The adverse effects of preforming in the music industry

29/04/24 by Josh Porter

The pressure of performing

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Stepping out on stage in front of a crowd and performing can be extremely stressful and anxiety inducing for many people. Even the coolest performer may actually be a ball of nerves on the inside. A good performance often rides on the confidence and self-esteem of the artists on stage. It can be a lot of pressure for someone to live up to. Feeling a room full of eyes on you, watching your every move, it can be enough to crack you into a million pieces of insecurity and self-doubt

How performance pressure has effected me

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I first experienced performance pressure back when I was at college. I’d never had many problems performing on my own at home, but as soon as I got in front of other people, I totally lost my nerve! As soon as I knew I had to perform I’d be hit with a massive wave of panic and anxiety until all I could think about was getting out of going on stage. I was convinced I was going to be awful and the crowd would hate me for it.

It was a vicious cycle, because I was so anxious about making mistakes, I ended up making mistakes, which just made me feel and play worse and worse. It became a self-fulfilling prophecy of my own creation. I ended up just losing it totally and being unable to continue playing at all. I felt devastated, like I didn’t have it in me to be a performer, I even considered quitting the course entirely.

But the thing is, I was pushing myself too hard, trying to live up to an unreasonable expectation of perfection that I had set myself. We all make mistakes, it’s an inevitable part of learning and improving. But we can’t let ourselves be held back by our mistakes and stop us from achieving our goals. The skill isn’t not making mistakes, it’s being able to recover from them.

Advice for coping with the pressures of performing

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It can be really daunting and hard for new artists to overcome the pressures of performing and become comfortable on stage. But trust me, it can be done. I did it, so can you. Here are some tips for coping from my own experiences:

  • Set realistic expectations for yourself and your performance.
  • What happens in the performance, stays in the performance. There’s always next time.
  • Learn from your mistakes, don’t dwell on them.
  • Try not to compare yourself to others, we are all our own performers.
  • Don’t overthink things, remember to have fun.
Don’t let the pressures of performing hold you back or take the joy out of what you love doing. In my experience, all those feelings of crippling fear and anxiety will melt away if you can just block out the crowd, be yourself, and step out on to that stage with the music in your heart.