One of the most common emotional problems we experience revolves around performance anxiety—whether it involves a job interview, a difficult math test, creating a new relationship, or especially public speaking. Building on the seven important insights into obtaining emotional freedom that I shared with you in my last blog, this time, instead of theorizing about what it takes to experience emotional freedom, I’m going to help guide you there right now, so you can taste it for yourself. So let’s jump right in! None of what follows is wholly original to me. It is a synthesis of all the many different methods of obtaining emotional freedom I’ve ever studied. This is what I practice daily, and it works.
Accumulated Performance Anxiety
What It Is:
Accumulated performance anxiety is the conglomeration of all the anxiety and performance-related emotions we have failed to fully experience in the past. That anxious energy has built up over time and is carried in the body.
How to Recognize It:
It is always accompanied by a feeling of contraction somewhere in the body, often in the area of the navel, solar plexus, heart, or throat; but this contraction could be anywhere in the body.
What Form the Accumulated Energy Takes:
Accumulated emotions and anxiety seem to take the dynamic, concentrated form of a vortex, much like a tornado.
How to Release It
(you can practice this while listening to the Vaporize Performance Anxiety track – currently available as a bonus with purchase of NeuroStrength)
- Close your eyes.
- Bring to mind the upcoming performance. Any way you do this is fine. No need to worry about whether or not you are visualizing or imagining it correctly. Your intuition knows exactly how to do this. Just trust your intuition and allow it to naturally evoke the experience of the upcoming performance for you.
- As you become aware of anxieties and fears in relation to this performance, notice the contraction in your body and allow your attention to be gently directed toward it.
- Simply allow the feeling, regardless of how uncomfortable it is, to be okay. Allow it to be there, without avoiding it, modifying it, or getting caught up in its associated story.
- Pay keen attention to the energy of the feeling.
- With a compassionate and nonjudgmental posture, allow yourself to “dive” into the very core of this energy. Set your intention to dive into its very core, and your intuition will naturally guide you there.
- Allow yourself to freely sink into the core of this energy. Just allow it to happen naturally. If you force it, try to speed it up, or otherwise attempt to change it, your inner resistance will tighten up, making it more difficult.
- The key is to allow your awareness to be relaxed and natural, yet like a finely tuned laser, aiming at the very center of this vortex-like energy. If you try to feel the whole energetic field at once, it can not only be overwhelming, but can also take longer to release. If you stay relaxed but focused on the center of the vortex, however, you’ll be touching into the very core from which this feeling emanates, and the energy will resolve more easily.
- While remaining focused on the core, allow the energy to play itself out, until it dissipates. This is most easily accomplished by adopting an inner posture of:
- Unconditional acceptance
- Infinite patience
If at any point your attention wanders:
- Bring your attention back to imagining the performance.
- Get in touch with the contracted feeling in your body.
- Dive into the core of that feeling.
- Use occasional word-labels to gently bring your attention back to the core of the energy. (For example, before your attention wandered, you may have recognized and labeled the core energy as being the fear of not being worthy. In this case, as you realize your attention has wandered, you would call to mind that word-label (i.e., the fear of not being worthy), and allow it to gently bring you right back into the center of the energy field. These word-labels, however, are only meant as anchors to keep your attention on the energetic core of the feeling. Attention on the energetic core is primary, and the word-labels are secondary in terms of importance.
Bring your attention back to imagining the performance. As the feeling becomes more intense, you may be tempted to either move away from the core of the feeling or get caught up in the story. Do neither. Just keep gently diving into the center of the feeling.
If you feel an increase in resistance, like a tightening in your body, you may be forcing it a bit. Give the resistance permission to be there by gently saying “yes” to it until it dissipates. Then gently move back to the center of the energy.
You will eventually notice a significant decrease in the level of intensity, but don’t stop until you notice a complete absence of the emotional charge, like dropping a weight. We have such an unconscious tendency to not fully feel our feelings that it can be easy to deceive ourselves back into not fully feeling them.
It could take a few minutes, a few hours, a few days, or a few months (in the case of deep-seated emotions), but the core energy will eventually dissipate. When it does, you will notice not only a profound and lasting relief, but also a spontaneous capacity to be your best, without all the “efforting” that used to be necessary to fulfill your potential. When you release the underlying weight that makes you feel like you’re swimming with weights on, you naturally float up to surface of the water, so to speak. It becomes much easier to be more of who you really are.
The more your release this way, the more natural confidence, poise, and grace you will bring to your performance.
Once you’ve fully released this aspect of the performance anxiety, think of the performance again and see how you feel. If you notice any more contractions in the body, you will naturally realize more of your potential by also releasing these accumulated emotions.
If you no longer feel any bodily contractions associated with the your performance, but instead feel a kind of diffused anxiety, like an auric energy around your body (instead of being in your body), this is a likely indicator that even though you’ve released the stored charge of anxiety, you still may be giving rise to a less concentrated form of anxiety through your expectations and projections. In this case, practice the following method for releasing Presumptive Emotions.
Presumptive Performance Anxiety
What It Is:
Presumptive performance anxiety is a diffused feeling of anxiety, based on the expectations and projections we are entertaining.
How to Recognize It:
It is a generally diffuse feeling of anxiety that, rather than being accompanied by strong contraction in the body, has a softer feeling, much like a cloud or field around the body.
What Form the Presumptive Energy Takes:
Presumptive emotions feel more like an aura around the form.
How to Release It
(you can practice this while listening to the Vaporize Performance Anxiety track – currently available as a bonus with purchase of NeuroStrength):
- Close your eyes.
- Think of the performance at hand.
- Notice the diffused aura of anxiety around your body.
- Notice the presumptions, expectations, and projections associated with this anxiety.
- Now gently allow yourself to become aware of the open spaciousness that permeates and interpenetrates your body, your being and the field of energy around you. Depending on whatever is easiest, you may instead allow your awareness to rest on the background of absolute silence without which you would be unable to hear any of the sounds around you. Or you may become aware of deep stillness, or even infinity.
- Whichever of these you choose, allow your awareness to dive even deeper into that open spaciousness, absolute silence, profound stillness or infinitude; whatever feels the most natural to you. Trust your intuition. It knows exactly how to guide you into this deeper awareness, because your deepest nature is this awareness.
- Could you allow yourself to dive into it even more? And more? And even more?
- Now take a look at that diffuse field of anxiety. Has it diminished at all?
- Allow your awareness to notice the contrast between these two states: one is contracted and sticky, while the other is open and free.
- Now dive even deeper into that expanded state of awareness, until you are entirely immersed in openness, spaciousness, freedom, stillness, silence, and infinitude.
- Remain in this awareness for as long you like.
- When you’re ready, check and see if you can find that diffused field of anxiety. If you were able to connect to this deeper awareness, the anxiety-field should have diminished.
- Now recall the expectations and projections that were earlier associated with that diffused field. Make a note to observe them should they arise again. Then immediately dive back into that expanded awareness.
That’s it! It’s that simple. The more you do this practice, the more inner poise, emotional freedom, and natural brilliance you will experience.
This is the basic practice that I credit with helping me to live consistently depression-free for the first time in 25 years. There are additional ways of deepening this process, but what I just shared with you is really all you need to let it all go.
Click here to check out our new audio recording specifically designed to help Vaporize Performance Anxiety! (currently available as a bonus with purchase of NeuroStrength)