“Do you ever get nervous in public? Do you have difficulty speaking or performing in front of others? Are you afraid to meet new people? Perhaps, sometimes you are just jittery what can be done about it?
Since we are on the subject of Directed Questions™ and how we can direct the mind in useful ways to get the desired results or outcomes we want I thought I would share this article I published years ago.
Originally, it was a post to a Inet group. I was writing to help someone overcome performance jitters or anxiety around being in front of a group of people or an audience.
I work with actors, speakers, attorneys, doctors, educators and people from all walks of life. As I recall, this was a magician but this process, my method, applies to everything we do. I hope you enjoy this article. I hope you will begin using Directed Questions™ to make an incredible difference for yourself.
First Performance Jitters
By Rex Sikes
You are getting some good advice here from fellow performers, know your routine well, jitters are normal, etc. All sound advice. Heed it.
What I additionally do is ask myself positive productive questions which lead my mind in the direction I want it to go in.
‘For example, I ask myself questions like ‘Just how surprised and delighted I will be to discover myself having a marvelous time?’
‘In how many different ways can I discover myself delighted and excited at having the opportunity to perform?’
‘How much fun can I stand and in how many ways will I find myself enthused?’
‘How easily can I discover my sense of humor (or whatever) and how much I love performing?’
‘In how many different ways can I excite and entertain the audience, and have them have fun and enjoyment?’
‘In how many different ways can I feel and express my enthusiasm for entertaining?’
‘How quickly will I discover an ever increasing sense of confidence arising in me to the point where I feel totally incredible about this wonderful opportunity to amaze and delight strangers?’
‘How many new friends can I make as a result of this opportunity?’
These are just a few brief sample questions you can ask yourself – or develop your own.
I use questions like these questions to fill my mind. You see when you ask a question your mind goes in search of an answer. It knows what to look for since we grow up asking questions. The problem with most of us is that we have asked crappie questions of ourselves and others.
So I use good positive questions to stimulate my mind to search for answers which I already presuppose to be there. (understanding language presuppositions which occur naturally in English or any native speaker’s language is most beneficial).
For example, I already assume to have a delightful experience. The question I ask is ‘how quickly I can recognize the delight? OR ‘in how many ways I will discover myself feeling delighted or find myself thinking positive happy thoughts?’
OR ‘what is the first thing I will appreciate about myself when I discover myself already behaving in that fashion, or will I tell myself when I suddenly find that I have behaved in that fashion?’ ‘Where will I feel the delight most in my head, heart, chest etc.?’
I presuppose (or assume) I will have it then I ask how I will manifest it or recognize it or act, speak, think or see regarding it.
In other words, I want to get my brain to work for me. I want to say things like ‘I wonder how quickly I will realize how excited I am’ (rather than I’m nervous). Notice also I am not make affirmations – in other words I am not claiming something to be the case when it is not – I am posing questions in a particular fashion, which directs the mind and doesn’t set up conflicts with what you know to be true.
For example, some people make affirmations like “I am my ideal weight’ when clearly they are not and everything including the mirror tells them otherwise. However, if you ask ‘How quickly can I discover myself maintaining my ideal weight, losing weight easily and enjoying all the right foods in the right amounts?’
AND ‘How happy will I be to discover myself just naturally eating healthier and shedding the pounds?’ your brain doesn’t know the exact answer, and you haven’t given it anything to conflict with. You have simply lead it along the lines with least resistance.
The cool part about brains is they really do look for the answers when questions are asked. So I use my brain to program the behaviors I want. Including calm relaxed confidence, quite assurance and the energetic and dynamic appeal needed for entertaining maximally.
Now notice I didn’t ask a question searching for a particular answer such as ‘what is the capital of Montana’ or ‘on what day at what time will all this make sense to me?’
I ask questions in an open ended fashion, like – ‘even though I don’t feel totally comfortable with this yet, how quickly can I begin to discover myself beginning to relax and feel calm and confident?’ AND ‘where can I begin to put my attention which will be most useful for me in discovering how truly talented I really am?’
‘How quickly can I begin to find myself truly recognizing just how wonderful I am and how lucky I am to be able to share myself and my talents with an audience of twenty or thirty friends?’
See again, I lead my mind where I want it to go and then I fill it with these positive thoughts morning, noon and night AND especially when driving.
I have been doing this for close to twenty years so for me it has been second nature for nearly as long.
I also use my quiet time (or else I purposely make some quiet time 3 – 5 minutes at a time a few times through out the day) to imagine or picture what I want happening, beginning to see myself behaving in the manner I wish to behave in and then ask myself questions about ‘how quickly I can already find myself behaving like this?’, AND ‘what I will see, hear or tell myself or feel as I continue to successfully engage in these positive behaviors?’
Now it is important to do this throughout the days in advance of when you need it. Repeatedly fill your mind with powerful positively phrased questions and positive internal imagery and wonderfully positive feelings of anticipating doing well, even beyond your wildest expectations.
Continue to practice your routines and let the questions and mental work you do make you excited about the event. Remember, you have the opportunity to dazzle new found friends and acquaintances. It is really a marvelous opportunity.
There is much I do for myself and as a performance coach. People who have used and tested my methods do exceedingly well. And I have years and years of very happy satisfied people who have learned to run their own brains to benefit them in powerful ways.
So take all the good advice, use it, practice your routine, fill your mind with useful positive thoughts and go out there and give them one heck of an incredible performance!!!!
Be well and enjoy!!! Rex Sikes
Whether or not you perform professionally as an actor, comedian, magician, acrobat, public speaker or not you can use Directed Questions™ to help you in whatever you want to do.
Whether it is feel happier, get some rest, be more confident, have more energy, eat right, maintain your ideal weight, save more money WHATEVER it is you want you can use Directed Questions™ to help make your dreams and goals come true. SO, why not discover how incredibly powerful these questions are when you begin today? Rex Sikes”
How surprised and delighted might you be to discover the many magical moments that make up today?
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