I was recently sitting with my friend Lizzie before she went onstage to perform at a student showcase concert. Eyeing the performers onstage I turned to Lizzie and said, “So do you just not have the part of your brain that recognizes this situation as terrifying?” (mentally referring to the concept of being able to switch off one’s inner critic to do something out of the ordinary in public). “No way,” she responded, “Every time I’m about to go up on stage or perform in front of people I get terrified, but I just tell myself, ‘You have no choice. These people came here for something, and you are going to give it to them.’ And then I just do it. I channel my nervous energy into the belief that I can do anything, and the confidence that I will.”
This idea, so simple and eloquent, really hit home with me. I forget sometimes, as I think many people do, that overcoming fears, whether rational or not, is a matter we as individuals are entirely in control of. So the next time you feel afraid, stop for a moment and mentally channel that feeling into the confidence to overcome your fear. Remember that you’re the one in charge.
In the meantime, check out Lizzie and her amazing band, RiverRan, here.