Ask Parvati 39: Overcoming Stage Fright and Performance Anxiety – Part 5: Taking Up Space

BY Parvati

When I posted my blog Ask Parvati 23: The Voice – To Speak or Be Silent?, I received a comment requesting more detailed information about the topic. The question was: “I am sometimes struggling with finding that right balance and express what is in my heart with authenticity and respect and not just blurting it out. Can you please say a little more about how to find that balance, if not in this blog, then perhaps in the next?” I feel, while we conclude the topic of stage fright, it is important to explore a little about how to find balance and flow when we take up more space. We live in a society with rules of conduct that help us to flow and not go bumping up against each other continually. But when the rules get out of hand and squelch the flow, then we need to take a step back and reassess the rules. Oppressive rules are a bit like having an overactive inner critique or judge inside our head.
It is easy to think that the pain and discomfort we feel is because of something that is happening “out there”. Just like the thought, “it’s happening to me”, leads us into a place of victimhood and powerlessness, so too, the idea that others are the source of our pain will keep us from growing.
Playing it small is like an inner prison that once kept us feeling safe, but now keeps us trapped. We can free ourselves from this inner world of hiding when we learn to disarm our beliefs that the outside world is against us (happening “to” us). We tend to take things personally until we realize they are not about us. Our parents’ bad day, when they yelled at us and had no time to hear our funny joke or new story, or see the drawing we made at school, becomes a reflection of us not being loved. But that is not true. Our parents, at that moment, were disconnected and did not feel love from themselves. So from an empty well of love, how could they share love with us?
But we do take things personally. The world then becomes an antagonistic place, where we unconsciously fear we will be judged for speaking up, or we will be taking up too much space or somehow upsetting the apple cart by giving voice to how we feel. But nothing could be further from the truth.
The universe moves towards greater expansion. We are called to be our fullest selves, the greatest expression of who we are and share our inner light with the world. In doing so, we need to overcome our “old stories”, the limiting beliefs that we hold on to, out of fear that if we let them go, we will not be loved.
When we learn to take up our rightful space in the world, we find our power and life flows. When we keep ourselves small, hiding from life, from our selves, from our voice, our life becomes a mere shadow of who we are. In every given moment, there is an opportunity for balanced living. We get so hung up on trying to do things to please or dart from others, we lose ourselves.
Stage fright can be seen as a gift from our soul calling us back to wholeness. It is something that, in my opinion, should not generally be medically treated, but inwardly and psychologically explored. The proverbial skeletons in our closet are clamouring to come out to be shaken and dusted… and perhaps thrown into the trash bin. Time for spring cleaning of our psyche!
My suggestion is embrace the call to overcome stage fright, not by thinking of it as wrong or a problem, but a voice from your soul saying it needs more room to breathe. I believe that in each moment there is an opportunity for perfect balance. We can have the room we need, and give to others what is rightfully theirs. We can feel joyful, inspired, energized and relaxed. There is a flow that is an expression of our soul. It looks different for each one of us. Each one of us is the guardian of its care. Only we can bring it out of the shadow, love it, and give it the soul food it needs. Please consider stage fright as a call from your soul to shake off old thinking patterns and embrace taking up more space. Your soul needs it.
I will be posting again next Sunday on a new topic. Don’t forget today is the last day to send in your questions to be answered next week. Please send yours to
Enjoy the rest of the week,