Your Self-Talk—Friend or Foe?

Silhouette Self-Talk

Everyone has an inner dialogue of little voices—that steady stream of on-going thoughts and images—that constantly goes through their minds on and off the stage.  This dialogue can be your most reliable and best encouragement or can be your worst criticism. If you have been watching the Olympics, you have witnessed one incredible example after another of performers whose self-talk works … [Read more...]

Focus for Peak Performing

focus time zones

In the recent post, Focus On What YOU Can Control, we discussed the kind of focus many performers have that makes them fearful, anxious, and distracted by things that are outside of their control.   When you focus on what is within your control, you will feel more confident and calm and ready to face performance challenges with a clear and present focus. What kind of focus do you need to … [Read more...]

Mental Toughness in Performers

Fleming as Borgia

A powerful force in the life of your performing will be your level of mental toughness.  This toughness comes from responding to negative messages (thoughts & emotions) in an appropriate way.  Being a mentally tough performer means that under the pressure of competition you can maintain a present focus and continue to think constructively, non-defensively, positively, and realistically--and … [Read more...]

Focus On What YOU Can Control

Archer

If you are a performer who struggles with performance anxiety or you can't seem to perform as well as you practice, you may want to take a look at to what and where you are paying attention.  Most performers who are anxious or fearful are paying attention to things outside of their control.  The ability to concentrate in the present and to focus on the specific task at hand is extremely … [Read more...]

Performance Anxiety and SUPREME Goals

Goal Setting

Setting good goals and working those goals will help performers feel more confident and assured that what they practice will be accessible on the stage.  Goals give performers direction, help motivate them toward success, and increase confidence.  Setting goals will also help performers keep their attention on what’s important by identifying strengths and challenges.  Good goals can improve … [Read more...]

YES Performing in a “Who’s next?” World

Stage Blue Sky

Alternate Title:  Positive & Engaged Performing   A couple of weeks ago we looked at Carol Dweck's view of Mindset and how having a fixed or growth mindset can affect your performing.  Today I want to look at a similar comparison of mindsets—performers with an optimistic view of their performing and those with a pessimistic view.  Now of course, none of us want to admit to being a … [Read more...]

Resilience—Bouncing Back, Pt. 2

Singer w:orchestra

In Resilience—Bouncing Back from Setbacks we discussed what makes performers able to recover quickly from mistakes, setbacks, auditions that don't go well, or performances that are considered unsatisfactory or  as failures.  In your effort to be the best performer you can be, you may often lose sight of the fact that the mistakes and setbacks you have are something every performer … [Read more...]

Resilience—Bouncing Back from Setbacks

joplin_tornado

Being back in Joplin, my hometown and site of the deadliest tornado in recent American memory that hit last May 22, 2011, is both heartbreaking and uplifting.  When we were in Joplin one year ago, only days after the EF-5 twister hit, it was a scene of devastation that one only sees in movies or in your worst nightmares. When in Joplin helping my family and when reading about the efforts to … [Read more...]

Are You Comfortable With Performance Anxiety?

dont-cross-the-line_1_

Last time in What Is Your Greatest Fear?, we discussed the common fears that performers face.  These fears cause you to doubt your abilities and skills and feed your anxiety level as you prepare for performance.  What's more, when you get used to these anxious feelings and fearful thought and behavior patterns, you tend to settle into a place we commonly call a comfort zone.  It seems odd, … [Read more...]

Mental Rehearsal Can Work For You, Pt. 2

visualization

Mental rehearsal, or vividly visualizing yourself practicing or performing difficult passages, preparing yourself to be confident, or reviewing a memorized section or a past performance are all effective supplements to the physical practice you or your students engage in prior to performance.   Some may also call this type of practice imagery.  Whatever you call it, vividly seeing, hearing, and … [Read more...]