How To Combat Stage-Fright

Lukas Schwekendiek
4 min readFeb 26, 2022
Photo by Kevin Schmid on Unsplash

Everyone gets stage-fright.

Performance Anxiety happens to everyone regardless of their field.

Athletes get nervous before tournaments, Actors and Actresses have to take deep breaths right before going on stage, and every public speaker will feel their heart racing as they walk up to that microphone.

There are only very few, select people that feel no nervousness at all, and that only in very specific situations:

  1. When there is nothing riding on the event.
  2. When they become totally comfortable with failure.

The first type of situation only happens when it is a very low-end event.

A professional athlete might feel totally relaxed when they compete in a local tournament in their home village with friends after having performed in multiple world championships.

The relative stakes are so low that it feels like it is not an issue whatsoever. Subjectively speaking there is nothing riding on that event.

For the second type that is usually seen in people that have been in the business for a very long time.

Jack Nicholson is a great example of an actor who has long stopped caring about the results of a particular event.

Not because he does not care, but because he has been in the business so long that he knows everything that can happen and even the worst would not phase him anymore.

Basically, when the person can avoid investing in the results of the event the nervousness leaves them.

Without any expectations or with the utter belief that you will be okay no matter what happens, there will be no reason to be nervous.

What this means for you is to figure out a way to put this event in your head so that the consequences of it do not matter.

You might have to go very deep but if you can disconnect from what the event is supposed to achieve you can disconnect from the nervousness.

To be honest though, I would not try to disconnect from the nervousness… I would use it to my advantage.

When we are nervous our heart rate increases.

Lukas Schwekendiek

Life Coach, Speaker, Writer. Published on TIME, Inc & Huffington Post.