I had a decision to make: continue and make a fool of myself in front of a hundred people, or pull out and admit defeat. I had one last opportunity to back out of the performance—or tell my family and friends I was in, thus committing myself for good.
What performance was I preparing for? Well, for starters, it involved singing —not something I’m used to, like a speaking engagement. And to make matters worse, I was not very familiar with the material. On top of all that, we had minimal rehearsal time. Three good reasons not to go through with it.
Hypnosis for Performance Anxiety
One of the common beliefs I hear in people who have anxiety about public speaking is that “They are all judging me.” I also sense hesitation about what it means to have “all those eyes on me.”
The reality is that, yes, they are judging you.
But the issue with limiting beliefs is that it is a distorted view of what is actually happening.
If you are speaking in front of a group of people, you will have attention on you. But that won’t be everyone. Some people will not be paying attention—they will be looking at their phones or otherwise distracted.
And most people will form some opinion about you or the material you are presenting.
But the real challenge with this kind of limiting belief is that people assume that the judgement of them by the audience will be negative. The reality? You don’t actually know what people are thinking.
With hypnosis, I train my clients to imagine that people in the audience are forming good opinions about them while they are speaking. It takes practice, but in my experience as a hypnotherapist, this mindset switch greatly reduces performance anxiety in my clients.
Thoughts Become Actions
To conclude my story, I decided to go through with the performance after all. And I kept everything I teach my clients in mind: I imagined that I was giving a great performance and enjoying myself, too. I also told myself that I knew the material well, and simply trusted that it would come to me. Lastly, I saw in my mind the audience enjoying themselves as well.
I bet you can guess what happened.
I performed, had a good time, did well, and didn’t judge myself for the little flaws of my performance. And at the end, the audience cheered loudly.
So—yes, they were judging me—and it was OK.
To learn more about hypnosis to ease fear of public speaking or performance anxiety, contact me for a free evaluation session.