“When fear feels real … what to do? Fight or Flight” Part-1

Part 1 – I sang anyways!

I always had a wish – singing and performing on stage in front of a large audience. Yes! I have managed to tick that off my bucket list! And a big ‘Yes’ to how this helped me find myself a little more. Next time it’ll be easier to take the bounce.

When I was only singing to myself or for an audience comprising of my mum, dad, siblings, spouse and in-laws, it was going all-well. I would sing, record, share and then enjoy the rapturous love that filled my entire being as singing helps me find my balance, it is so me.

But the thought of a larger audience would grip me with fear, my voice would tremble and my desire to sing on the stage would take a back seat, for a while at least.

One day I saw a Singing talent show announced on one of the networking platforms that I follow. Maybe this was my chance. I braced myself and registered (unsure and undecided, whether I would participate or not?).

Then began the rehearsals, an everyday ritual. As the day closed in, singing became more like gasping and panting, the fear of competition did not allow me the ease, fun and joy that singing used to be before. I would easily break into a sweat just at the thought of going on a stage.

As the performance day neared, nervousness accompanied with cold and shiver got only stronger and more frequent. I was fast losing trust in myself, thought of a solo performance on stage for the first time in my life was nearly killing me.

But my training in positivity and optimism gave me hope always. I choose to listen to soothing music, go over my affirmations and look at my beautiful reflection in just about everything, the mirror, water, glass, window panes and the phone screen. I tried and practised. I wasn’t going to run away I just needed more confidence in myself and the journey to be less scary.

Came the day! The D-day! I was nervous as hell. The preparation mode still on – USB with the karaoke music, lyrics printed on paper, outfits ready… seemingly all set, I wish I could hide under the carpet when the moment arrived – performing for a large audience for the first time.

The audience were quiet and waiting. I started with a request, “I am singing solo on stage for the first time. Please sing along with me for motivation.”

Music on… I started singing with the beats. All was going well when suddenly, a gush of intense fear trolled me again, my lips started locking and numbness ceased my legs. Pain in the back started running up my shoulders. How am I to help myself while on stage, in front of this massive audience!

I managed to utter a line before starting again… I requested the lovely audience to clap and the audience clapped, not just clapped, it was interspersed with soft whistles and hums. What compassion! I couldn’t believe my luck. I got a sense of belonging and felt totally motivated. And Boy! I sang! followed by humongous applause.

The rush of Adrenaline and audience’s encouragement prepped me enough for the second performance of that day- Ramp walk with my three-year-old son. The appreciation that followed is incomparable to any other experience I have had.  The first one came from home, husband followed by son, “I want to go on stage again with you Mommy.”, jumping and clapping away. I laughed and heard my own shaky voice, “We would baby” 

So, here I am…narrating the experience, from a place where I view the whole experience with a different pair of eyes. This was the result of the inner-work that I did and continue to do till date but in a different way. I was missing upon something…

Read the upcoming blog Part 2: When fear feels real … what to do? Fight or Flightto know more.

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