I woke up at 4.30am with my heart pounding, completely disoriented and with no idea why I felt such panic.
Then I remembered, it was the big day. The day I had been planning for for over 9 months, it was the big event.
I tried to fall back asleep but realized it was useless. I started visualizing my day and felt the pain in my stomach intensify.
It was excruciating. I was sick with fear. And yet excited and happy and ready to take to the stage.
I had prepared more for this than anything I’d ever done before. I had spent weeks walking the story, telling it to anyone who would listen.
I had been coached, received a ton of feedback, written and rewritten, recited and practiced.
If not now, I would never be ready.
And yet I was sick with nerves.
Now, let me tell you, this was not unexpected. I mean, it’s not like it had never happened before. I had spent years as a sufferer of stage fright where it had gotten the better of me and I never performed. And years since, that I had handled it quite well and managed to even enjoy the stage.
And this was a tough one – it was hitting me hard.
So I started my routine.
And as I felt me pulse ease and my excitement and nerves channeled to where I needed them – I began to cherish my process, seeing how beautifully it worked.
So here are the 5 secrets to feeling the fear and knocking it out of the court!
Get Moving! – stretch, walk, dance, jump – do whatever gets your circulation going and makes you feel good. Be careful not to exhaust yourself but make sure you whole body feels the movement.
Get Thinking! – review your notes, practice a few last times, remind yourself that you know this stuff really well, and for sure, a lot more than your audience knows.
Get Looking Good! – take a shower, put on your nicest and most comfortable clothes, arrange your hair and face, smile!
Get Food! - don’t forget to eat something small, light and preferably really fresh (fruit, salad, protein – keep away from carbs. & fats)
Get Help! – call the person that loves all you do and all you are – tell them you need a boost, tell them you’re nervous, ask for reassurance!
So, I called my love. He said, ‘Lis, you’ve gotta get over this’ – I thought at first that wasn’t so supportive. And then he said, ‘because I know there is so much more of this scale of work coming your way, and no one deserves it more than you’.
Last but not least. I got on the stage before the audience arrived, to check it out, to get into the atmosphere, to practice. Something was missing. I didn’t feel as connected as I wanted to feel.
As they announced my name and invited me on to the stage, I took off my shoes. Barefoot, deeply connected and channeling all the nerves and fear into being of service and with great respect and love for my audience, I started the story.
It was one of the best performances of my life!