Stepping out into the unknown is something we may be nervous or anxious about. A certain amount of nerves is inevitable when under pressure. We may be nervous about an exam or test for example. Perhaps you’re about to perform on stage and you’re experiencing slight stage nerves. Perhaps it goes beyond nerves, and you feel absolutely terrified, and yet we get through it, don’t we? After the first few words on stage, or bars of music in a piece, or those first few questions in an exam, we overcome our nerves.
So what purpose does anxiety serve? It could be said, anxiety is the means the mind uses to focus itself. When we’re experiencing anxiety, and the stress this creates, the mind is very focused on the task in hand. This focusing, through anxiety, is the fear that we may fail at the task. Does the fear of failure (anxiety) actually help or hinder us?
Perhaps, in terms of it being beneficial, anxiety gives us the advantage of showing others our humility. When others see us as nervous, they want us to do well, and they understand our need; others understand that we’re nervous about failing at doing our best. Once we realise this, we’re then often free of our nerves, and we relax into whatever the task may be.
“What about those times when we’ve allowed our anxiety to get the better of us? When this is the case we freeze. When frozen our fear has moved to another level and we can call this level: ‘Stage Fright.’ Stage fright is very different to just a few first night nerves.”
Why not take this further and begin to view the whole of life as a stage? When we do this it opens up some rather interesting angles. That first job, first date, or perhaps that first big change we need to make, are the types of events – during this self-directed play called ‘life’ – that induce a certain level of stress. Now however, with our understanding of the power of focusing, we can see this stress as useful. We can now give this its proper description: Eustress (beneficial stress).
“During the times we’re experiencing eustress we’re focused, and due to the reasons mentioned, our slight fear helps us perform well.”
“It’s when we experience stage fright that we fail. We fail simply because we don’t act. We fail to actually do the thing.”
“Many of us experience stage fright during our play of life, and rather than recognising it as such, we simply ignore it. Instead of going on stage, and acting out our lives to the fullest, we stay in the wings.”
It’s comfortable here in the wings though, isn’t it? We can just watch the show unfold. We don’t need all those people looking at us, laughing at us, approving of us, disapproving of us, judging us, loving us, hating us, do we? No of course we don’t, we can stay safely in the wings and just watch, that way, we never need to experience the potential of anything?
“Hold on though, there is one rule we’re forgetting: if we don’t feel the fear we’re never going to feel the love, and love, is the most powerful drug in the world.”
To go further, I’m going to set one important example: Relationships. Is it possible to be in a relationship where both of you are happy being observers? Before answering that question, bear in mind, ‘happy,’ in this instance, may simply be the feeling we have when we’re free of fear. Here’s another question: Is it possible for just one of you to stay in the wings whilst the other preforms to their fullest? Somehow, I doubt this will ever work in the long term. Remember: the reality is, we’re talking about, life here.
“If it’s time for a relationship to end, it may well be, that it’s our first experience of an ending. As many understand, through experience, it is possible to fear endings as much as we fear beginnings, especially when this is likely to lead to the advent of stage nerves.”
Take yourself out of the wings, get on stage, get over the fear and act out your life to the fullest, NOW…