with no mistakes it makes it tougher to relax, have fun, and go with the flow. Get a lot of experience to make things easier.
A couple of helpful quotes:
“I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which have never happened”–Mark Twain
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror, I can take the next thing that comes along. You must do the things you think you cannot do. –Eleanor Roosevelt