A very common issue that people ask me about concerns performance anxiety. I receive emails almost every day on this subject, which is not surprising, because we are all performers. Some of us perform in front of audiences. This includes speakers, athletes, and teachers.
All of us at some point have to step out of our comfort zone. We do not like this because it exposes us to the possibility of public criticism. Common examples include making presentations at work, job interviews, driving tests, and confrontational discussions. It also concerns people who put their creative work in front of others.Examples could be artists, recording musicians, sculptors, and authors, who share their thoughts and creations with others.
The tragedy is that this fear of public criticism prevents many people from publishing their work, and displaying it to others. In a recent conversation with a classical musician I was stunned to hear how many incredibly talented musicians work only work as a teacher, because of this fear of public performance. Not that there is anything wrong with being a teacher, far from it, but there is also a much wider arc of experience that is never pursued.
I am also surprised by how many people just accept performance anxiety as a given. My general advice to anybody is to accept nothing without exploring all other possible options.
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