They say that most people would rather die than deliver a speech in front of an audience. Well, I don't believe that. Actually given the choice, I imagine that everybody would approach the podium quickly. However, any time we need to step up and "perform" in public (like speaking, acting, singing, dancing), an amount of anxiety tends to arise that seems inappropriate for the occasion.
EFT to the rescue!
After having taken care of my (rather mild) anxiety of public speaking years ago, I considered myself all set. I am an EFT practitioner and a writer. What other frightening thing besides speaking (which means teaching how to do EFT) could I do in public?
Little did I know that just two months ago, I happened to discover the world of social/ballroom dancing which adds much joy to my life. And now I am in the position of having to perform on the Novice level at a big public event where I will get adjudicated. In other words, officially judged! It is what they call a Pro-Am event, which means a professional (which is my instructor who used to be a top pro dancer) will dance with me, the amateur. Kindly, he told me that it is actually him who will get judged for his performance as a teacher, but he can't pull the wool over my eyes.
So, how do you do EFT on performance anxiety?
You can start by tapping on the body sensations, for example:
Even though I have this big knot in my stomach, I deeply and completely love and accept myself
Even though this takes my breath away, I am o.k. anyway
Even though my legs feel wobbly, I allow myself to be stable and balanced
Then, tap on all the beliefs and emotions that come up around your event. For example:
I am not good enough
What was I thinking?
I will blow it
I will embarrass everybody who is with me
They will laugh at me
They will pity me
Who am I to do such a thing
I will make mistakes I have never made before
It will be a disaster
This fear of getting judged
Is there a specific embarrassing memory coming up from your past? In my case I was 10 years old and set to recite a Christmas poem in front of the whole (foster) family. When I rehearsed it, I had no problem at all. However, sure enough, on Christmas Eve, I forgot lines, jumbled it completely, and felt embarrassed to the bones.
Do EFT on something like that. If there are several memories, go through every one of them.
Now, go a step further and describe while tapping the worst case scenario of your upcoming performance until it is so over the edge that you have to laugh. In my case, I came up with this:
We are standing there ready to perform, and I completely forget what dance we are supposed to do. Tango? Foxtrot? Rumba? I have no idea! I forget every single step. Waltz Promenade? Hm. Should I move? Right or left leg? Under Arm Turn? How many steps again? Where is my left hand supposed to be? Tango Corte: Why is my head hanging over backwards, and why on earth am I clinging to his elbow, slowly sliding down to the floor?
It was hilarious imagining this scene, and I was completely relaxed after tapping on that.
Just before the actual performance, you can (and I will) tap on this:
Even though I have this constricted breathing, I allow myself to relax now, and I let it be easy.
Can't wait to get to that event. When we step out of our comfort zone, magic happens, and magic is not being perfect but having fun. EFT can be magic's little helper.
Carna Zacharias-Miller is an EFT International Certified Advanced EFT practitioner in Tucson, Arizona. Her specialties are working with people who grew up in dysfunctional families, www.MissingMother.com, and introducing EFT into the dance community. Carna's new blog, www.sacredquestforlove, explores the spiritual side of emotions. You can also find her books on the site, The Way of the Ugly Duckling and, for dancers, It Takes Two To Tango.
From the EFTfree Archives, which are now a part of EFT International .
Originally published on July 21, 2012.