Let’s start with a simple fact that our culture is desperately afraid of. Ready? Sometimes, life makes you uncomfortable. It’s okay to pause here and collect yourself for a few seconds. Breathe in. Breathe out. Alright, though, in all seriousness uncomfortable and nerve-wracking situations are just a part of life and sooner or later, we all go through them. Take me, for example. My band Spinning Jenny just played our first show last night in three months. On top of that, I’ve been battling a cold and my voice wasn’t at its strongest. Nervous much? I was shaking in my boots. I must have gone through our songs in my head a million times over. I – well, let’s just look at a GIF for an example.
Not too pretty, right? RIP chubby Josh Peck.
No matter if your nerves come from a band, sports, your job, social pressure, school, or whatever’s going on in your life, they are going to come. Now before you start googling “how to suppress nerves” wait a second! Maybe, just maybe, nerves can be healthy. How? Let’s take a look.
I like to think of my pre-show nerves as my brain looking out for me. Granted, it’s in a very uncomfortable way (and it’s tough on my poor fingernails) but the thing about nerves is that they keep you sharp. I was nervous before the show, so I made sure I knew our songs inside and out. I was nervous about changing settings on my guitar, so those nerves made sure I didn’t forget what I had to do on stage. As a result, we had an awesome show! Now I’m not saying “Oh, let your nerves run wild! Terror and anxiety builds character!” I am saying, however, that a little nervousness can be turned into something positive and go a long way. I would much rather be a little nervous and a little more aware of what I’m doing than just waltz on stage without checking over what I need to do. Everyone is different, and I know that I tend to be a little more anxious than others, but the truth is that no matter your personality you will have to deal with nerves. And though you can’t do much to control them, you don’t have to let them control you. Let them make you sharper, let them make you put more work into what you need to do, let them keep you humble. And just remember, at the heart of everything, you know you got this. And no amount of nerves can change that.
– God bless,