STAGE FRIGHT – PUBLIC SPEAKING & EFT

May 30, 2019

Stage fright and fear of public speaking are some of the most common powerful fears in our society. Why would this be? In almost every case, logically there’s nothing to fear. We’re not going to be physically harmed, people aren’t likely to throw tomatoes at us, so why such visceral fear and avoidance?

Every negative feeling arises from one of two roots. Fear of loss of safety and fear of loss of love, which includes social standing, respect and the opinions of friends, family and the public.  The subconscious mind has more than a million times the neurological processing power of our conscious mind. Every word, action, tone of voice and body language experienced when young, informs the developing perceptions of our world and the degree of security and acceptability we feel within it. Core beliefs are formed by the age of six and become our “operating system”. These matter deeply because it’s estimated ninety five percent of our conscious thoughts, decisions and perceptions are shaped by these early subconscious programs (i.e. beliefs).

When it comes to working with stage fright and fear of public speaking, I’ve found Emotional Freedom Techniques including Picture Tapping Techniques to be so powerful I warrant the results. So how does it work? Stage fright is a big powerful “thing” for many. It seems too big to get a handle on. But every big “thing” is made up of smaller parts. By starting with a small manageable piece which is at the top of the pile, we can allow the conscious and subconscious minds to collaborate in figuring out the whole story attached to that feeling or belief.

Specific patterns of acupressure tapping keep the fight/flight/freeze part of the brain busy while this examination is under way. In some cases we’re starting with a specific element of fear, in others it may be the physical sensations felt at the thought of performing or speaking.

I remember a brilliant doctor who found the thought of lecturing to be extremely stressful. As we followed the pieces, we uncovered his subconscious train of thought. “I don’t understand or trust technology -> I can’t rely on it to work for me -> If it fails, I’ll be trapped and helpless -> Hmm, I suppose there will be a sound technician there, here could fix the issue -> I could print out a copy of my slides so if the worst came to the worst, I could use my own copies to keep me on track. I really do know my stuff. The slides are just a convenience. -> Actually the audience won’t be judging me for the tech failure. They’ll just be very happy they’re not the person in that position. They’ll be on my side, have compassion for me and respect me for not falling apart in this circumstance.

For another doctor, his biggest underlying concern was that someone would ask him a question he couldn’t answer and the audience would judge him as incompetent. As we worked through the beliefs wrapped around that, every part of him came to realize his peers would have total respect for “we don’t yet know” or some such reply. Intellectually they’d always known these things, but the old programs laid down in the subconscious were whispering a different and paralyzing story.

The search for perfection is paralyzing. Striving for excellence is inspiring.

For performers such as singers, the subconscious is trying to keep them safe the best way it know how with the programming laid down since they were young. Often there’s an underlying catastrophizing process going on. “If I’m not perfect, I’ll be horrible and everyone will be disappointed in me or judge me” Re-processing and rewriting the old subconscious programming attached to these feeling  sets them free to be in them moment and take pleasure in striving for excellence.

During the course of this work, clients begin to develop real self-compassion. Understanding at every level that being human is both a great and a challenging reality.

We all do the best we know how, with the tools we have at the time. It’s never too late to get better tools. No matter what our earlier childhood programming and experiences, we all have the opportunity to learn to become warm encouraging, nurturing mentors to our inner child. We don’t have to worry about how good we are at it at any time, because he or she isn’t going anywhere. We can go back as often as we need to, to gently educate, reassure and heal hurtful, fearful or limiting beliefs; without trauma.

To learn more about these techniques, set up an initial interview with David Gilbert. Our gifted Integrative Therapist. He can be reached directly @ 613-747-5458 or wellness@david-gilbert.com . Offering work so powerful it’s guaranteed.

Posted in Uncategorized by Pat Moore