Performance Anxiety, this is the second time I have to address you in a short period of time. So here is part 2 of my letter to you…
I get the feeling I will be writing to you a whole lot more in the next months. And the reason for this is because I have not been averting you. I used to always pretend you weren’t there or I would simply not do the things that would cause you to rear your ugly head. I just didn’t want to deal with you because I didn’t know how to make you go away on your own.
Let’s get one thing clear. I still don’t know how to deal with your ass. You are stubborn and I literally cannot stop you from doing what you do once you start.
But one thing I do know is that I want you gone. So, I am going to let you continue to visit me and I will start observing you the way I do everything else. I usually keep my mouth shut and I just watch people or I watch situations unfold. I learn from them, I pick up the patterns and then I make my calculated approach. This is exactly what I need to do with you as well.
Last night I had to perform. I had been working hard on this performance and took the time to really plan out my concepts, movement patterns, music selection, and outfit. And when it came time to perform, you appeared before me again and you made my body shake, perspire profusely, you made my adrenaline rush so much I was actually involuntarily falling asleep. My mouth became so dry it didn’t matter how much water I drank, my mouth remained dry to the point I was having trouble swallowing.
Last night, while you entered my body, instead of running away, I decided to stay. I stayed and put all my senses on alert. Because for the first time, I needed to feel you, smell you, touch you, see you. I needed to get to know you. And I became aware of what you cause.
I chose not to let you stop me from doing what I was about to do. I went on stage and I performed. My facial expressions didn’t give away to the audience that I was internally fighting with you throughout the entire performance.
I didn’t move exactly the way I wanted to move because you made me afraid to fall. On top of that, I wore heels. I felt my ankles shaking. I didn’t move exactly how I practiced but I moved nonetheless.
I didn’t completely eradicate you, performance anxiety, but I was able to live with you for 3 minutes and 10 seconds. So guess what? You didn’t win this time.
I know you will continue to show up. I know you will continue to place doubt in me. I know you will continue to dwell within me. But now I know you a little more.
It’s like they say right? Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer.
Guess who’s about to become my new “best friend”?
I am going to get to know you inside and out and I will make you believe that I am powerless. As I gather my intel and my strength to end you, I will just continue to ride this wave. But one day, Performance Anxiety, you will be no more.
I will find your weakness and I will get rid of you for good. But for now, I accept that you must stay present during this part of my journey.
I haven’t won the war but last night, I won the battle.
Let the games begin.