Singing Without Fear. The Causes and Cures
Sing Without Fear
Four Causes of Fear That Attack Singers
In the Book of Lists, Wallace, Wallechinsky, and Wallace ranked fear of public speaking and singing as the number one phobia in America. Fear of dying is number six. Anyone can experience fear or stagefright, not just shy or insecure people
Let's take a look at a few main causes of fear:
- You make predictions about every situation you're about to enter. As a performer, you imagine a number of things that might go wrong. These fear-provoking thoughts come from your own past failures, observing others who have made mistakes or simply having an active imagination. There is no truth to your predictions. Stop believing them.
- You experience anxiety as a result of your fear-provoking thoughts. Your feelings and emotions are produced by your thoughts. If you believe you're going to have difficulty, you will become frightened. Overcome these negative thoughts by proving them wrong. Face your fear, one-by-one, and watch them disappear.
- Since the brain can only focus attention on one complex mental task at a time, the more you focus on assessing your anxiety, the more the task you are performing will be interfered with and interrupted.
- The main cause of fear and stagefright is the fear of a negative evaluation. So, lift yourself up, face each fear, and little-by-little each one will fade away.
Fear Keeps Us From Being Who We Are
Five Ways To Control Fear
Learning to recognize your fear and the causes of fear is one of the first steps in learning to control it.
- Your prediction about how well you think you will perform determines your failure or doom. The more you predict failure, the more fear you will experience.
- Your evaluation of the importance of the consequences of performing determines the level of fear you experience.
- Be prepared. Before my students sing or act in a performance, I put them through weeks of training under various conditions. This consistent practice teaches them to focus on the business at hand and not at distractions. Know your material inside and out.
- Be passionate about your performance. Believe the lyrics and find the emotion, then live it.
- Use humor. Humor is such a powerful tool for reducing anxiety. It's also a wonderful way to gain audience acceptance, and we know that a fear of audience rejection is one of the most common fears leading to stagefright.
Anyone can experience fear, depending on the situation. I too experienced fear in the early stages of my career as a professional singer. Then one day I asked myself this question. What is the worst possible consequence that could happen during my show? I imagined what it could be and came up with a great solution. That was the end of my fear.
An Affirmation To Help Reduce And Eliminate Fear
Become As A Little Child And Play The Lyrics to The Song
When we were children we sang freely, without fear of judgment, and our voices rang with confidence. We made up our own lyrics as we went along with no concern about rhythm or rhyming. Our songs were our dreams and we wanted to share them with our friends.
We knew something the grown-ups didn't know. We knew that singing is simply dreaming out loud. No fear or concern is present. We connect with our inner self.
You may think this is a silly thing to do. It isn't. Think about how much fun it is to play with a child. Remember the funny, child-like things you do. You become the age of the small child in order to communicate. You don't feel silly at all. It's important to take yourself back to that time and relax when you sing, especially to others.
Celebrate By Singing Without Judgement Or Fear
As children, we celebrated everything with a song. Birthdays were honored with a special verse of "Happy Birthday To You." So what if we mispronounced a word. Who cared if we left a word out. We dreamed about our own birthday party and the excitement of sharing our cake and special surprises with friends. We dreamed of a brand new bike that we might get this year. We sang without fear or judgment.
But never, were we afraid to sing. Singing was a natural form of self-expression and communication. It still is. Don't let an opportunity to sing pass you by. It's a gift, so open it, delight in it, and use it.
Helpful Tips To Overcome Fear
Singing Reawakens What Has Been Tucked Away
Why do we forget and dismiss this power as we grow older? We silence ourselves and lose touch with our own imagination and our own voice.
We are taught to discount our inner voice and when we do that we lose touch with ourselves. How sad this is. Is it any wonder then that we grow up hating the sound of our own voice?
We are missing so much by refusing to dream out loud through singing. Most of all, we are missing that deep connection within ourselves because to sing is to feel.
Dreaming about love brings a strong emotion. Singing about love allows us to bring the dream to the present and experience those feelings stronger than ever.
When We Sing Or Speak Vibrations Occur Within Our Body
Vibrations are not only heard, they are felt. These vibrations are felt by both the singer and the listener. This is why 'goosebumps' will be felt on the skin and inside the surface when you hear a beautiful singer or are deeply touched by certain music.
These same feelings can occur when someone says something that really moves you. When this happens, fear does not exist.
Then why do we fear? Can fear be reduced?
My Final Thoughts About Reducing Fear
Carolyn Sloan, author of "Finding Your Voice", feels that "The body, the emotions, and thoughts are all one. Singing is holistic in nature. It supports our wholeness as human beings."
I believe with everything that is in me that it is natural for us to sing. I know that it is unnatural for us to refuse to sing and release our emotions regardless of how we sound. When we dream, even if it's a bad dream we are free to express our true feelings.
Singing allows us that same freedom. We are not always free to speak our true feelings, but we can say exactly what is in our heart through singing.
Feelings are neither right or wrong - they just are. In singing, let go of all judgment and especially the need to be right. This is negative and keeps you from being what you truly are.
Fear is negative. It exists only in your own mind. With practice, you will overcome the debilitating emotion that scares you. You will become fearless.
You truly are a unique and beautiful diamond. You are part of nature. You are the very source of your own energy. Don't bury your diamond under a rock of fear and self-judgment. Let your diamond sparkle and shine. Sing!
Celebrate your own uniqueness and become fearless. Unleash the message you carry within you. Don't worry about how you sound when you sing. Just Sing!
What Do You Fear Most?
Without fear there cannot be courage. ~ Christopher Paolini
© 2013 Audrey Hunt