Taking a Mental Time-Out After a Performance
After a performance, you may go through a whole range of feelings. It is not unusual for a performer to experience a mixture of emotions – euphoria, relief, anxiety, anger, and disappointment, to name a few. It is only when some time has passed, that you can take a more objective look at your performance. Resting the mind prevents old patterns of self-sabotage, insecurity, negative self-talk, and seeking approval from others. The repetition of these patterns without awareness threatens to undermine our confidence. With this in mind, a post-performance evaluation is most helpful when conducted, at least, a couple of days later. If you have the tendency to ruminate after your performance, you definitely are due for a mental time out.
A few things to practice to support your Mental Time-Out after a performance:
- Ahead of time, establish a supportive accountability partner/mentor and schedule a post-performance evaluation, at least, two days after the performance. Immediately after the performance, your mentor’s only job is to remind you to simply enjoy the moment.
- Leave the performance on the stage. It is now in the past. It is one of many performances. Love and appreciate yourself for your willingness to show up and share your voice. Allow yourself to FEEL gratitude for the opportunity.
- Rest the mind from all analysis. However, it’s important to acknowledge any feelings you may be experiencing. An effective way to process your feelings is to breathe consciously and shift the mind by repeating “REST-ACCEPT-TRUST” on the in-breath; and “BE HERE NOW” on the out-breath. This assists with resting the mind, accepting one’s feelings, and trusting that all is well.
- Allow yourself to relish the moment! Enjoy the positive company of others right after the performance.
- Practice being a great receiver of compliments. Simply smile, nod, and say “Thank you!” Refrain from explaining, defending, deflecting, or adding to the conversation. Any advice given may be discussed during your scheduled appointment with your mentor. Remember, you are taking a mental time out after your performance; so don’t activate the mind.
- Later, after leaving the performance venue, participate in a pre-arranged fun activity with a friend that helps you decompress. A mental time-out is a must to honor your journey as a performer.
AUTHOR: ANITA G. HOUSER