How to Beat Stage Fright (from your desk)

by Starla J. King on February 16, 2011

Something quite disconcerting can happen when we turn a hobby into our life’s work.  Stage fright.  Full-on, stop-you-in-your-tracks, deer-in-the-headlights stage fright.

When we step onto that “stage,” we suddenly see all the beady little eyeballs of judgment and external assessment watching our every move and we freeze.

That activity that used to be the pure joy free-flow of expression changes to the consistency of cold molasses.   Stuckness happens. 

I know because it it happens to me.  Regularly.

It’s my writing — the one thing that’s held me through my entire life by giving expression to my feelings, my questions, my discoveries, my plans, my past, present and future. 

Some days I can step onto that stage and move effortlessly with the words.  The crisp tango of consonants giving way to the lilting waltz of vowels.  Sentences flow and ideas express themselves effortlessly, beautifully, magically.  The applause stuns me as I have forgotten the audience even exists in the intimacy of this word dance.

And other days, I’m stuck in the molasses.  The spotlight blinds me as my feet stick to the stage and the dance never happens.  I push the words out from stage right and they too balk in the glare of attention, seeing only the judges in the front row — all scowling, all ready to show harshly low numbers. 

It’s on those days that I need to remember — we all need to remember — to focus on the place our hobbywork started — our hearts.  It’s when we try to fit our own uniqueness into the expectations of “the audience” that we risk straining the beauty and ease right out of our work.  

It’s a delicate balance, this hobby work performance art… and it’s essential to the care and nurturing of our life’s work.  It takes courage to begin and end our work from our hearts, and it’s that courage that takes our work from a mundane struggle to an inspired flow. 

The heart doesn’t know stage fright — let it lead your work onto that stage.  Your performance of a lifetime is about to begin!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Josie March 9, 2017 at 8:32 pm

Just for Zig. Pretty funny… I’m all for Mac and Oscar 2012….They stand a good chance to win.Given a one eye, three legged dog that answers to the name &#&L80;2ucky8#2221; could beat Obama…


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